James Anthony Posadas
Born on July 1, 1947 in New Britain CT, he lived his entire life in Plainville except for 4 years when he served his country in the U.S. Navy. From the time he was a young boy, he knew he wanted to be Firefighter in the town of Plainville. When his Dad joined he was so proud and could not wait until the day he would be able to join the Department.
In 1967, he married Jackie Colter and they moved to Maryland where Jim finished out his service in the U. S. Navy. He then returned to the place he called home, Plainville, to fulfill his childhood dream. To serve the Town of Plainville as a volunteer Firefighter and on December 12, 1969, he joined the Department and his wish became a reality.
In 1970 a son (David) was born and in 1971 a daughter (Shannon) was born. Jim had to add a new career to his list, DAD. Jim always put his family as number one and was the best husband and dad any family could ever hope to have.
As his life continued as Husband, Father and Firefighter, he had many journeys during his 43 years as a Firefighter. He became a Dispatcher, EMT, Fire Inspector (in the Fire Marshalls Office), Lieutenant, Captain, Second Assistant Chief, and Safety Officer.
As time passed, 4 wonderful Grandchildren joined the Family. Megan, Ryan, Zach, and Hannah (his little sidekick often seen with him at the Firehouse)
The memories are so many. The nights with no sleep, fighting fires in the brutal cold or in 90 degree heat, large fires, many ambulance runs as an EMT before the town had an ambulance service. The comradery of his fellow Firefighters, the tears, and the laughs.
Jim has said many times that during his career as a Firefighter, the things he has seen has taken years off his life, but he would never consider any other path to take than as a Plainville Firefighter.
As Jim’s family we can say we are so proud of the mark he has left on the Plainville Fire Department, the Town of Plainville and the gift he is to our Family.
“Memories are the most remarkable pictures our minds can paint and nothing can ever erase them”
Brad is a Plainville boy, a “townie” so to speak. He attended Wheeler School, Plainville Jr. High School and graduated from Plainville High School in 1966. He continued his education at Computer Processing Institute and became a computer programmer. He married Marty Blashke in 1969 and was then drafted. Rather than joining the Army, he enlisted in the United States Navy. He was first stationed at Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey, and then sent to San Diego, California and the USS Tripoli, where he served in the Amphibious Assault Unit in Vietnam. While waiting to depart to Vietnam, he received his first fire training at Treasure Island Naval Base. An intensive week of shipboard firefighting.
After 4 years in the military, he returned to Connecticut and settled in Plainville.
When Wright’s Restaurant burned, Brad talked to Reny Villardi and other firefighters after the fire about joining the Fire Department. Larry Sutherland was the officer in charge of training new recruits. That’s how this 31 year adventure began. During his tenure, Brad served as Firefighter, Driver, Driver Instructor, Lieutenant, Treasurer, dispatcher, truck committee member and EMT. He loved the excitement and the camaraderie. Many nights at the old fire house were spent in the basement rehashing fires and rescues (one where he fell through frozen Paderewski Pond to save an ice fisherman), as well as many early morning breakfasts at Rogers Bakery. He also spent many nights at the Fire House manning the old police ambulance (201).
Brad and Marty , married 43 years, have 2 sons, Patrick (a past member of Plainville Fire Company and now a career Fire Fighter in New Britain) and Mike. Between the two brothers the family has grown with 6 grandchildren, Felisha, Michael, McKenna, Sean, Kelsey and Connor.
The Plainville Fire Company is like a fraternity. These men have forged great friendships that they will have forever. Brad feels very lucky to have been invited to join the club.
Although he is now a retired member, Brad and his buddy Murphy (his dog), will continue to have Saturday morning coffee with the boys at the firehouse.
Both photos courtesy of Steadman Photography
David Wm. Laurie, Chief, Retired
David is a life-long resident of Plainville, attending local schools and graduating from Plainville High School. After attending Central Connecticut State College, majoring in Chemistry, he joined General Electric Company, Materials & Processes Laboratory. Dave and Stella Czapor married in 1968 and raised a son, Daniel and a daughter, Sandra in the house where they still reside on Broad Street.
David joined the Fire Department January 12, 1970 and it was evident from the start that the Fire Service was his calling. After a while he became a Red Cross Instructor in Advanced First Aid and Emergency Care and also CPR-BLS. 1974 saw Dave become one of the first half-dozen Emergency Medical Technicians in Plainville. Many nights and weekends were spent in fire schools, classes and seminars because they were a high priority for him.
