In 1998 I produced Volume 2. The Visiting Fireman published the book in a small press run. That is why it is a hard volume to find. In early 2006, I wanted to make volume 3, I realized that I had to go my own way and find another publisher to help me with some different ideas that I had. A local printer-publisher in West Haven, GHP Press let me have complete freedom to do the book the way I wanted it. So, I made a self-imposed deadline to have it ready by July 1st. This volume is my best: 360 of my photos filling 96 pages including the front and back inside covers. All 169 cities and towns are represented in this book, something that space limitations with the former publisher did not permit. I want to take time to thank my sister Jill McKeon, a computer programmer and teacher for managing my first website and getting me up and running with this new one. Thanks to retired Hartford Firefighter Keith Victor for giving me the assignment for fire reporting for his "Alarm Roon News" all those years ago which launched my apparatus photo hobby. Thanks to East Hartford Fire Captain Glen Vincent for his technical knowledge. Glen is the best resource for apparatus and commercial truck information, he is an expert in the art and science of fire apparatus specifications and manufacturers.
I made all the prints of my photos in this book in black and white to keep the cost reasonable. I filled it with information about each pictured rig and I also placed in state trivia and facts for an extra bonus. I placed in a few surprise photos to make it interesting as well.
Well that's basically the history of my Connecticut Fire Apparatus odyssey. I still get around the state and keep up on photographing the new and refurbished rigs in the state(yes,I still use film.). It's harder now with our other interests and their demands. My youngest daughter, Taylor is an AKC Junior Handler and shows our Shetland Sheepdogs and Collies at a sizable amount of dog shows every year. I am president of the Collie Club of Connecticut and show Chairman, which means-- more dog shows. I play the bugle in the Connecticut Alumni Senior Drum and Bugle Corps, along with my oldest daughter Rachel, who is in the color guard. I am also a bugler for the Connecticut Statewide Fire Department Honor Guard. Last, but certainly not least, I am a retired career Fire Lieutenant in the West Shore Fire District in the city of West Haven. I have worked in my department for 29 years . Just as a side note, as of this writing, My New Orleans Saints won Superbowl 44, Champions at long last!! WHO DAT!!
ALL 169 CITIES AND TOWNS COMPLETE
Hello and welcome to my website. In 1976 I began a long journey to photograph all of the fire apparatus in the state of Connecticut. I had begun by shooting new apparatus deliveries and reporting on major fires in the New Haven area for the Hartford- based Alarm Room News. I became very interested in the stations and apparatus in Connecticut as a result of my reporting as well as genuine intrigue about the locations and history of my state as I traveled around.
Luckily, Connecticut is a relatively small state consisting of 169 cities and towns contained within 8 counties. If I lived in California or Pennsylvania, This objective of photographing all of the apparatus may not have come to fruition. So, slowly, but surely, weather permitting, and with the cooperation of firefighters willing to drive out the rigs for me to photograph them, The dream was realized in 1987. That is when I photographed four rigs of the East Thompson Fire Co. in the northeastern Connecticut town of Thompson. Shortly after that, I produced " Fire Apparatus Photo Album of Connecticut-Volume One" which was published by the Visiting Fireman Publications.
But I did not stop there. I continued on simply because new apparatus deliveries and apparatus refurbishments take place, so I kept updating my work and went right on photographing rigs from the stations I had been to.
As a spillover benefit of the thousands of miles traveling from town to town in Connecticut to photograph apparatus is my ever increasing knowledge of state trivia, historic places, knowledge of the unique types of town governments and meeting many firefighters, both paid and volunteer, industrial and airport firefighters and vehicle collectors who have antique fire engines in their collections. I am grateful to them all for their assistance.
I always strive to photograph the apparatus in bright or hazy sunlight. I always position them in a 3/4 view with as good a background as is practical. I also like to use slide film along with black and white to maintain the best views. No, I don't do digital, I consider myself a purist--film only.
For posterity, when I shoot the rig for my collection, I also do something to prove I have been to the location. I will get a close up of the lettering denoting the city or town the truck serves in with my kids standing next to it or use a tripod or one of the kids to photograph me in that position. These pictures I keep in a separate file to show anyone who may be interested.
That's all for now, look around the site, there is a link to Amazon.com if you want to purchase a copy of Volume 3. Write anytime, I'm always glad to hear from you. Stay safe and Stay well.
BY KEVIN R. MCKEON AUTHOR OF THE CONNECTICUT FIRE APPARATUS PHOTO ALBUM SERIES FEATURING HUNDREDS OF: COLOR & BLACK AND WHITE APPARATUS PHOTOS CONNECTICUT FIRE SERVICE HISTORY, MONUMENTS, MUSEUMS, FIRES, TRAINING AND A LOT MORE $29.99 RETAIL PRICE