March 07--WEST HAVEN -- The name of the revamped City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown maintains the identity of the area it serves, but that hasn't carried over to its new logo.
The department's fire commission voted Tuesday on a new image that says "City of West Haven Fire Dept. CT" and will be put on uniform patches and, eventually, trucks. The word "Allingtown" will be printed in a separate spot on any new vehicles that receive the new logo, however.
For many residents, the change in logo is about more than just a new picture, and the continued use of the Allingtown name has been a bone of contention since the city took over the fire district last year. Some wanted "Allingtown" to remain in the department name to honor its history, while others said dropping the name would pave the way for possible consolidation of the city's other two independent fire departments and give the department a new start.
The fire service had previously been called the Allingtown Fire Department.
"We're always going to be Allingtown, and it's always going to be there in some fashion. There is a lot of pride with the guys who work there, but we're moving forward and we'll see where that takes us," Deputy Chief Christopher Reed said Wednesday.
Patches won't be ordered until the new fiscal year starts in July because they are not included in the current budget. Last time an order was placed, 700 were ordered, Chief Peter V. Massaro Jr. said. They are used on dress and everyday uniforms, as well as some winter coats and summer gear.
The new image won't be put on current helmet shields and gear. However, commission Chairman Ronald Walters said that should not stop members from adopting the new image now.
Commissioners complimented the patch's design, which was done by firefighter and paramedic Kevin Scanlon. Mayor John M. Picard also said since this is the only city-controlled fire service, it should be known as the City of West Haven Fire Department.
Residents had differing opinions on the logo.
"It is a very nice patch. The Thomas Painter City Seal is most appropriate for our department. The only thing I don't like is the Connecticut abbreviation. We all know what state we're in," Steven R. Mullins, an Allingtown volunteer firefighter, wrote on Facebook.
David Forsyth, a City Council member from Allingtown, said it's "sad" the neighborhood's name is not included.
Anthony and Margaret Krzeminski, devoted Allingtown fire commission meeting attendees, are disappointed. Margaret Krzeminski is a former commissioner. The Krzeminskis both said keeping the name would help preserve the district's history.
"What bothers me is my father was a volunteer, my father-in-law was a volunteer and my brother-in-law was a firefighter from the Allingtown district," Anthony Krzeminski said. "And this upsets me because they're taking the whole Allingtown name away."
Call Susan Misur at 203-789-5742.
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