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Thread: Worcester Central Station Farewell 2003

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    Worcester Central Station Farewell 2003

    Gone, all for a Hotel



    Photo Neil H. Donahue

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    Worcester Engine 1 Ladder 1

    Ladder 1 Going to Headquarters--- Temporary
    Engine 1 Going to Engine 6 --- Temporary
    Rescue 1 Going to Engine 15 --- Temporary
    Scuba 1 Unknown
    Haz Mat 1 Unknown

    Till New House Built -- Which Could Be Years

    Photo Neil H. Donahue

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    Central Crews Will Be Missed

    Lt. Dave Wondolowski & Firefighter Mike Grilla
    Photo Neil H. Donahue 6-10-02

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    Worcester Central

    Remember the Worcester 6



    Photo Neil H. Donahue

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    Rescue 1 Worcester

    St Patricks Day Parade

    1984 Spartan/Ranger heavy rescue (ex R1)(1)

    They have a new truck now.
    Photo Mike Donahue

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    In Memory of Six Brave Men

    Jerry Lucey and Paul Brotherton Rescue 1
    Were from Central Division

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    Pray For Us

    The Worcester Six

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    Saying goodbye to Central Fire Station

    Saturday, August 16, 2003

    A lot of history, memories, laughter, emotion

    Saying goodbye to Central Fire Station Firefighters recall life, work at Central

    Christina E. Sanchez
    TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    WORCESTER- Central Fire Station was filled with laughter, teasing and stories yesterday as firefighters young and old reminisced.

    People came and went throughout the day to say goodbye to the station that had been a part of their lives for so many years. The firefighters guffawed as they sifted through handfuls of old photographs of rafting trips and baseball games.

    Tomorrow, Engine 1 will make its last run from Central Station as the station, located at 70 Central St., is shut down after almost 28 years of service.

    "I was the one to open the doors for the first time. The memories, the history, the different memories that came through this station, the friends that became family, the deaths. There's just a lot of history, a lot of emotions, and to see it gone is a disappointment," said former Fire Chief Dennis L. Budd.

    Chief Budd started as a firefighter on Engine 1. He worked at the Central Station from 1975 to 1989. He then went to headquarters on Grove Street, and was there until he retired in November 2000.

    "The quality of the people that I worked with in this station, some of them were closer than family. They would do anything for you and you would do anything for them," Chief Budd said.

    The closing of the station has been hard on everyone, even firefighters who are relatively new. Michael R. Smick has only been with Central Station for two years, but said it will be tough to see it close.

    "It affects me because it affects all the guys around me. All these memories. You feel bad because these guys have been here a long time and they wanted to retire from this station," Mr. Smick said. "You can see it on these guys' faces. There's a lot of memories."

    District Chief Walter C. Giard, who was with the station for the first five years, said while Chief Budd opened the station's door for the first time, he raised the flag. As he was recalling the first day the station opened, retired Firefighter Walter B. Baxter chimed in, "Hey, you remember the bucket incident?"

    The two broke out in laughter, thinking about a training incident that ended in a 20-foot free fall before Firefighter Baxter caught then-Firefighter Giard in mid-air with a safety line.

    District Chief Ronald A. DeFusco, who has been with Central since 1992, and a firefighter for more than 38 years, said the stories about the station and the men are numerous.

    "I remember all that happened here, the good times as well as the bad. The excitement of having all the activity around us. The pleasure of just having people stop in to chat," he said.

    "Some of the things that the guys did to entertain themselves. They made a rat, or something that looked like a rat, and they tied it to a fishing line," he added, laughing.

    As he pointed to some bushes outside the station, he described how the firefighters waited for unsuspecting passers-by and dangled the fake rat out of the bush.

    People would scream, but laugh when they realized what had happened, Chief DeFusco said. "It was all in good fun, though. Someone got even with them. A guy was passing by the rat and he fell to the ground like he had chest pains. When they went to assist him, he said, "I got you.'"

    All jokes aside, Chief DeFusco said, this station was an important part of the city. "The station has been an information bureau, a parking lot for visiting firefighters, a tourist information bureau. People would stop in and ask, "Where can we go to eat.' That's the personality of this station," he said.

    In the station there is a lot fun, games and jokes, but when the men are on a call, they take their job very seriously, Chief DeFusco said.

    As firefighters shared their stories, they rattled off names of men who once worked with them. Firefighter Allen J. Iocco, who has been with the station for 18 years, mentioned Barney Murphy. Everyone seemed to remember Barney as they nodded in agreement.

    "He was a go-getter all the time even at 62, 65. He marked everything on the truck, he always had a magic marker, always had a camera. He took pictures of everything. There used to be this old fire truck, and Barney would get in the back of the truck and talk over the microphone to kids. He'd pretend like it was the truck talking. It was Barney the Truck," Firefighter Iocco said, smiling.

    Capt. Geoffrey Gardell, who has also been at Central for 18 years, said it is sad to see Central Station go.

    "Most of the guys who work here like the noise, the traffic, the downtown noise. We see quite a lot of things going on at night. Lately, with the weather being nice, a lot of the guys have been standing outside, trying to take it all in before the station closes," Capt. Gardell said.

    "This was the No. 1 station people congregated at. They always did things here. Everything went through this station. I can't believe we're really closing," he said shaking his head in disbelief. "They're not only shipping us out. They're breaking up a family."

    The station's doors will close, and a hotel will take its place, but Firefighter Paul R. LaRochelle said he hopes Central Station will not be forgotten. "I would like to see some memorial in the lobby of the hotel that says at one time this station stood here."

    Firefighter LaRochelle said it is hard for him to believe the station is really closing.

    "It's rare that you get 18 guys together that get along. And like he (Captain Gardell) said, they are breaking us up," he said. "I think today is the worst for me. It's finally real, finally here."

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    Central Group 2 Oldie 1987 Yearbook

    Luv them TeeShirts

    Tony & Timmy Number 1 in our hearts.

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    Rescue 1 Group 1 Yearbook

    1991/92

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    Rescue 1 Group 2 Yearbook

    1991-92

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    Rescue 1 Group 3 Yearbook

    1991-92

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    Rescue 1 Group 4 Yearbook

    1991-92

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    Engine 1 Group 1 Yearbook

    1990

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    Central Division Brothers

    Remember the Worcester Six
    Jay Lyons on the far right.
    1990 Cover Yearbook


    More photos on page 2

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