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News Archive» July 2001

7/30/01 Local 1339 Scholarship Winner and Golf Tournaments

     Local 1339 and Ryan M. O'Toole received a scholarship from the 2001 UPFFA George Crowley Memorial Scholarship Fund. Congratulations Kenny and Ryan.

     The Naugatuck FireFighters Local 1219 10th Annual Golf Tournament will be held Tuesday September 25 at the Tunxis Plantation Country Club in Farmington, CT. Registration is $120. Contact Mike Chatfield or Paul Bozzuto at (203) 720-7083.

     The Local 1567 Lt. Steve Kacmarcik Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Monday August 20 at the Torrington Country Club in Goshen, CT. Registration is $125. All proceeds to benefit the Kacmarcik Family. Contact Mike Riggs or Gary Brunoli at (860) 489-2255.

     The Bridgeport Local 834 Walter Flyntz/MDA Golf Outing will be held Tuesday September 18 at the Whitney Farms Golf Course in Monroe, CT. Registration is $125. All proceed to benefit the MDA. Contact Lt. Richard Nash at (203) 576-7673.

7/29/01 Line of Duty Death - Fresno County, CA

Lirk Schaefer Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Schaefer family and the North Central Fire Protection District, California Fire Department. Fire Engineer Kirk Schaefer, 36, a 5 year veteran with the North Central Fire Protection District, died Friday, July 27, 2001, as a result of injuries he sustained in an accident Thursday, July 26, 2001. Kirk was filling a brand new tanker at Station 45 when a large pressurized tank next to the hydrant he was using blasted into the air. The tank landed on top of the tanker's cab, crushing it, and falling to the ground 15 feet in front of the tanker. Kirk was struck and suffered major head injuries by debris from the impact from either the tank or the cab of the apparatus. Kirk was rushed to University Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition and passed away the following day. The accident is still under investigation.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Kirk Schaefer Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/28/01 Attention WFD Members

     There will be a Special Informational Meeting of Local 1339 to discuss issues relating to the state takeover and arbitration of our contract. The meeting will be held Tuesday, July 31, at 1500 and 1900 hours in the Elton Ballroom at the Union Offices.

7/27/01 Namco Chlorine Fire - Manchester, CT

     About 100 homes were evacuated in Manchester, Connecticut Thursday afternoon after an explosion and subsequent fire that sent a column of chlorine filled smoke into the sky. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation at the 200,000 square foot Namco pool supply company. Officials say that water somehow mixed with chlorine-based chemicals causing a reaction and explosion. Chlorine could be smelled as far as 20 miles away in Middletown. No one was injured in the blast or fire, but at least 5 people were admitted to local hospitals with breathing problems.

7/27/01 New Photo Gallery

     Yesterday the Waterbury Fire Department held a blood drive at West Side Middle School. I would like to personally thank all the donors and especially the volunteers, Captain Joe McDermott, and FireFighters Mike Kalosky, Kyle Gensler, and Glenn Bradley. I am sure it was another success story, and I will post the number of donations as soon as I get in touch with the Red Cross this morning. I also would like to let some folks know that you can only be not allowed to donate because of a tattoo or piercing if you received it in the last 12 months. Someone had asked me, and I wasn't sure at the time. Please take a look at the photos in the WFD Blood Drive 7/26/01 Photo Gallery.

7/26/01 Line of Duty Death - Ludlow, IL

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Myrick family and the Ludlow, Illinois Volunteer Fire Department. Former Assistant Chief Donald Myrick, 49, a 21 year veteran of the Ludlow Volunteer Fire Department, died Sunday, July 22, 2001. Donald was responding from his home to a motor vehicle accident extrication, when his truck rolled over in his half-mile long driveway, killing him. The accident is still under investigation.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Donald Myrick Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/25/01 New Photo Gallery

     A photo gallery was added by Dave Shatas of the Waterbury Fire Department. Dave is stationed on Truck 3 and sent me some photos of the last two structure fires he worked. Please take a moment and check them out - Dave Shatas Photo Gallery.

7/23/01 Attention WFD Members

     Just a reminder: The Waterbury Fire Department blood drive is Thursday, July 26. Call Station 2 at (203) 597-3402 and ask for Captain Joe McDermott or FireFighter Mike Koloski to make your appointment.

     The Rivera Memorial Foundation is awarding its annual scholarships Saturday, July 28, at a banquet at the Courtyard by Marriott in downtown Waterbury. The non-profit organization was started by Maritza Rivera after her husband died in a tragic accident 11 years ago that claimed the lives or FireFighters Heriberto Rivera and Howard Hughes. Nisha Alves, 17, won this year's Miss Scholarship and Jose Vargas, 20, won the Mr. Scholarship award during competition that was held in May.

