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News Archive» August 2001

8/31/01 Line of Duty Death - Hillsborough Coutny, FL

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Dzugen family and the Hillsborough County, Florida Fire Department. Captain Darryl Dzugen, 35, a 16 year veteran with the Hillsborough County Fire Department, died Wednesday, August 29, 2001. Darryl was taking his nightly jog around the Station 14 grounds when he collapsed. He was found in cardiac arrest, transported to University Community Hospital in Tampa where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

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

8/30/01 Line of Duty Death - California

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Groff and Stratte families and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Contract Pilots Larry Groff, 55, of Santa Rosa, and Lars Stratte, 45, of Chico, died Monday, August 27, 2001. Both pilots were flying converted Korean War-era Grumman S-2 submarine chasers capable of dumping 800 gallons of fire retardant, when they collided, killing both pilots.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Larry Groff and Lars Stratte Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

8/29/01 Line of Duty Death - New York, NY

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Gorumba family and the New York Fire Department. FireFighter Michael Gorumba, 27, of Engine Company 163, a probationary firefighter who graduated from the Fire Academy last July, died Tuesday, August 28, 2001. Michael died of an apparent heart attack while stretching hose at a 3 alarm auto body shop fire. Five other city workers were injured during the blaze. Officials report that flames were fueled by paint and other flammable liquids stored in the garage.

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

8/28/01 Line of Duty Death - Lansdowne, MD

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Petrusik family and the Lansdowne, Maryland Volunteer Firemen's Association #1. FireFighter Stephen Petrusik, 52, of the Lansdowne Volunter Firemen's Association #1, died Tuesday, August 21, 2001. Stephen reported to his station for routine duties. He collapsed in his truck on the apron of the firestation, was treated and transported to the hospital, where he died of a cause still to be determined, probable heart attack.

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

8/27/01 Attention WFD Members Local 1339

     There will be a City of Waterbury Workers Rally on Sunday, September 9, 2001 from 1200-1500 hours at Library Park. Bring your friends and family and show how we feel about what is happening to us!

     The Waterbury Fire Department Local 1339 Awards Ceremony will be held at the Pontelandolfo Club on September 6, 2001 from 1830-2230 hours. Cost: $25/person Light Buffet, Beer, Wine. Notify by August 30, 2001: Lt. Elmendorf (E2), F/F Walsh (T3), Capt. Couture (T1), Lt. Valaitis (E7), F/F SantaLucia (RE9).

8/26/01 WFD Schedule Online

     Due to popular demand, I have added the Waterbury Fire Department schedule to the website. As of now, it only covers July through December of 2001. I will be adding pages for next year's schedule soon. I have also added a link to it in the navigation bar at the left for easy access. Please check out the WFD Schedule.

8/25/01 WFD Press Gallery Updated

     I have added a photo of a motor vehicle extrication, car versus telephone pole, that occurred Thursday night 11PM to the WFD Press Gallery. The photo was very dark, but I brightened it up a bit. The driver was a big man and his legs were broken badly so we took the roof in order to remove him in a straight line.

8/23/01 Attention WFD Members

     My good friend J.P. Dias returned to work yesterday after a medical hiatus. J.P. was diagnosed with Hodgkins Disease shortly after the birth of his son Joey (right). Having less than 1 year on the Waterbury Fire Department, he had very little vacation and sick time accumulated. A ‘free list’ was started while he was out of working receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Our brothers donated their time to work for J.P. or donated sick days to him. I would personally like to thank everyone who was involved with this free list.

8/22/01 Exchange Club Firefighter of the Year

     Kevin McDonald was honored with the Waterbury Exchange Club's Firefighter of the Year award. The award was presented last night at The Hills Restaurant in Waterbury. The President of the Exchange Club, Virginia O'Rourke, is presenting the award to Robin McDonald, Kevin's widow; Kelly McDonald, daughter; Robert McDonald, son; and Raymond McDonald, father. See the photo full size in the WFD Press Gallery. The photo was also added to the Kevin McDonald Memorial Gallery.

8/22/01 Line of Duty Death - Odell, OR

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Hazlett family and the Odell, Oregon Rural Fire Protection District. FireFighter John Hazlett, 52, a veteran with more than 10 years experience with the Odell Rural Fire Protection District, died Sunday, August 19, 2001. John was driving an empty water tanker back to the fire station after it had undergone maintenance when the right front tire blew out and sent the apparatus off the road into a tree head on.