Dave changed employers in 1974 going from General Electric to the Mott Corporation as the supervisor of the Research and Development Laboratory. He has worked for Mott Corporation for 38 years and has been their Safety and Environmental Engineer for the last 15 years.
In 1977 Dave became Second Lieutenant. At the end of his term the position of Second Lieutenant was retired by a Company By-laws change and 3 Lieutenants were added.
He followed that by becoming the First Lieutenant and in 1980 he became Captain. First Lieutenant Laurie was very active in the “Hurst Tool Committee” that raised funds and through the Fire Company bought the first Hurst Tool for Plainville. As the outgoing Fire Company Captain he accepted the Department position of Second Assistant Chief.
1985 marked the 100th Anniversary of the Fire Company and Dave was heavily involved, from making the signs that hung over the front doors of the Whiting Street Fire Station to the emblems that went on the Hose Gig wheels for parades. Dave also chaired the Add Book Committee that raised the funds for the Company’s anniversary functions.
Dave became a member of the new Fire House Building Committee and authored, with the architect, the basic floor plan of the present station. He also wrote the furniture specifications and was the Secretary for the Communications Committee that handled the Telephone, Radio and Box Alarm Systems.
When Joe Watkins became the 8th Fire Chief, Dave was asked to be his First Assistant. When Joe’s term was finished Dave was appointed the 9th Chief in the history of the Department.
As Chief, Dave worked tirelessly for the good of the Fire Fighters and the good of the Town. Just to name a few, the Fire Fighters got new Personnel Protective Equipment, new radios and during his term two new 1,500 GPM Pumpers. He also saw to it that there were Multi-gas Meters, Hurst Tools, a Thermal Imaging Camera and other new equipment on all of the Class A Pumpers so that each could act independently from one another.
Dave also increased the Town’s ISO rating, the rating that determines the rate that home-owners pay for insurance, from barely in the Class 4 to the middle of Class 3.
Dave worked closely with the Town Manager Robert Jackson establishing the Activity Stipend for the Fire Fighters.
He was appointed by the Town to be a member of the “Code of Conduct Committee” that wrote the Code of Conduct section of the Town’s Division of Fire Ordinance that was added in 2008.
When Dave retired from the position as Chief he didn’t walk away from the Company and Department that he loves. He once again became an apparatus driver so that he could continue to serve the Town where he grew up and fell in love with the Fire Service. He also plans to continue to serve Plainville and support his fellow fire fighters by continuing to be a Friday night dispatcher, and everyone is always welcome for Friday night popcorn.
Throughout Dave’s career he has spent countless hours tutoring fire fighters, gathering historical facts about the Fire Company, checking inventories and readiness of the apparatus and the fire station, and many more large and small repairs all on his own initiative.
Dave has missed very few alarms in 43 years in the Fire Service. There have been many nights fighting fires without sleep in all kinds of weather, runs to emergencies as an EMT day or night, roofs vented by his mighty ax, missed family events because the fire whistle would blow and all the time knowing that his brother fire fighters were there supporting and watching out for each other. This brotherhood is a very strong and loyal fraternity and Dave who on October 30, 2012 will become a Lifetime Member of the Fire Company and enter the club of “Retired Firefighters” is very grateful to have had the experience of being part of the Plainville Fire Company and the Plainville Fire Department.
And when the time comes and he is called from this earth, when the fire whistle blows, his spirit will still respond and be there fighting the fires with his brother firefighters.
Photo courtesy of Dakille Studio
Herbert John Lillibridge was born November 5, 1943 in Hartford, CT. Herb married in 1963, his daughter Terri was born April 24, 1964 & he divorced in 1968. . He met his wife Cheryl on May 8, 1971 & they married April 22, 1972, 42 ½ years ago. Herb & Cheryl moved to Plainville in late August of 1975.
Herb joined the North Coventry Volunteer Department November 5, 1959 at age 16. He was an Engine Driver by January 1960 & was promoted to Lieutenant in May 1971 upon returning from service as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.
Herb was certified as one of North Coventry's first EMT's August 1972, remaining active through November 1976. After the required 1 year residency in Plainville, Herb applied to the Plainville Fire Department October 1976.
