Looking to spruce up a 10-year-old project, and honor more firefighters and residents, new masonry is planned for an Elm Street landmark.
The West Haven Fire Department is selling bricks for its Memorial Walkway. The walkway is located in front of Fire Headquarters on Elm Street. This will be the department’s fifth installment.
The project was started in 1996 by Former Chief William “Wiggy” Johnson and now-retired Fire Marshal Richard Spreyer. Over the ensuing years the walkway has evolved and been reconfigured to include a few personal touches such as a footstone commemorating those firemen who have served the department in the past and a bench in honor of Firefighter/Paramedic James Woodman who was critically injured in the line of duty in 1999.
It has been 10 years since the last installment and the department has seen many changes in that time. Although many of the bricks are in memory of firefighters and other residents who have passed away through the years, a good number of them also commemorate happier events. Many firefighters have bought bricks with their date of hire and many with their promotional dates.
“We have many of our employees as well as residents who buy bricks and include the names of their husbands or wives as well as their children,” said Walkway Committee member Frank Paine. “Over the past ten years we have had many new members join the department and some of our members have had additional children and even grandchildren who they would like to have represented on a brick.”
The cost of each brick is $100 and order forms are available at Elm Street headquarters. You can also order bricks online and use a credit card or PayPal account at the department website: www.westhavenfiredept.com.
The Department plans on installing the new bricks in the spring or early summer when the warm weather returns.
“The installation is done by the firefighters and the men take a great deal of pride in their work,” said Lt. Bill Heffernan of the WHFD. “The committee has been hard at work setting up this latest brick drive and is looking forward to sprucing up the walkway and the surrounding area.”