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News Archive» May 2001

5/29/01 New Jersey Unions Sue Passaic

     In a show of anger at Mayor Margie Semler in the wake of a fireman's death, the state and city firefighter unions announced Friday they will sue Passaic for failing to maintain staffing levels they consider safe.
     Union and department officials sought to tie firefighters' continuing manpower dispute with the city administration and those of other towns to the recent deaths of a Newark firefighter and particularly Passaic Firefighter Al Tirado, whose widow joined about 70 firefighters from several departments at a news conference in front of city fire headquarters.
     The suit will charge that low manpower contributed to Tirado's death and has imperiled firefighters and residents in general, Fox said. Along with Firefighter Lawrence Dostanko, president of the local branch of the union, Lavin blasted Semler in particular because the department has been unable to staff one of its companies on several days since Tirado's death.
     Beyond that is a much larger dispute over how many men should staff every fire vehicle. Fire unions and the membership of the National Fire Protection Association, a nonprofit fire safety group, have advocated a minimum standard of four men per vehicle, but most governments have opposed the rule. The deadlock has Passaic firefighters, like those in other departments, saying that even a full shift of three per vehicle is inadequate.

     More information on Al Tirado can be found at the Al Tirado Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/27/01 Concert Fundraiser for Brian Comerford

Brian Comerford      The Rum Runners, a band made up of members from the New Haven County Emerald Society are playing at the Stone Bridge Restaurant on June 8, 2001, from 9 PM to 1 AM. The Stone Bridge Restaurant is located on Daniels Street, in Milford, CT. All proceeds from the show are being donated to the Brian Comerford Family Fund.

     More information on Brian can be found at the Brian Comerford Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/24/01 Local 1339 June Meeting and VOTE

     The Local 1339 June meeting will be held Thursday June 14, 2001, 1900 hours at the Union offices.

     The Executive Board nominees are: Paul Elmendorf, Ken Tamborra, Bret McAllister, James Peplau, Shawn Pace, and Gregg Gyenizs. Top three to be elected for June 2001 to June 2003.

5/24/01 Miniature Golf Fundraiser

Brian Comerford      Tee-Time Miniature Golf's owners Mike and Lisa Zullo have announced a fundraiser for the family of Brian Comerford, a Meriden firefighter who was killed in a car accident on February 18, 2001. The event will be held on June 4 from 12 noon to 8 PM. Cost of unlimited play will be $5 with 100% of the proceeds to got to the Comerford Family Fund. Tee Time Miniature Golf is located at 423 Rubber Avenue in Naugatuck, CT.

     More information on Brian can be found at the Brian Comerford Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/23/01 Line of Duty Death - Newark, NJ

Lawrence Webb Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Webb family and the Newark Fire Department. Lawrence Webb, 37, a second generation firefighter and 15-year veteran with the Newark Fire Department, died of a massive heart attack during a structure fire May 22, 2001. Lawrence suffered a heart attack while fighting a fire in a two and a half story house. He was rescued from the building in cardiac arrest. He was transported to Clara Maass Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Two other firefighters who were working with him on the fire floor suffered injuries.

     Webb is survived by his father Willie Webb, a retired captain of the Newark Fire Department, and his brother, Bryan who just joined the force last November.

     Arrangements and more information can be found at the Lawrence Webb Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/22/01 New Chief of the Waterbury Fire Department

Chief George Klauber      Deputy Chief George Klauber, a 24 year veteran with the Waterbury Fire Department, was sworn in Monday night as the Chief of the Waterbury Fire Department. During his swearing in, George thanked his officers and colleagues who inspired and encouraged him as he rose through the ranks. He also thanked Deputy Chief Joseph DelBuono and Assistant Chief James Trainor, who were competing with him for the position. Congratulations and good luck George.

5/18/01 Line of Duty Death - Republic, MO

Republic FD Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Eutsler family and the Republic Fire Department. Ritchie Eutsler, 30, a Captain with 11 years of experience with the Republic Fire Department of Missouri, passed away in his sleep while on duty May 16, 2001. He was discovered by personnel who tried to wake him when the next shift had arrived for duty. The cause of death is under investigation.

