From July 1 to July 10, 1995 the Town of Hamden hosted three of the several sports venues for the 1995 Special Olympics World Games: Bowling, at the Hamden Bowling Lanes; Baskeball, at the Quinnipiac College Gym; and the Bicycle Race, along Whitney Avenue from New Haven to Cheshire.
For over a year the Hamden Fire Department, with the assistance of several other area fire departments, spent hundreds of hours preparing for the enormous ten-day increase in the town's population.
Hamden Safety Coordinator for the games was Batt. Chief Tom Doherty, assisted by Batt. Chief Mike Ambriscoe. They headed the Game's Safety Committee for all Hamden venues. Capt. Dave Johnson and Capt. Bob Viglione coordinated Fire Safety operations, Capt. Paul Wetmore, Jr. organized Emergency Medical Services, and Capt. Don LaBanca was responsible for Logistical operations.
The 1995 Special Olympics World Games were the single largest athletic event in the world that year. Batt. Chief Doherty began organizing department members toward this effort early in 1994. From the beginniung of the planning stages until the last day, virtually all Hamden career and volunteer personnel contributed their time and effort to make the department's safety mission a success. Fire personnel from North Haven, Bethany, Cheshire, and Madison offered a tremendous amount of assistance as well.