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

8/21/01 WFD Press Gallery Updated

     The Federal Emergency Management Agency granted the Waterbury Fire Department $214,350 for the department to purchase 75 new SCBA's and upgrade 6 old units. WFD will pitch in $91,865 toward the grant. US Respresentative Jim Maloney is in this photograph along with Chief George Klauber and Assistant Chief James Trainor. Trainor wrote the grant with Director of Training Al Valerioti and Lieutenant James Peplau. The photo was added to the WFD Press Gallery.

8/20/01 Line of Duty Death - Swarthmore, PA

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Shoaf family and the Swarthmore, Pennsylvania Fire and Protection Association. FireFighter EMT Richard Shoaf Jr., 43, died Saturday, August 18, 2001. Richard was responding to a medical emergency in the Borough of Swarthmore when he became ill and collapsed while at the station of an apparent heart attack.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Richard Shoaf Jr. Memorial in the Fallen Brother Section.

8/18/01 Armpatch Gallery Updated

     Al Fisher of the San Diego Fire Department submitted an old (blue) and a new (lighthouse) armpatch which were both added to the Armpatch Gallery, which is now up to 213 armpatches.

8/17/01 Toughman 911: Cops vs. Firemen in New York City!

     FX network's Toughman television show is having a funraising event for the Widows and Childrens Charity. Real Firemen... Real Cops... Who is Tougher...? Toughman 911: Cops vs. Firemen in New York City! Friday, September 7, 9PM on FX.

8/16/01 New Photo Gallery

     Jason Mumbach has sent me 10 photos of the Connecticut Firefighters Pipes & Drums at the Avon Parade and the Bridgeport Area Retired Firefighters Memorial Mass. Check out the photos in the Jason Mumbach Gallery in the Photo Galleries Section.

     I also added a photo of a tractor trailer rollover on I-84 East that happened Tuesday to the WFD Press Gallery. The trailer was carrying a load of PVC pipe.

8/16/01 Multiple Sclerosis Bike Ride Fund Raiser

     Kurt Schramek, of Waterbury Fire Department's Truck 1, is seeking sponsors for the 62 mile Down to Sound fund raising bike ride on September 9, 2001. Click here for more information. Kurt also rode the Tour de Torrington 50 mile route this year.

8/14/01 Line of Duty Death - Wheatfield, NY

Frontier Volunteer Fire Company Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Kreamer family and the Frontier Volunteer Fire Company in Wheatfield, New York. FireFighter Ronald Kreamer, 34, a 16 year veteran with the Frontier Volunteer Fire Company, died Monday, August 13, 2001. Ronald collapsed during overhaul operations at a multiple alarm structure fire in a senior citizens complex in Niagara County. The fire was caused by a lightning strike. Ronald was on the third floor overhauling when he collapsed with respiratory and then cardiac arrest. Two other firefighters were injured during the blaze with not life-threatening injuries.

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

8/14/01 Line of Duty Death - Mason, MI

Jim Pelton Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Pelton family and the Mason City, Michigan Volunteer Fire Department. Fire Chief Jim Pelton, 58, a 37 year veteran of the Mason City Volunteer Fire Department died Friday, August 10, 2001. Jim was enroute to a fire department meeting when stopped at an intersection, a compact car ran a stop sign, striking and launching a Ford Explorer into the air. The SUV hit Jim's pickup truck and sent it over a lawn and into a house; he died at the scene. Four vehicles were involved in the accident. Two passengers in the SUV were injured, and the driver of the compact car is expected to be charged with negligent homicide.

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

8/13/01 Photo Galleries Updated

     Corey Nevins, a firefighter from the Hilton Head Island, South Carolina Fire Department added 5 photos to his photo gallery. I also added an armpatch submitted by the Hamilton, Ohio Fire Department. Please check them out in my Photo Galleries. Also, I would like to suggest an extremely large photo gallery of fire apparatus. Michael Martinelli, of the Hackensack, New Jersey Fire Department, visited the Waterbury Fire Department about six weeks ago to add some of our fire apparatus to his collection of photos. Visit FDNY, the largest collection of fire apparatus photos on the internet.

8/12/01 Photo Galleries Updated

     I added photos of WFD's Rescue 9 Trench Rescue Truck and Truck 2 to the WFD Apparatus Photo Gallery. I have also added several new armpatches to the Armpatch Gallery.

8/10/01 American LaFrance Tribute

     Throop Fire requested a photo of Waterbury Fire Department's American LaFrance Truck 1, which is now Spare Truck 5, to add to their Tribute to the American LaFrance Century 2000 Series. Please visit their website, it is very nicely done.