Over the course of the last 54 years and his service to North Coventry and Plainville Fire Departments, Herb has been an officer, Firefighter, EMT, Engine Driver, has served on multiple New Truck Specification Committees, Scholarship Committee, bylaw's revision committee, Chairman for the committee planning the dinner celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Plainville Fire Department, made the hot cider at the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony for many years, has worked on the Hot Air Balloon Festivals every year & car shows during his firefighting career through his 65th birthday & as Fire Police through his 70th birthday November 5, 2013.
At 11:25PM, December 25, 2000, Herb & Cheryl had a house fire & personally found that Plainville is the best Fire Dept. in the world. Herb, Cheryl, niece Jill, daughter Terri, son-in-law Phil & 2 grandchildren, Stephen& Peter, are forever indebted to all the members of the Plainville Fire Dept. for the incredibly quick response and efforts to save the house, as well as the personal & moral support after the fire.
Herb extends a heartfelt Thank You to all the department members for the many years of friendship, support and camaraderie.
Photo courtesy of PFD
Photo courtesy of PFD
Camille was born & raised in St. Agatha, ME. After graduating from High School he moved to New Britain, where he met his wife Diane. They moved to Plainville in 1967. They are married for 49 years. Camille & Diane have 3 daughters and 7 grandchildren. Camille has spent more than 50 working in the construction industry.
Camille was always very interested in the fire service. He was happy to follow in his dad’s footsteps. His dad Emile Albert was a volunteer firefighter and a Lieutenant in St Agatha, ME. Emile retired in 1963 from the fire service after 16 years. The remaining family moved to Ct to find work.
In October of 1974 Camille joined the Plainville Fire Department, and was very proud to be a volunteer firefighter for the Town of Plainville. He enjoyed the camaraderie amongst his fellow firefighters. One of his proudest moments was when his grandson Paul Brousseau joined the Town of Plainville as a firefighter.
Photo Courtesy of Steadman Photography
Richard G. Nichols
Richard (Bucky) was born in Plainville September 19, 1949. His father was a prominent lawyer in town and after his parents divorced Bucky moved to Florida with his mother until he was 12 years old. He has been a Plainville boy ever since. He went to Plainville Junior High and then went to Saint Anthony High School in Bristol. His father wanted him to follow in his footsteps and be a lawyer but that wasn’t his thing. He wanted to work with his hands, so he went to work at Pratt and Whitney and was accepted into their training school as a tool and die maker.
In 1970 he married the “love of his life” Lina and went on to have two children. In 1978 he decided to apply to the Fire Department to become a member. He went on to complete all his training and became a regular member in 1979. He went for his EMT in 1983 and is an EMT until present time. When our son was in midget football he would drive the old Rescue Truck (Bread truck) to the game and be the EMT there. He truly enjoys being involved in all parts of the Department and Company. He has been involved with numerous committees, ladies night is one he has been on for many years, also the kids Christmas party and family picnic. He is very dedicated to whatever job he is given. He was treasurer from 1986 to 1999 and then got involved with the Hartford County Fire Emergency Plan (H.C.F.E.P.) and became treasurer and on the board of directors. After 35 years of service on the department and four grandchildren later we have to say the Plainville Fire Company and the members have become part of our family. It truly is a brotherhood and he is very proud of being involved in such a wonderful organization.
Robert J. O'Dea
Bob has been a member of the Plainville Fire Department since 1970 but grew up around the department all his life as his dad, Jack O’Dea was a long time member. Bob has served in all capacities of the fire service from being a dispatcher, a regular member, EMT, driver, Firefighter I, Firefighter II, line officer and chief officer. In addition, he was the first son of a previous member in over one hundred years of fire company existence to follow his father and serve as Captain of the Fire Company and then move up into the chief officer positions. Bob graduated Plainville High School in 1967, graduated from Central Connecticut State College in 1971 and Indiana College of Mortuary Science in 1972. He has been a funeral director for more than 40 years. Bob has been married to his wife, Susan, since 1974 and they have two children, Beth and Tom. The activities a fireman participates in, such as training classes, social functions and alarms, provide for a capable public servant and also develop long lasting relationships that create a trust unlike any other.
Photo Courtesy of Steadman Photography
Thomas W. Borio
Tom grew up in McDonald, PA, 18 miles southwest of Pittsburgh with a population of approximately 2,000. It was here he learned the importance of serving as a volunteer firemen from his uncles and cousins who served as volunteer firemen in this small town.
