By Olivia Drake, HVFC Information Officer.
Those incidents included:
In addition, Haddam Fire responded as mutual aid to other towns a total of 22 times in 2022.
HVFC volunteers spent more than 2,760 combined hours responding to calls, and an additional 1,922 manhours training.
The company currently has 45 members of which 15 are medically trained (EMT or MRT).
In 2022, HVFC welcomed five new probationary members to its ranks including Evan Dube, Kenneth Phillips, Ali Halligan, Gary Bohaboy, and David Carey. Also in 2022, the HVFC Junior Division welcomed Max Selmer and Will Stolen.
The company mourns the loss of three former members who died in 2022: Life Member Fred Maynard; Life Member Arthur “Bud” Hall; and Honorary Member Don Berry.
The 2022 and current line officers include Chief Sam Baber; Deputy Chief Jed Morrissey; Assistant Chief Peter Brown; Captain Kyle Everett; Captain Jeff Doskos; Captain Joshua Meyer; Lieutenant Greg Duval; Lieutenant Jarrod Ramsey; Lieutenant Chuck Kowal and Lieutenant Kris Proto. Administrative Officers include Secretary Mary Adametz; Treasurer Michelle Lafo; Quartermaster Michael Saxton; Building Engineer Malcolm Meyer; Mechanical Engineer Greg Duval; and Radio Engineer Scott Larson. Firefighter Scott Larson also celebrated his 10th year serving as President of the Haddam Volunteer Fire Department, which includes both fire companies in Haddam and Haddam Neck.
In 2022, years of service pins were awarded to Firefighter and Fire Police Chief Malcolm Meyer (45 years); Firefighter Teresa Kuchyt (30 years); Firefighter Dan Casey (20 years); Deputy Chief Jed Morrissey (10 years); Captain Kyle Everett (5 years); Fire Police Mike Miller (5 years); and Company Secretary Mary Adametz (5 years).
Several members obtained new certifications and participated in advanced training. Assistant Chief Peter Brown obtained his Fire Service Instructor III certification; Captain Joshua Meyer earned his Fire Service Instructor II certification; Firefighter John Shettleworth and Lieutenant Charles “Chuck” Kowal completed the Connecticut Firefighter II course; Firefighter Jarrod Ramsey completed his EMT certification; and Junior Division member Ryan Wiese graduated from the Introduction to the Fire Service program at the Connecticut Fire Academy. In addition, Deputy Chief Jed Morrissey—who works as a firefighter/paramedic for Guilford Fire Department—was sworn in onto the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Massachusetts Task Force 1 as a Rescue Specialist, where he’s also cross trained as a Hazmat specialist. As a member of the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew, Deputy Chief Morrissey was upgraded from a Faller 3 to Faller 2.
While most drills are held on Monday evenings in Haddam, members also participated in several joint training opportunities with fellow departments and agencies. In February, HVFC attended ice rescue training hosted by Killingworth Volunteer Fire Company on Venuti Lake. In May, Haddam—along with crews from Portland, Durham, Middletown South Fire District, and the State Police—participated in water rescue training at Millers Pond State Park. And in June, members traveled to the Essex Fire training facility to practice hose line advancement, search and rescue, fire suppression, and working as a rapid intervention team (RIT).
In 2022, Haddam Fire’s forestry operations received a federal grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Volunteer Fire Assistance Program. This competitive award is available to towns with populations less than 10,000 and provides assistance for the prevention, control, and suppression of fires, which threaten human life, livestock, crops, pastures, orchards, woodlands, and farmsteads. Haddam Fire used the funds to purchase additional forestry hose, nozzles, and a new hose reel.
In addition to responding to calls, HVFC members hosted an open house event in August that included guests from the Connecticut State Police and Haddam Volunteer Ambulance Service. Members also hosted the company’s annual Children’s Christmas Party and Old Timers’ Night for Life Members; marched in Higganum’s annual Memorial Day parade; provided fire standby at Haddam River Days fireworks and the Durham Fair; participated in a donation drive for the Bristol Police Heroes Fund; and provided “touch-a-truck” events at the Higganum Fall Festival and Higganum Farmers Market. HVFC also made a donation to the Ukrainian Firefighters Equipment Drive hosted by Middletown’s South Fire District and Lviv Oblast Fire Department in Ukraine.
The Haddam Volunteer Fire Company’s Auxiliary also participated in the open house and spearheaded a Memorial Day chowder sale, spring flower sale, military whist card game, Christmas Party basket raffle, and holiday vendor fair to raise funds for the fire company, a scholarship for a graduating senior, and other town organizations. The auxiliary is currently led by President Paula Perras; Vice President Elaine Jackson; Treasurer Mary Nork; and Secretary Carolyn Schuler.
“While this year has been abnormally busy, our incredible volunteers managed to step up and respond to more than 600 calls in 2022,” said HVFC Chief Sam Baber. “I’m extremely proud of our members; many have full-time jobs, families to care for, and are involved in other activities, but they continue to offer their time and support to help our neighbors in need. This is an example of true commitment.”
Haddam Volunteer Fire Company and the Haddam Volunteer Fire Company Auxiliary are seeking additional volunteers to join these organizations in 2023. For more information visit haddamfire.com or email email@example.com.