When the Hamden Fire Department welcomed its four newest firefighter/paramedics on Friday, July 31st, it did so with a much more modest crowd than usual due to what the webmeister has called, "this damned COVID thing."
Only the immediately families or very close friends of the recruits were permitted to attend the swearing-in ceremony in the Hamden Memorial Town Hall Council Chamber.
Social distancing was also observed among the recruits and their families.
CLICK to enlarge
Hamden Town Clerk Vera Morrison administers the oath to Hamden's newest firefighter/paramedics, who were in the 65th Connecticut Fire Academy's recruit class, the longest ever because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
When their recruit class was temporarily suspended due to the pandemic, the students were sent back to their respective departments. Until classes resumed, these four were put directly on the line to boost the department's medical response.
In his remarks to their families, who were the only civilians present, Chief Gary Merwede noted, "During the height of the accelerated community spread of COVID-19, our newest members served this department with distinction, treating the sick and improving the Fire Department's response time by staffing a third Paramedic Rescue."
CLICK to enlarge
Holding his breath, each man pulled his mask down long enough to get a quick shot.
Rob Phalen began working emergency room services in 2004 as a combat medic/EMT in the United States Army Reserve and has been working as a paramedic since 2010. He is actively involved in instruction and training of paramedic students through the Yale Center for EMS. Rob is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and has attended the University of New Haven, Firefighter Phelan will be assigned to Station 4 on Platoon 4.
Matthew Nolan has been married for almost nine years to his wife Tiffany. They have three beautiful daughters, Mackenzie, 10, and Lily and Sophia, both 5.. Matt is currently working towatd a bachelor's degree in Public Safety Administration. He brings to this department his career experience with volunteer organizations and the Guilford Fire Department. Firefighter Nolan will be assigned to Station 4 on Platoon 2.
Jeffrey McGoldrick resides in a neighboring community with his daughter Eva. While in high school, he was involved with many sports including football, swimming, basketball, and track. Active in the Boys Scouts, Jeffrey was among the 4% of scouts to reach Eagle Scout rank. Jeffrey graduated from Villanova University School of Business with a Marketing Degree and MIS Minor. While at Villanova, he participated in many activites, including multiple singing groups and soccer teams.
Jeffrey gained EMT certification and Paramedic License through the YNHH Center for EMS. He worked at Hunter's Ambulance Service while going through his paramedic program, during which Jeff had his "ride time" with the Hamden Fire Department. It was then that Jeff found his passion for a career as a firefighter/paramedic. Firefighter McGoldrick will be assigned to Station 2 on Platoon 4.
Christopher Dosin is from a small town just outside New York City, Hastings-on-Hudson. He joined his town's Junior Firefighter Explorer Post in 2012 when he was just 14 years old. Immediately after high school, Christopher joined the Hastings-on-Hudson Volunteer Fire Department.
Christopher attended the University of New Haven and graduated earlier this year, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Paramedicine. During his time at UNH, he joined organizations like the EMS Club, which gave him the drive and skills to pursue a career in the fire service. He credits his volunteer time and education to giving him this opportunity with the Hamden Fire Department. Firefighter Dosin will be assigned to Station 4 on Platoon 1.
CLICK to enlarge
These special folks did the badge pinning honors: Ff. Phalen's friend Katherine; Matthew Nolan's wife, Tiffany and daughter; Jeffrey McGoldrick's mom, Rowena; and Christopher Dosin's dad, Dave.
CLICK to enlarge
All sworn-in with badges pinned on, Hamden's four newest recruits are pictured here with Chief Gary Merwede (L) and Asst. Chief Charles Lubowicki.
The New Haven Evening Register, Monday, August 1, 1960
We've Come a Long Way, Baby!
Check out Chief Raymond C. Spencer's monthly activity report from 60 years ago. The number of so-called "oxygen calls" for the entire month of July 1960 could easily be the same as a typical day sixty years later.
Before Hamden got its first certified Emergency Medical Technicians in 1971, Hamden firefighters' highest level of first aid training was the advanced Red Cross first aid course. The only life-saving equipment, such as it was, employed by the department were the E&J Resuscitator and a bottle of O2. Rescue 2 (below) was nothing more than a souped-up panel truck.