7/22/01 WFD Press Photo Gallery Updated

     There was a very nice article in the newspaper this morning. The Waterbury Fire Department is starting an historical society, spearheaded by Lt. Ken Tamborra and Chief George Klauber. They intend to chronicle a history of the WFD from its inception in the late 1880's to today. Eventually they would like to have a place to display this chronicle and possibly even produce a book. A photo of George and Ken was added to the WFD Press Gallery in the Photo Galleries Section.

7/21/01 Line of Duty Death - Dallas, NC

Eddie Mathis Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Mathis family and the Dallas, North Carolina Volunteer Fire Department. Lieutenant Eddie Mathis, 45, a 23 year veteran with the Dallas, North Carolina Volunteer Fire Department was killed, Monday, July 16, 2001. While responding to a motor vehicle versus pedestrian incident on his personal motorcycle, a pickup truck crossed the yellow line and struck him head on. He died shortly after at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Eddie Mathis Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/20/01 WFD Press Photo Gallery Update

     We saw the flames from 5 blocks away. We were awoken at 5AM Thursday morning to a ripping 3 family structure fire on Howard Street. A teenage mother dropped her 26-day old baby from a second floor window to civilians below before she jumped to escape the flames. 4 people and 1 firefighter were injured in the incident. The family suffered smoke inhalation and minor injuries, 2 were treated at St. Mary's Hospital and released, the teenage mother and her baby were admitted. The firefighter who was injured suffered heat exhaustion and was released. Two photos were added to the WFD Press Gallery.

7/18/01 Attention WFD Members

     It is with deep regret that we announce the passing of two retired members. Retired Captain Dennis ‘Denny’ Keane, 25 years of service, 1942-1967. Funeral services for Dennis were held on Monday 7/16.
     Calling hours for retired FireFighter Louis Ponzillo, uncle of Deputy Chief Joseph DelBuono, will be Sunday 7/22 from 4-8PM at Colasanto Funeral Home on Bank Street. Funeral services for Louis will be held on Monday 7/23 at 0930 hours with a mass at Mount Carmel Church on Highland Avenue, followed by a burial at Calvary Cemetery on East Main Street.

7/17/01 Photo Galleries Updated

     Well, after some searching and modifying, I found a slideshow javascript that I like for my photo galleries. ALL photo galleries should be compatible with Microsoft Internet Explorer AND Netscape Navigator. Take a look at the new format in the Photo Galleries.

7/15/01 New Photo Gallery

     I attended the 108th Annual Tunxis Hose Co. Fireman's Parade and Carnival yesterday. Fun day with family and friends. Some nice apparatus, new and old. The parade was well attended, and my father got to walk around in his kilt again. Check out the photo gallery, there are 22 photos from the 108th Tunxis Hose Co. Fireman's Parade Gallery in the Photo Gallery.

7/14/01 Photo Gallery Update

     I had to go do ‘The Maze’ and Rope Slide Training at the Wolcott Fire School again! I removed the 4 photos of the B-Shift training from the WFD Press Gallery and combined them with the photos of the D-Shift training and created the WFD Maze and Rope Slide Traing Gallery. Please take a moment and check them out.

7/13/01 Line of Duty Death - Idaho

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Gilbert family and the Idaho Department of Lands. Doug Gilbert, 52, a firefighter pilot from Visalia, California, was killed Tuesday, July 10, 2001. Doug's single engine air tanker crashed while dropping fire retardant on a 500 acre wildland fire in the north-central Idaho backcountry. Doug had many years experience, and had spent the past two seasons fighting fires in Idaho. The cause of the crash is being investigated.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Doug Gilbert Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/13/01 Line of Duty Death - Lexington County, SC

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Chavis family and the Lexington County, South Carlonia Fire Department. FireFighter Jeff Chavis, 22, a 4 year veteran with the Lexington County Fire Department died Thursday, July 12, 2001, succumbing to injuries he received fighting a structure fire on June 16, 2001. Jeff had second and third degree burns to 50% of his body, and he was receiving treatment at The Burn Center at Doctors Hospital in Augusta.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Jeff Chavis Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/12/01 Wildland Fallen Brothers Information

Devin Weaver

Karen Fitzpatrick

Jessica Johnson

Tom Craven
Line of Duty Death

     Our condolences to the Weaver, Fitzpatrick, Johnson, Craven, and the United States Forest Service families. Four firefighters of the Naches Ranger District Crew lost their lives in Wenatchee National Forest, Washington, July 10, 2001. The crew was working in the Chewuch River Valley, north of Winthrop, when the 5 acre brush fire fanned by high winds raced up the valley and forced 40 firefighters to take refuge in their fire shelters. The wildland fire ballooned into a 2500 acre fire in less than two and a half hours. Four other firefighters and two civilians were injured in the incident.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Twisp Wildland Fire Tragedy Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/11/01 Wildland Fires Claim 5 Lives

Line of Duty Death      Riggins, ID - A firefighter was killed Tuesday when his plane crashed while he was spreading fire retardant over a 500-acre fire south of the Salmon River in north-central Idaho backcountry.
     Twisp, WA - 4 firefighters were killed Tuesday when a 2500-acre fire overan a group of 40 firefighters. 4 other firefighters were injured, with one sustaining serious injuries.

