Category Archives: BHC News

BHC Mourns Passing of Past Chief Ted Smith, CSFA Hall of Famer

Beacon Hose is heartbroken and devastated to announce the passing of Past Chief Ted Smith — a man who was quite simply a legend in the Connecticut fire service. Chief Smith died Saturday, shortly after a medical procedure. He lived every single bit of 75 years — the last 51 of which were spent at Beacon Hose.

Chief Smith joined Beacon Hose in August 1970, but he had been involved with our fire department for much longer than that. He was the son of Past Chief Arthur Smith, who led Beacaon Hose from 1956-61, and frequented the firehouse throughout that time.

After joining Beacon Hose in 1970, Teddy soon became one of our department’s first EMTs. He first became an officer as a lieutenant under Joe Daddona in 1986, rose to the rank of captain under Tom Pratt and Bob Cole, and spent five years as assistant chief under Billy Lee. Finally, Ted served as chief from 1997-2000, completing the first father-son chief combination in Beacon Hose history.

We view Chief Smith as a transitional fire chief in our department’s history. He combined his old-school firefighting skills and values with new techniques and technology to bring Beacon Hose into the 21st century. In 2000, he decided to step down as chief because he “thought five-year terms were too much. I would have run again, but I figured I already did five years with Billy Lee. He always said, ‘I’ll run the meeting, you run the fires and the social events.’”

Throughout his tenure at Beacon Hose, Teddy was part of several truck committees, the engineers committee, the finance committee, the carnival committee, and the Seagrave restoration committee. Up until the last couple of years, if there was a project that needed doing at Beacon Hose, we could be sure that Teddy was already a step ahead of everyone to get it done.

Chief Smith’s impact stretched far beyond Beacon Hose. He was a member of the CSFA for more than 25 years, as well as a past president of the Valley Fire Chiefs Association and the New Haven County Fire Chiefs Association. He was the chairman of the Valley Fire School Building Committee since 2000 — he spent more than 20 years on what was originally supposed to be a four-year project.

Ted Smith was one of the most respected, dedicated, and impactful men not only in the history of Beacon Hose, but of the entire fire service in the Valley and around the state. That fact was recognized in 2018 when he was inducted into the Connecticut State Firefighters Association Hall of Fame.

There will be no shortage of stories told, drinks shared, and tributes from across the state to Past Chief Ted Smith over these next few days and weeks — all of them will be well deserved.

No words will be enough to describe what he meant to all of us at Beacon Hose — there is no beginning to explain how thankful we are to have had him for so long. Godspeed, Chief — we will take it from here.

Arrangements

Ceremonies to honor Past Chief Smith will be held this Saturday, June 12 at Beacon Hose (35 North Main Street, Beacon Falls). Members of the fire service are invited to participate. A procession carrying Chief Smith on our 1929 Seagrave will begin promptly at 9:15 a.m. from the commuter parking lot opposite Gabe’s Automotive (100 North Main Street) and continue to Beacon Hose for a bell-ringing tribute. Companies attending may bring limited apparatuses to participate in the procession; those in uniform will be asked to line the street in front of the firehouse. Any companies planning on participating in the procession for Chief Smith are asked to contact Kyle Brennan at kbrennan@beaconhose.com or 203-490-8929, or contact another Beacon Hose member.

Calling hours and additional ceremonies will then be held at Beacon Hose from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m., followed by a reception to family, friends, and fire service members will be invited. Burial will be private at a later date.

Click here for Past Chief Smith’s obituary.

Beacon Hose Mourns Passing of Longtime Member Peter Christensen

We at Beacon Hose are sad and regretful to announce the passing of longtime member Peter Christensen, who died April 3 with family and friends by his side.

Pete joined Beacon Hose in January 1975 and held countless roles in our organization over the past 46 years. In addition to being a firefighter and an EMT, he was a past EMS director and the longtime chairperson of our scholarship committee, where he oversaw the awards of more than $100,000 to Beacon Falls students over the past few decades.

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BHC Corned Beef Dinner to Benefit Firefighter Nate Cartwright

UPDATE: Orders are now closed. Thanks for your support!

Beacon Hose will host a drive-thru corned beef dinner on Saturday, March 20, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. to benefit one of our own, firefighter/EMR Nate Cartwright.

Nate joined Beacon Hose in November 2015 and has been a valuable contributor on our fire and EMS units ever since. Unfortunately, Nate has recently faced some serious health troubles that have saddled him and his family with costly medical bills. We at Beacon Hose are here to help him out, and we hope you will join us!

All dinners must be pre-ordered and pre-paid, and they picked up during a designated time slot at Beacon Hose. Pre-ordering will close on Wednesday, March 17 — there will be no day-of orders available, so don’t wait!

What’s on the menu? A delicious dinner featuring corned beef (boiled in Guinness and veggies), potatoes, cabbage, onions, and carrots, along with rye bread and butter, plus a special “pistachio pudding lasagna” for dessert.

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Beacon Hose Mourns Loss of Bob Messner, Longest-Serving Member

We at Beacon Hose are brokenhearted and regretful to announce that Robert Messner, the longest-serving member in the history of our fire department, died peacefully at his home March 2, 2021, after a long illness. He was 91 years old, and he was a member of Beacon Hose for nearly 63 years.

Bob joined Beacon Hose in July 1958 and had been a fixture in our firehouse since then. He was not only a dedicated firefighter for many years, but he was a master mechanic who worked for the Connecticut Department of Transportation. He carried those skills here to Beacon Hose with his work on our beloved 1929 Seagrave and countless apparatus replacement committees. He was a role model for our members and engineers for decades — Past Chief Ted Smith said that Bob was a “top-notch mechanic” who “taught me everything I know about the Seagrave.”

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Beacon Hose Reports 2020 Call Volume

Beacon Hose proudly reports its call volume from 2020.

The volume from 2020 included 231 fire calls and a department-record 766 EMS calls for a total of 997 calls. A further breakdown of fire responses:

🚨 79 calls involving EMS (such as motor vehicle accidents)
🚨 30 calls for service
🚨 28 Hazmat-related calls
🚨 24 fire calls
🚨 20 natural disaster-related calls
🚨 17 miscellaneous calls
🚨 33 false alarms 

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