8/9/01 New Photo Gallery

     I have posted 5 photos I received from another Waterbury FireFighter, Jeff Triepke of Engine 7 on Walnut Street, in the Jeff Triepke Photo Gallery. That gallery brings us to 28 galleries totaling over 500 photos in the Photo Gallery. I would like to thank everyone for their submissions and keep them coming!

8/8/01 FireFighting Technology Television Report

     CNET will be featuring a story on the San Mateo County FireFighters Local 2400. The show features a ride along with an engine, a truck, and a battalion chief, and was filmed with the use of wireless handheld devices, such as PDA's (Personal Data Assistants), in use on incidents for tasks such as personnel accountability. Apparatus mounted cameras relaying images to Incident Command or Dispatch are also featured as well as other technologies. The show will be aired on August 10 and 11 at 1:00PM PST and 4:00PM EST on the CNBC news channel.

8/7/01 Local News and Information

     Waterbury FireFighter Todd Colitti, assigned to Rescue 9, competed in the 12th Annual Tour de Torrington on Sunday, August 5, 2001. The Tour de Torrington is a 75-mile bicycle race for sponsored riders to raise money for the American Cancer Society to benefit programs, services, and research in Litchfield County, CT. They raised $39,000 last year and drew over 1,000 riders this year. Officials are sure they will break that record with this years race. Todd's race was personal. He wants to inspire others to beat the disease. Todd underwent surgery and chemotherapy for colon cancer this past year. Congratulations Todd.

     Frank Walsh reported that the C & D shifts of the Waterbury Fire Department collected $16,000 for the MDA ‘Fill the Boot’ program. Numbers are still being tallied for the other 2 shifts. He also informed me that Kevin McDonald is to be posthumously awarded the FireFighter of the Year award at a Local 1339 dinner on September 6, 2001, at the Ponte Club, 6:30PM to 10:30PM. They will also be announcing the winners of the Local 1339/Frank Sturgis Scholarships at the dinner. James Sillery, Jr. and Ryan O'Toole were the recipients of the scholarships.

     Kevin McDonald was also selected to receive the Waterbury Exchange Club's FireFighter of the Year award. They will be honoring Kevin at a dinner at The Hills restaurant in Waterbury on August 21, 2001, 6:00PM to 7:00PM.

     The Waterbury Fire Department's Blood Drive on July 26, 2001, had 88 people through the door resulting in 75 collections. Thank you to everyone who made this blood drive a success. The next WFD blood drive will tentatively be on December 29, 2001, at a location to be announced.

8/5/01 Armpatch Gallery Updated

     I have been working on some more armpatches and added over 70 new ones today. There are now 204 armpatches in the Armpatch Gallery. Please send us your armpatch if you don't see it here! Also please visit the Helmet Shield Gallery.

8/4/01 New Photo Gallery and Updates

     I added photos to both the WFD Press and the WFD Apparatus Photo Galleries. I also created a new gallery for funny and Interesting Apparatus. Please take a look at them all in the Photo Galleries.

8/3/01 Line of Duty Death - South Foster, RI

Ralph Blackmar Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Blackmar family and the South Foster, Rhode Island Volunteer Fire Department. FireFighter Ralph Blackmar, 66, a member of more than 30 years with the South Foster Volunteer Fire Department died Wednesday, August 1, 2001. Ralph was returning Engine No. 1 from a structure fire at a sawmill when he crossed the yellow line, slammed into a utility pole, and rolled over. Ralph was pronounced dead a short time later at Rhode Island Hospital. Authorities believe the accident was the result of a heart attack, but the investigation is continuing.

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

8/2/01 12th Annual Rivera & Hughes Memorial Park Festival

     The 12th Annual Rivera & Hughes Memorial Park Festival will be held Sunday, August 12, 2001. The festival will start with a small ceremony at the Waterbury Fallen Police and FireFighters Memorial Monument in front of City Hall and will be followed by a small procession down Grand St. and South Main St. to the Rivera & Hughes Memorial Park on West Dover St. Heriberto Rivera and Howard Hughes died in 1990 when the fire engine they were riding in lost its brakes and crashed into a large tree at the bottom of Highland Avenue.

8/1/01 Line of Duty Death - Trinidad, CO

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Martinez family and the Fisher's Peak Fire Protection District, Colorado Fire Department. FireFighter Lazaro Martinez, 70, a volunteer firefighter with the Fisher's Peak Fire Portection District in Trinidad, Colrado, died Saturday, July 28, 2001. Lazaro was participating in a live burn exercise in Trinidad with other members of the Fisher's Peak Fire Department and the Trinidad Fire Department. After exiting the burn structure, Lazaro collapsed for an undetermined reason. He was unable to be resuscitated.

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

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