     Our brother Ritchie left a wife, Wendy, and his four children, Austin, Scott, Melanie, and Ashley. A memorial fund has been established and donations can be made to:

Eutsler Childrens Fund
Countryside Bank
P.O. Box 460
Republic, MO 65738

     More information can be found at the Ritchie Eutsler Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/18/01 Pheresis Information and Poem

     I just completed my third plasma donation at the Connecticut Region Red Cross in Farmington, CT. I thought I would bring some information to everyone's attention about Pheresis, so I built a few pages that explain how it works and how YOU can help. Please click on the Pheresis image above or click here to find out more.

     I also added a poem about A FireFighters Gloves. It has been added to the Fallen Brothers page. Thanks for the submission Robin. The Fallen Brothers page has also been updated to a more user-friendly format. Please check it out.

5/18/01 Attention WFD Free List

     A Free List has been institued for FireFighter J.P. Diaz. J.P. is assigned to Engine 10 B-Shift, therefore, the B-Shift is not included in the free list. The list will start at Engine 1 A-Shift and proceed from there. Please read the department memo. Make sure you check the second, more current list. A Free List has not been instituted in a long time and some of the privates on the list have been promoted. When your day or night is up, you will be called. You can work for him, or donate a sick day. Any questions, please call Lt. Tom Varanelli at Engine 10.

5/17/01 Line of Duty Death - Western Springs, IL

Line of Duty Death      Willard Christoffer, 54, a paid-on-call probationary firefighter with the Western Springs FD, IL only six months, lost his life in a training accident on Monday, May 14, 2001. Willard fell approximately 65 feet onto the turntable of the ladder truck he was ascending during a training evolution. Paramedics rushed him to Loyola Medical Center, but he did not survive.

     Our brother Willard left a wife, Lucy, and two small children. A Memorial Fund has been established for the Christoffer family. Donations can be made to:

Christoffer Family Memorial Fund
Community Bank of Western Springs
1000 Hillgrove
Western Springs, IL 60558
(708) 246-0203

     More information can be found at the Willard Christoffer Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/17/01 WFD Photos and Website Upgrades

     There was small mattress fire in a garage on Johnson Street Wednesday night on the C-shift. The photo was added to the WFD Press Photo Gallery. I also changed some of the galleries that are updated frequently so that the photos are shown in the order of recent to past. A photo from the Line of Duty Funeral for Al Tirado of new Jersey was added to the Al Tirado Memorial. Three more photos were added to Jim Peplau's speech at the 10th Annual Waterbury Firefighters Memorial Service, including a spiffy photo of my Dad as Pipe Major of the Connecticut Firefighters Pipes and Drums.

     While I am on the subject of changes, wow, I have been busy. I created some new form pages to Add Website URL, Contact Us, and Join Mailing List. I am also going to be sending more frequent email notices as some of you have received emails explaining this. When someone joins the mailing list, they can choose from four subscriptions: Line of Duty Deaths, Local 1339 Notices, Photo Gallery Updates, and Special Offers from our Sponsors. You can also choose to receive these notices in HTML format or Plain Text. AOL users should select Plain Text. So if you are already on the mailing list, please CLICK HERE, and let me know which mailings you would like to receive.

5/15/01 Foam Manufacturing Plant Burns - Ansonia, CT

     What started out as a mattress fire in a foam drying oven at Latex Foam Products on West Main Street in Ansonia, CT, turned out to be a total loss. The plant evauacted 240 employees from the facility which manufactures mattresses, pillows, and cosmetic applicators. Firefighters from the Ansonia FD responded to the 10 acre/280,000 square foot manufacturing plant at 9:30 AM Monday morning. They quickly put out the fire but realized at 10:30 AM that the roof was ablaze as they were picking up to leave. 200 firefighters from 12 surrounding communities responded with mutual aid, bringing the fire under control at 2:00 PM. The smoke column could be seen for miles. Griffin Hospital canceled surgeries Monday and 25 people were treated, including six firefighters who were treated for minor injuries and smoke inhalation. The damage is estimated at 2 million dollars. It is unknown what the damage to the Naugatuck River will be, which the plant resides next to. I have gathered 9 exciting photos for a photo gallery. Please check them out here.

