Off-Duty Stamford Fire Captain Seeks Public Support In Bringing Historical Relics Back to Stamford

These Relics Are Over One-Hundred Years Old!

THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS AN OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE BY THE STAMFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT BUT IS BEING DISTRIBUTED FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

The following was written by Fire Captain Philip Hayes. Capt Hayes has been actively involved as the Department's unofficial historian for many years, often working with the members of the Stamford Historical Society to accurately document the entire history of the Stamford Fire Department.

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My name is Fire Captain Philip Hayes. I have been with the SFD for more than 34 years. I have been a history fan for most of my life.

As a young firefighter, I discovered a collection of old photographs in a box at the Stamford Fire Department. But that is all we had. Everything else related to the history of the SFD had been given away, sold, or acquired by interested parties. So I began cataloging the photos and organizing them by date… putting them into folders. Additional small historical items were occasionally found and added to the folder collection. As is often the case, a busy personal and professional life took me away from it for a while. But several other SFD members stepped in and did some work on the collection during my absence.

But about ten years ago, I discovered that people were selling SFD artifacts on eBay, and I began wondering… would it be possible to recover some of the items that were lost to time. The answer was an unqualified YES! So I set off on my mission…

My goal was to recover as many historical items as I could in the name of every Stamford Firefighter who ever worked for the Department. History plays an important role in understanding how far we have come as an organization and how we got to where we are today as a Fire Department. 

Fire Chief Trevor Roach has agreed to provide space for these items to be displayed at Fire headquarters. In fact, several walls of the third floor are already wallpapered with enlarged photographs of some of the photos that I have recovered and restored. I am hoping that some historical items may eventually go back to the firehouses they originally belonged to.

Since this new mission began, I have recovered countless historical items related to the history of the Stamford Fire Department. These items include ball programs, Fire Chief tumpets, helmets, badges and much more. You can learn more about them at stamfordfirehistory.org. This is a website I built and currently pay for. It hopefully will be passed on to someone who equally shares in my love for SFD history.

http://www.stamfordfirehistory.org

Several weeks ago, I became aware of some incredible items that several collectors had acquired and are now looking to sell. The historical fire collectibles market is hot. Collectors, many of whom are firefighters themselves, buy, sell and trade items at shows and online regularly. These collectors have given me the time and priority opportunity to raise the funds necessary to purchase them.

These items include identification plates from Stamford's very first steam fire engines called “Stamford 1” and “Stamford 2”. “Stamford 1” was purchased BEFORE the creation of the career fire department by the then Stamford volunteer fire companies. The photo of the Steamer Engine shown is of “Stamford 2”. The picture depicts Engineer John George Schlechtweg pumping “Stamford 2″at the 1904 Town Hall Fire.

You can support this effort by making a donation at:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-bring-stamford-fire-history-back-to-stamford

More photos of the relics are available at:

https://www.stamfordfirehistory.org/2022/04/29/help-me-bring-stamford-fire-department-history-back-home

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CONTACT INFO:

Unofficial Historian Philip Hayes
(203) 977-5600

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About the Author

Captain Hayes is a 31-year veteran of the Stamford Fire Department. He is currently assigned to the East Side Fire Station #4 on Shippan Avenue. In addition to his regular Fire Officer duties, he is a Public Relations Officer, the developer of the StamfordFire.com website and serves on the Departments' IT Team. He is also an avid fan of Fire Department history.

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