The 2013 / 2014 fiscal year was a time of significant infrastructure growth for the fire department. The majority of the year was spent operating out of temporary facilities for our department administration and our firefighters assigned to North Haven Fire Headquarters and Montowese Fire Company 2.
In May of 2014, ribbon cutting ceremonies were held at Chief John P. Rosadini, North Haven Fire Headquarters and Montowese Volunteer Fire Station #2. The two stations are part of a $9,200,000.00 building renovation and construction project. The project has been an ongoing one, with design and development beginning in February of 2012. Fire headquarters has been upgraded to a four bay fire station and the entire administrative area and living space has been redesigned. Montowese is a brand new 5000 square foot station, with modern size apparatus bays and with a full kitchen, bunk rooms and office areas. Ground is being broken on July 11, 2014 for West Ridge Company 3 and Northeast Company 4. New apparatus bays will be added onto both stations and the existing apparatus areas converted to community rooms / training areas. The project is expected to be completed around May of 2015. The new and renovated structures will provide public safety protection from the fire service for many years to come.
The North Haven Fire Department is currently made up of 34 career firefighters with Headquarters Company located at 11 Broadway. The station houses the administrative offices of the Fire Chief / Fire Marshal and the Deputy Fire Chief / Deputy Fire Marshal. Assigned to headquarters are four (4) Lieutenants, who serve as shift commanders, and 28 firefighters. All of our career personnel are trained medical responders and eleven of our career members are trained to the paramedic level. The three (3) volunteer companies are Montowese Company #2 located at 282 Quinnipiac Avenue, West Ridge Company # 3 located at 1331 Ridge Road and Northeast Company # 4 located at 366 Washington Avenue. The companies are allowed up to 35 volunteer firefighters and fire-police. The companies are supervised through the Office of the Fire Chief. The Fire–Police division are supervised by a town wide Fire-Police Lieutenant and by a Fire–Police 2nd Lieutenant assigned to each company. Fire–Police are supervised by the volunteer company Captains and fall under the jurisdiction of the Chief of the Department. The North Haven Fire Department also has one (1) Administrative Assistant assigned to the department and to the fire commission.
The fire department also saw some career personnel changes. Forty year career Firefighter Pat Marcarelli hung up his boots in January 2014 and Tyler Grailich was appointed in February 2014. Grailich is a firefighter / paramedic. The department also saw four (4) volunteer firefighters advance to career departments. Christian Mastrionni went to the Southington Fire Department, Anthony Maisano to the Westport Fire Department, and Anthony Tondalo and Anthony Garibaldi to the West Shore (West Haven) Fire Department.
The training of firefighters continues to be a priority of the North Haven Fire Department. All permanent members, both career and volunteer, are minimally certified to the Firefighter I level. Most of our firefighters, both career and volunteer are also certified at the Firefighter II level. In 2012/2013 numerous North Haven Firefighters completed State certification courses to the Fire Service Instructor level and the Fire Officer I and II level. The department continues to support all of our firefighters in a commitment to continued fire based educational programs.
The department continues to recognize the importance of partnering on the regional level. The department has assigned Firefighter/ Paramedic Jeff Haag to the North haven Police Department regional SWAT team as a medical member. North Haven continues its commitment to the New Haven Area Special Hazards Team. Our members are afforded training opportunities to bring them up to standard to become regional team players. We currently have eight (8) firefighters assigned to the regional team. We continue to support our internal training programs of new firefighters. We have served as a host for entry level firefighter one classes, with candidates coming from around the New Haven Area. All classes are taught by Ct State Certified fire instructors, and all are also North Haven Firefighters. We are very proud of the pledge our members make to the program and the proper training of new firefighters.
The Office of the Fire Marshal continues to be busy with both new developments and existing annual inspections. Plan reviews are being done on many large occupancies, including Quinnipiac University and Yale-New Haven Hospital. Licensing inspections for day cares, liquor establishments, group homes, educational facilities and places of assembly are done on an annual basis. Plan review is conducted for any new building or any renovation to be sure that the building design meets compliance with the CT Fire Safety Code.
The North Haven Fire Department apparatus fleet consists of 8 pumping engines, 1 aerial ladder truck, 2 emergency rescue trucks and 2 command vehicles. In addition to our front line fleet a small boat is available to aid us in water rescues and other functions on our rivers and ponds, an operations trailer has been added to accommodate specialized equipment and a “Gator” is available to us to assist in off-road incidents.
Public education continues to be a major initiative starting in the day care centers and elementary schools and continuing up to civic groups, businesses and senior organizations. All of our firefighters are to be commended for their dedication to public education. The knowledge gained from these educational opportunities helps us to maximize our service and our commitment to you. The North Haven Fire Department offers a variety of educational brochures that cover most safety topics.
The Fire Department, as always, proudly partners with all other Town departments, including the Board of Education, to continue to provide exceptional services to the citizenry that we serve. We are still very proud to partner with the North Haven American Legion in providing flag drop off points at our volunteer fire stations for the convenience of our residents. Residents wishing to properly dispose of their flags can drop them off in the red, white and blue containers located at the front of our three (3) volunteer fire stations. We are proud of the efforts of all of our firefighters involved in the multiple community events to assist others and to make North haven a better place.