Capt. Ed Evers and Lieut. Mike Dowling Open the Festivities
HFD Capt. Ed Evers (left) and Lieut. Mike Dowling, pipers with the Connecticut Firefighters Pipes and Drums, opened Local 2687's Annual Retirement Dinner last Saturday night at "Seasons" (formerly Foxon Country House) in East Haven. Once again, the local's dinner coordinators, Firefighters Kevin Recca and Brian Gilson, did an outstanding job organizing a fine evening for many active and retired department members.
Capt. John Grasso was the department's only retiree of the past year. He now serves as fire chief in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
The members of the Hamden Fire Retirees Association are grateful to our active brothers and sister for the opportunity to gather together again in an outstanding venue for fine food and drink. Thank you!
New Haven Evening Register, Tuesday, April 22, 1958 (Chan Brainard)
Ff. Russ Norman (1950)
Two genuine HFD legends were honored sixty years ago this week. Firefighter Julius Norman retired from the department following 27 years' career service that was preceeded by decades of volunteer service with Highwood Co. No. 1.
Also honored was Julius Norman's brother, Arthur, who had retired five years earlier. Arthur was the department's first retiree under the 1949 retirees' plan. Both Norman brothers lived extraordinarily long lives. Arthur, born in 1891, passed away in 1985 at the age of 94. Julius, born in 1893, died 23 years ago this week at the age of 102.
Julius Norman's son, Russell (1917-2006), was also a longtime HFD career firefighter, serving from January 1948 to December 1979. In his later years, Russ was dispatcher on Platoon 3 before civilian dispatchers replaced uniformed personnel in 1976.
65 Years Ago
Arthur Norman, HFD's First Retiree
One Legend Makes Way for Another
Art Norman (1939)
Sixty-five years ago next month, Arthur Norman became the fire department's first retiree. Art and his brother Julius continued to attend the traditional Hamden Paid Firemen's Sick Benefit Association annual dinners at Reilly's as late as 1976, when there were fewer than a dozen living fire retirees.
Art Norman's 1953 vacancy on the department was filled by Joseph McDermott, who would go on to serve 38 years, retiring in 1991 as a shift commander.
Over forty years ago, when he was a young Hartford firefighter, Keith Victor began publishing The Alarm Room News from his East Hartford home. Championing the principle that "Knowledge is of no value until shared with others," The Alarm Room News was a monthly statewide publication aimed at keeping firefighters in Connecticut and western Massachusetts communities informed on the latest local fire service news.
Shortly after this website started in June 2009, HFRA member Ed Emerson emailed us scanned images of the April 1983 issue of The Alarm Room News, which featured Hamden as the monthly "City of Discussion." Thirty-five years later, these pages present a fascinating snapshot of the Hamden Fire Department as it was in 1983.
Each issue of The Alarm Room News was filled with well-researched information on major fires in Connecticut and western Massachusetts during the previous month, as well as photos and specs of new apparatus deliveries. Every month, the "City of Discussion" offered readers a comprehensive profile of a different local fire department, listing its leadership, organizational make-up, station locations, descriptions of apparatus and the types of communications and alarm systems.
Hamden's Ed Doiron was one of Keith's southern Connecticut contacts for obtaining fire news each month, conducting 24/7 radio airchecks of New Haven area fire departments. Keith continued to publish The Alarm Room News until 1992.
ED. NOTE: This image has been photo-shopped to fix some apparatus data thought to be correct at the time of publication.
At 72 years of age in 2018, Keith Victor has spent two-thirds of his life in public safety. He joined the Hartford Fire Department in 1968. During his 26-year career as a Hartford firefighter, Keith was assigned to Engine 2 at Main and Belden, Engine 15 at Fairfield and New Britain Aves., and Engine 14 at Blue Hills and Albany Aves, where he was driver. Keith returned to Hartford's Station 2 as driver before retiring in 1994.
After 26 years with the Hartford Fire Department, Keith Victor continues to enjoy his work in public safety. He is currently Communications Director for the Town of West Hartford, chairs the Region 3 Emergency Support Functions for Communications (ESF2) for FEMA, and sits on the State Technical Advisory Committee for Homeland Security. Keith is also with the Lafayette Group, teaching Communications for the federal government. Keith and his wife still live in their home in East Hartford.
Friday, April 20, 2018 - Engine 3, Rescue 2, Tower 1, Car 3, Car 4 and Platoon 2 personnel participated in a crash demonstration today at Hamden Hall School. Click below for a TWITTER video of the crash demonstration.
Chan Brainard shared this remarkable 1942 factory photo of Branford's brand new Maxim 750 g.p.m. open-cab pumper, built on the body and chassis that Maxim designed in 1931. This style of open-cab Maxim pumper was available until 1946.