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Step Back In Time

May 31, 2014

Step Back in Time: May 31, 2014

25 years ago

May 31, 1989

STAMFORD — It’s an offer that Stamford firefighters found hard to refuse — a free aerial ladder truck.

After years of waiting, said Chief Paul Petrishen, a desired aerial rig may be Stamford’s as a gift from a Huntington, Long Island, fire department.

The truck is a hydraulic, 1948 American LaFrance with a ladder reach of 100 feet. It has a new set of ladders, a new diesel engine and is still in service, but no longer needed.

“The tallest building in Huntington is a six-story hospital,” said Petrishen. “The rest of the community is a bedroom community, and they already have a new aerial truck.”

So, Huntington called Stamford recently and offered the truck. They knew Stamford had been looking for one, because local firefighters checked out the Long Island truck four years ago.

“They remembered us,” said Petrishen.

Four years ago, after the Ritz hotel fire on Main Street, firefighters began a push for an aerial truck. The four-story Ritz is one of several tall, wood-frame buildings around Stamford. With the big, new condominiums at Deer Run, there’s even more need, said Petrishen. Before, firefighters and the village board didn’t see eye to eye on a truck, which wasn’t offered for free at that time. A new fire hall was being planned and questions of room for all vehicles were raised. To substantiate their need for a truck, firefighters did an inventory of buildings in the community of three stories or more and counted about 50. They also started raising funds to buy the truck.

The new hall has now been built and there is plenty of room for the 47-foot-long truck, said Petrishen.

Step Back in Time features news items from The Daily Star 25 and 50 years ago.

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