5/12/01 Memorial Service Transcript

     I received an email from a WFD member who was unable to attend the memorial service on Thursday, and was asked if I could post the speech Lt. Jim Peplau gave during the ceremony. I contacted Jim and he sent it to me right away. You can read his moving speech here. Excellent job Jim.

5/12/01 Line of Duty Death - Passaic, NJ

Line of Duty Death Al Tirado 1960-2001      Our condolences to the Tirado family and the Passaic Fire Department. Al Tirado, 40, an eight year veteran firefighter with the Passaic Fire Department lost his life during rescue operations above the fire floor in a three-story apartment building Wednesday, May 9, 2001.

     The funeral will be held Monday, May 14. Any Waterbury Fire Department members interested in attending, please contact Lt. Bob Stoeckert. His phone number can be reached from members on duty at Headquarters 597-3410.

     Our brother Al left a wife, Evelyn, and four children, Yanira, Angelina, Alberto, and Alex. Donations can be made to the:

Evelyn Tirado FMBA Assistance Fund
c/o Banco Popular
122 8th Street
Passaic, NJ 07055

     More information can be found at the Al Tirado Memorial in the Fallen Brothers section.

5/10/01 Waterbury Fallen FireFighters Honored

     The 10th annual Waterbury Fallen FireFighter's Memorial ceremony was held today in front of City Hall at the Police and FireFighter's Memorial monument. Waterbury's fallen firefighters were remembered and honored. The ceremony was extra special this year, due to the loss of three Waterbury firefighters in just this past year. Jamie Quinones, Michael Annes, and Kevin McDonald, along with all our other lost brothers, were honored by Waterbury dignitaries, citizens, and firefighters. There are two pictures from the ceremony, which I added to the WFD Press Photo Gallery.

5/10/01 Nathan Stover Crouthamel

     My condolences to the Crouthamel family. Nathan Stover Crouthamel, infant son of Waterbuy FireFighter Jack Crouthamel and Elizabeth Niquette died Monday, May 8. There are no calling hours. Services are to be held Friday at Bergin Funeral Home. My wife and I are expecting a newborn in the following weeks, and my heart goes out to Jack and Elizabeth.

5/7/01 Waterbury Battles Weekend Brush

     Sunday afternoon was a busy one for engine companies in Waterbury. The beginning of spring and lack of rain lately kept firefighters busy. A photo has been added to the WFD Press Photo Gallery.

5/3/01 Photo Update and Waterbury Fallen FireFighters Memorial

     In yet another tragic turn of events for the McDonald family, my aunt, Ann McDonald passed away last week. This was six months and and one day from her son's, my cousin, Kevin's death. Kevin's wife, Robin, was nice enough to forward me a photo of Kevin and Ann. It has been added to Kevin McDonald's Photo Gallery, bringing Kevin's gallery up to 47 photos now. Please visit his gallery.

     The 10th annual Waterbury Fallen FireFighter's Memorial ceremony will be conducted on May 10, 2001, in front of City Hall at the Police and FireFighter's Memorial monument. Waterbury dignitaries will be attending along with the Connecticut FireFighters Pipes and Drums, and Waterbury FireFighter Hector Lopez playing taps.

5/2/01 WFD Annual Family Picnic

     Waterbury Fire Department Local 1339 Annual Family Picnic to be held June 2, 2001, at Woodtick Recreation (across from Scoville Dam). Tickets are $20.00 per adult or $40.00 per family. Tickets are ADVANCE SALE ONLY. For tickets contact:

Jim SantaLucia
Ed Mahoney
Tom Varanelli
Dan French
Frank Walsh

5/2/01 WFD Local 1339 Union Meeting

     Waterbury Fire Department Local 1339 Monthly Meeting to be held Thursday, May 10, 2001, 1900 hours at Station 2.

     Nominations for Vice-President, Treasurer, and 3 Executive Board positions will be CLOSED at this meeting. Nominations may be made at the meeting or mailed to the union office.

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