History of the City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown


  • In 1907, the section of West Haven known as Allingtown made plans for organizing a fire company. Work on the wooden structure on Admiral Street started on Thanksgiving Day, 1907, and the building was dedicated on New Years Day, 1908.


  • An improved, hand-drawn apparatus served the department until April 15, 1909, when a horsedrawn combination hose and chemical wagon, constructed by C. M. Hamm, "the village blacksmith", was purchased.


  • As the water supply was soon found to be inadequate, the district decided in 1910, to install fire hydrants. A fire tax, levied on the property owners and collectible by the district tax collector, is levied annually for the maintenance of the Allingtown Fire Department and has no connection with regular taxes paid to the town of West Haven. An independent board of Fire commisioners is regularly appointed by this district.


  • Peter Wols, who served as captain of the department since its organization, was named the first chief in 1913 and held that office until 1925.


  • The installation of a Gamewell System Fire Alarm in the Allingtown Fire District was completed in 1934, under a project of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.


  • Present equipment of this department, still a volunteer unit, consists of two pumpers valued at $21,745. One pumper carries a 45-foot ladder, Indian tanks, gas masks, and an inhalator.


  • Allingtown was once known as Blydale in its earlier years. It was part of Orange, CT and was also known as West Farms. In 1927, Allingtown was named after the Allen family when Allingtown was all farm land. The farm started from Alling Street Ext. to Alling Farms Road in Orange, CT. Around this era Allingtown was called Allings Town; Later, the Allen family started to build taxpayer buildings and then changed the name to Allingtown.


  • An improved, hand-drawn apparatus served the department until April 15, 1909, when a horse-drawn combination hose and chemical wagon, constructed by C.M. Hamn, "the village blacksmith", was purchased. As the water supply was soon found to be inadequate, the district decided, in 1910, to install fire hydrants. A fire tax, levied on the property owners and collected by distict tax collector, is levied annually for the maintenance of the Allingtown Fire Department and has no connection with the regular taxes paid to the town of West Haven. An independent board of fire commisioners is regularly appointed by this district. Peter Wols, who served as captain of the department since it's organization, was named the first chief in 1913 and held that office until 1925.


  • During the early days of the department, fires were reported to the engineer of the American Mills Plant either by telephone or messenger; he immediately sounded the plant's whistle to call the volunteers. The first motorized apparatus was purchased March 15, 1915, this apparatus was a Cosmopolitan. A modern brick building replaced the wooden structure in 1928, which the wooden building was set back against the rear wall, where the fire headquarters stand now. The new modern headquarter had a second floor which contained a community hall.


  • The installation of a Gamewell System Fire Alarm in the Allingtown District was completed in 1934, under a project of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration. In 1939 Allingtown Fire District purchased the first rotary gear pumper which was an International truck. In 1953 Fire District purchased the first Mack truck pumper which held 500 gallons of water and a 500 gpm pump, which was the first centrifugal pump. In 1947, the district purchased its first combination ladder truck with a pump. It was a Maximum with a 750 gpm pump and it carried 300 gallons of water, wooden ladders, the longest ladder was 35 feet, and it also carried a hose. Today we call this type of apparatus a Quint.


  • About Allingtown Fire District:

  • Allingtown Fire Distrct proudly protects 15,000 people living in an area of 3.3 square miles. We operate out of 2 stations that protect a primarily residential area. Our department members are a combination of paid and volunteer status.


  • This department started as a volunteer department first in 1908. It later became paid in 1940, starting with two paid men in one station. In the 1950s, it had three paid men with a chief. Today it is a 22 man department with Chief, Deputy Chief Fire Marshall, Part Time Superintendent of apparatus, 3 engines, one ladder quint, and one Paramedic rescue unit. It is governed by the board of fire commissioners elected by the taxpayers of the district.


  • Today

  • Today the Allingtown Fire District has four shifts 24/7 and 5 men per shift. Allingtown Headquarters is now used for administrative offices and Volunteers. It also houses a 1983 Mack pumper (career piece) and a 2005 Smeal pumper (volunteer piece).


  • All our career apparatus respond from our second station on Fairfax Street which was built in 1969. In this station the responding units are; 1997 International Road Rescue (Paramedic unit), 1999 Sparten 3D pumper and 2004 E-One Quint, 95 foot bucket. The Allingtown Fire District is still a separate tax district from the town of West Haven; we are governed by the taxpayers which elect 3 fire commissioners who take charge of the financial part of the department.


  • In 2011, the department responded to 2261 alarms.

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