Submitted by Olivia Drake.
(Jan. 26, 2022) — Haddam Volunteer Fire Company received a total of 528 calls for emergency services in 2021. This is 65 more incidents than 2020.
Those incidents included:
- 37 fires (structures, vehicles, forest, cooking)
- 290 medicals
- 68 motor vehicle accidents
- 9 rescues (extrication of victims from buildings, swimming areas)
- 10 hazardous conditions (flammable liquid or chemical spills, gas leaks, carbon monoxide incidents, smoke scares)
- 30 electrical (power lines down, shorted electrical equipment)
- 14 mutual aid/station coverage
- 21 dispatched and canceled en route
- 32 malfunctioning or false alarm activations (smoke and carbon monoxide detectors)
- 17 others (storm assessment, lock-outs, smoke removal, steam leak, etc.)
HVFC volunteers spent more than 2,420 combined hours responding to calls, and an additional 2,771 hours participating in meetings, drills, and training.
Several members obtained new certifications. Sierra Statkiewicz and Lee Swolka earned their EMT certifications; John Shettleworth and Lieutenant Charles “Chuck” Kowal passed the Connecticut Firefighter I course; and Daní Rodriguez also earned his EMT, passed both FFI and FFII, and completed a Rapid Intervention/Safety and Survival course at the Middlesex County Fire School. Lieutenant Kris Proto and Jarrod Ramsey completed FFII and are currently taking EMT training. Captain Jeff Doskos and Deputy Chief Jed Morrissey completed a Heavy Vehicle Extrication course offered by FDNY RES1CUE. Assistant Chief Peter Brown obtained his Fire Service Instructor II and EMS Instructor certifications. In addition, he became a State of Connecticut certified Human Trafficking Instructor and has already taught a class to HVFC members.
Years of service pins were awarded to Firefighter Rich Williams (45 years); Assistant Chief Peter Brown (10 years); Firefighter Nate Meyer (10 years); Lieutenant Charles “Chuck” Kowal (5 years); Firefighter Zach Ouellette (5 years); Company Treasurer Michelle Lafo (5 years); and Fire Police Scott Miller (5 years).
HVFC mourns the loss of two Life Members who passed away in 2021: John “Jack” Cernan, 83, and David Bugbee, 60. And we welcome new members Marc Perras, who came up from the Junior Division, and Mike Mancuso!
With COVID-19 restrictions lifted, members of HVFC were pleased to return to several in-person activities such as hosting our annual Children’s Christmas Party, Old Timers’ Night for Life Members; marching in Higganum’s annual Memorial Day parade and chowder-making; participating in a “live burn” with Essex firefighters; and providing fire standby at Haddam River Days fireworks and the Durham Fair. Members also assisted the community during Tropical Storm Henri and the Tropical Storm Elsa, where crews responded to 10 incidents over two days.
“It was another busy year for our volunteers,” said HVFC Chief Sam Baber. “I’m grateful to all our members for their dedicated service to the Town of Haddam.”
Photos by Olivia Drake.