We regret to announce the passing on August 19th of HFRA Honorary Member Janet Butterworth, widow of our deceased brother, Firefighter Wayne Butterworth, who served with the Hamden Fire Department from 1958 until his retirement on April 1, 1984. Wayne passed away thirteen days later.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 26th at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Burial will follow in St. Lawrence Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to St. Joseph's Indian School, P.O. Box 326, Chamberlain, SD 57326.
We deeply regret to announce the passing on August 19, 2016 of retired HFD Lieutenant and HFRA & HGSRA member Robert "Bob" E. Kelo in Chesterfield, Virginia. Bob is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Jacqueline; and his children, Robert Jr. of Fort Myers, Fla., Michael (Susi) and Deborah, both of Chesterfield.
Bob joined the Hamden Fire Department in July 1970. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1984. Among his assignments was co-leader of the department's hazardous materials team. Bob also was a longtime member and past Chief of Citizen's Engine Co. 2 of Seymour before he and his wife Jackie moved to Virginia following his February 1, 1998 retirement.
Those of us who were fortunate to have worked with Bob remember him as a good friend, caring firefighter and a fine officer.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 23, at St. Gabriel's Catholic Church, 8901 Winterpock Rd. Interment Sunset Memorial Park, Chester.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Bon Secour's Hospice, 8580 Magellan Pkwy., Bldg. IV, Richmond, Va. 23227.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob's family at this sad time.
We deeply regret to announce the passing on August 14, 2016 of retired Hamden Deputy Police Chief and Hamden Guardian Services Retirees Association member Donald Hasbrouck.
A United States Marine Corps veteran of the Korean War, Deputy Chief Hasbrouck served 28 years with the Hamden Police Department, later serving as Director of Public Safety at Southern Connecticut State University.
Friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service on Sept. 3, 2016 at 3:30 PM in the Knapp Auditorium located in the Bridgehouse at Masonicare at Ashlar Village in Wallingford. Interment with Military Honors will be private.
Arrangements are in care of Beecher & Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Ave, Hamden. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Masonic Charity Foundation, P.O. Box 70, Wallingford, CT, 06492 or the Yalesville Methodist Church, 8 New Place Street, Wallingford, CT, 06492.
The members of the HFRA extend our sincere condolences to the Hasbrouck family and to the members of the Hamden Police Department, active and retired.
Extreme Heat and Humidity Take Toll on Firefighters
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Leftover Christmas icicle lights hung ironically from the first floor porch as extreme heat and humidity challenged Hamden firefighters quelling a nasty third floor fire on Beacon Street on Sunday afternoon. One fire officer was hospitalized due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. He was expected to be released Sunday evening. There were no other civilian or department injuries.
Following a 4:22 p.m. dispatch, Engine 2 from Circular Avenue arrived on scene at 4:23 and reported fire showing from the rear on the third floor. Engine 2 and Rescue 2 committed to fire attack and search on the fire floor with other responding companies on the way. All residents were found to be out of the structure and safe.
Fire crews were successful in keeping the fire confined to the third floor with partial extension to the rear attic space. The fire was declared under control by Incident Command at 4:48. Overhaul continued in the attic spaces and interior walls of the home for an additional time period. Concurrent with this effort, crews were assigned to the first and second floors to prevent further water and smoke damage.
The American Red Cross was called to assist 7 displaced residents. The third floor of the home has extensive fire damage and the second floor has some water damage due to the suppression effort. The first floor residents are being displaced as a precaution this evening. The Hamden Building Inspector will inspect the structure again Monday for habitability.
[The website thanks the Fire Chief's Office and Dep. Chief Gary Merwede for providingthis articleand photos.)
The website deeply regrets to announce the passing of Al Gorman on August 2nd. Al served as President of the Hamden Historical Society from 1998 until earlier this year, when he declined renomination due to his recent illness.
Under Al's leadership of the Hamden Historical Society, our Association benefited greatly from the generosity of the Society's former archivist Joe Pepe and current archivist Beth Shutts, who have so generously shared the Society's historic fire photographs and other archived assets with the HFRA, helping us to preserve our own history. Hamdenites will also remember Al as having served for many years on Hamden's Legislative Council, and as its president from 2005 to 2009.
Friends may visit with Al's family on Sunday, August 7th at Beecher and Bennett Funeral Home, 2300 Whitney Avenue, from 4 to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Joan of Arc Church, 450 West Todd Street. Interment will follow in Mt. Carmel Cemetery.
Al is survived by his wife of 49 years, Betsy, sons Ben and Sean, and grandson, Eric. The members of the HFRA extend sincere condolences to Betsy and the rest of Al's family.
At their regular monthly meeting last week, Hamden's Board of Fire Commissioners named 16-year veteran Hamden Firefighter Ralph DiFonzo to be the department's first full-time Fire Inspector. He was sworn in last Monday in the town hall rotunda, surrounded by many colleagues and family members. Already a state certified fire marshal, Ralph holds certifications in Code Enforcement and Fire Investigation.
The new position of Fire Inspector was finally funded after years of attempts to have it budgeted as a permanent department position. The greater part of the Fire Inspector's day will be spent inspecting multi-family dwellings, places of assembly and mercantile occupancies, as well as enforcing the fire code and where necessary abating the property. The other aspects of the Marshals’ office, such as permits, plan review, tank inspections, liquor licenses, fire investigations, etc., will continue to be handled by the Marshal and Deputy Marshal However, the Fire Inspector may be used for overflow in these areas, especially investigation coverage, for vacationing marshals, though not on a regular basis.
Back in the late 1980s, Hamden's Fire Marshal and Deputy Marshal received similar assistance from certified part-time inspectors, who came from the ranks of the line personnel. Mike Ambriscoe, Mark Barletta, Jim Hagerty and Dave Strawhince, all state certified fire marshals, spent one day of their daytime shifts working in the Marshal's office conducting inspections, their regular shift vacancies being filled by off-duty personnel. The program ended when the town failed to fund it as a permanent arrangement.
The members of the HFRA wish Fire Inspector DiFonzo all the very best as he takes on his new role with the Hamden Fire Department.
Newly-appointed Fire Inspector Ralph DiDonzo is flanked here by Dep. Marshal Tim Lunn and Fire Marshal Brian Dolan
Dep. Chief Gary Merwede, Mayor Curt Balzano-Leng, Inspector DiFonzo and Chief David Berardesca
A website celebration of today's future HFD retirees.
Left to right: Capt. Hugh O'Callaghan, Lieut. K.P. Martin,
Ff. John Ferrucci, Ff. Luis Torres and Ff. Brian Gagnon
This photo of Platoon 2's crew at Station 3, taken last week, was the last Posterity Project group photo. Since the first crew photo was posted last November 27th, almost every active member of the Hamden Fire Department has been photographed with his or her complete crew.
One re-do is planned, however. Coincidentally, it's Platoon 4 at Station 2, our first Posterity Project photo, taken last November 16th and posted January 15th. During the more than six months it has taken to get every complete crew on the department, transfers due to promotions resulted in a couple of folks who missed the camera.
Twelve members attended. The guys were glad to see brother member Mark Barletta, who was visiting from Florida.
As in past years, the HFRA's July 21st summer meeting drew a typically smaller crowd. The 31st regular meeting was also short (a link to the meeting minutes page is below).
The History Committee was allocated funds to purchase a few heavy duty loose-leaf binders to replace some of the cheaper binders purchased years ago that are now falling apart. The binders contain the hundreds of newspaper articles and original glossy photos in the Association's archives.
The HFRA autumn meeting is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, October 12th at noon.