     30 Mile Fire Update - The 4 firefighters who lost their lives in wildland fire in Washington were: Tom Craven, 30, of Ellensburg; Karen Fitzpatrick, 18, of Yakima; Devin Weaver, 21, of Yakima; and Jessica Johnson, 19, of Yakima. All 4 firefighters were with the Naches Ranger District Crew of the Wenatchee National Forest. More information on both incidents will follow when it is released.

7/11/01 Line of Duty Death - Clayton, OH

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Verberg family and the Clayton, Ohio Fire and Emergency Medical Service. Firefighter-EMT Cynthia Verberg, 47, an 18 year veteran with the Clayton Fire Department, OH, died Tuesday July 10, 2001. Cynthia was killed in a bizarre accident when a tree fell on top of the ambulance she was riding in. Cynthia and her partner had just stopped to check the flow of a fire hydrant Tuesday morning when a 2-ton section of an old beech tree broke off, crushing the cab of their ambulance. Cynthia was pinned in the wreckage and declared dead at the scene.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Cynthia Verberg Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

7/11/01 Slop Sail 2001 Photo Gallery

     The second annual Slop Sail 2001 was a success. 10 firemen, three boats, two jet skis, and no injuries. Well, no major injuries, if you don't count the rearview mirror. Check out the photos in the Slop Sail 2001 Photo Gallery.

7/10/01 Search Engine

     I finally found a search engine for the website that I like and is easy to implement and use. The website is getting to be pretty large, over 200 pages, so I decided it would be helpful to locate exactly what you are looking for. Please give it a try. Atomz Express Search is free for websites under 500 pages, and I find the search results are very good. Try a Search.

7/8/01 Photo Galleries Updated

     Two new galleries are open. Francis McDonald, a retired Captain from WFD, submitted a few photos of apparatus and a really weird wet hydrant he saw on his trip to Bermuda. Dan Chieffo, a firefighter from Engine 6 WFD, submitted a few photos of some apparatus, some fires, and his gear after he was caught in a flashover.

     I also added some photos of mine to the WFD Apparatus Gallery, and I added some others of my rope slide training to the WFD Press Gallery. All these galleries can be accessed from the Photo Gallery page.

7/6/01 Attention WFD Members

     It is with deep regret that we annouce the passing of Joseph Trainor, father of Assistant Chief James Trainor. Calling hours will be at Casey-O'Donnell Funeral Home, 1581 East Main Street, on Friday, July 6, 2001, from 5PM to 8PM. Funeral services to be held Saturday July 7, 2001, at Saint Francis Church, 10AM.

7/5/01 Attention WFD Members

     The Waterbury FireFighters Local 1339 is sponsoring the 12th Annual Kevin McDonald Memorial Softball Tournament to benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
     The double elimination slow pitch tournament will be held August 18-19 from 8AM to 10PM both days at Bucks Hill Park in Waterbury. The entry fee is $250 per team with proceeds benefitting the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
     For more information, contact Tournament Chairman Stan Stasaitis (203) 753-4536.

7/4/01 Positions Available Hilton Head Island, SC

     I got an email and I just wanted to pass the word. Hilton Head Island in South Carolina have openings for Fire Inspector and FireFighter/EMT. For more information visit their website here and click on Employment Information.

7/3/01 MDA Collection turns to into a Day in Hell

     While Waterbury Fire Department companies were out in the hot sun Saturday afternoon ‘filling the boot’ (fundraising for MDA), a call came in for a report of a structure fire. And what a fire it was. Three story balloon construction, heavy fire on the 2nd and third floor rear. Firefighters braved the 95 degree heat and high humidity while battling the blaze. Fontunately no one was overcome by heat exhaustion, although it felt like it to me! Unfortunately two firefighters were injured. Five photos were added to the WFD Press Photo Gallery in the Photo Gallery Section.

     The Armpatch Gallery is now up to 124 armpatches. Thanks for the new editions Tom. Please visit the Armpatch Gallery.

7/2/01 Line of Duty Death - Maine, NY

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Vargason family and the Maine, New York Fire Department. Fire-Police Volunteer Joe Vargason, 69, a 22 year veteran with the Maine Fire Department, NY, died Saturday June 30, 2001. Joe was directing traffic shortly after midnight for a vehicle fire only 40 feet from his own home on Route 26, when he was struck by a pickup truck. Joe was wearing an orange vest and a yellow helmet and was using a flashlight when the accident occured. A paramedic from the department's crew worked on Joe until he could be transported to the Wilson Memorial Regional Medical Center in Johnson City, where passed away later that day. The driver of the car has been charged with driving while intoxicated, a misdemeanor, and second-degree manslaughter, a felony, in connection with the accident.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Joe Vargason Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

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