After graduation he left his hometown to serve in the United States Navy and was assigned to serve aboard the destroyer U.S. Purdy. During the ships Mideast Tour they received orders to Vietnam. They hadn’t gotten far when the order was aborted and they were ordered to return. A ship had been attacked in Yeomen and they were the closest ship in the area. Upon completing the Mideast Tour the ship returned to the U.S. and was stationed in Fall River, MA. One weekend a fellow shipmate invited him to spend a weekend with his family in Plainville, CT. This kind family from Plainville provided him with a home away from home and soon became extended family. It was during one of these visits that he met his future wife Nancy. Following his service in the Navy they were married in the Plainville Congregational Church. They resided in the neighboring town of New Britain where their son was born - two years later they moved to Plainville - 40 years ago.
Never forgetting the importance of volunteering instilled in him at an early age, he filled out an application to become a member of The Plainville Fire Department, and was placed on the sub list for a year before finally becoming a member.
Over the years Tom attended many training classes, alarms, meetings and social functions. He served in the capacity as Fire Fighter, Driver, Lieutenant, First Lieutenant, and Fire Police. He was also on the Fire House Building Committee. Tom has numerous memories some happy and some sad. Alarms included everything from house fires, chimney fires, car fires, traffic accidents, floods, fires and rescues on the mountain, and yes, even rescuing a cat out of a tree. Back in the day the Fire Department also provided coverage at the weekly stock car races held at the Tinty Racetrack. Other duties included working at the yearly Balloon Festival, pasta dinners, truck clean ups, marching in parades to even shoveling out fire hydrants in the winter. Tom is knowledgeable in many areas and can perform a variety of tasks very well, but he is lacking in one - he cannot cook. Now, it’s well known that Firemen have a reputation of being good cooks and fortunately for him some of his fellow firefighters are really, really, great cooks - a clear case of fellow fire fighters always having your back no matter what.
Tom and Nancy have been married 47 years, their son Tom and daughter-in-law Amy have blessed them with three precious grandchildren, Elena, Hazel and Calvin - who enjoy visiting the Firehouse with Grandpa.
Tom has always been very proud to serve as a volunteer Firemen in the Town of Plainville. Above all else he is very proud to have served with others, who share in the philosophy of giving back to their community. They are caring, compassionate, exceptional individuals, who will drop everything to respond to the call and form one very valuable unit known as The Plainville Fire Department.
Photo courtesy of PFD
Photo courtesy of PFD
Photo courtesy of the PFD
John V. Coelho began his career with the Plainville Fire Company/Department with the filing of his application and interview on August 1, 1988. At the September Meeting of the Fire Company, a motion was made, seconded and passed to accept John as a Probationary Firefighter. Shortly thereafter, the Plainville Town Council officially acknowledged John as a “Probie” and placed him on the Waiting List for membership. At the November, 1989 Meeting, of the Company, it was voted to advance John from the Substitute List to Regular Membership in the Company. This advancement was later recognized by the Town Council on December 4, 1989 and thus started his tenure as a Regular firefighter in Plainville.
John served the Company and Department well during his years as a Plainville firefighter serving on numerous committees, including the “FireHawk” Fire Prevention Program and Co-Chairman of the now famous “Plainville Fire Company Hot Air Balloon Festival”. In looking back, John did not miss many of the monthly Meetings of the Company and on numerous occasions you could hear his famous laugh throughout the Meeting Room.
John’s dedication to the fire service did not stop at the Plainville Town boundries. For many years, he served as the Secretary for the Hartford County Fire Emergency Plan, an organization encompassing all towns and cities within Hartford County. During a difficult time for the H.C.F.E.P., John stepped forward and took over the Presidency of the organization and carried to through to a successful completion.
On January 12th, 2017, John reached the magic age of 65 years old and officially retired from the Plainville Fire Company and Department. Later that same month, he was presented a chair from the Plainville Town Council for his years of service and dedication, witnessed by many, many of his brother and sister firefighters.
John, the best to you on your retirement and may you enjoy many, many years to come.
John V. Coelho
Photo Courtesy of The PFD
I really got to know Ray once I joined the FD many years ago. Ray had his hands in everything both FD and FC and did everything with a Zest. He recruited everyone he could that would help. Ray is one of those guys that always had a vision and wanted to improve whatever he was working on. Ray is one heck of a FF that had a strong command presence at every scene he was on. I learned many things from Ray. Ray helped drive the Balloon Fest to what it has become today. He did the same with every project he touched. Ray laid a path for the department side of things that made it easy for the following Chief officers to become successful. In a year when we got rained out of our largest fundraiser we had food to use up, no income from that fundraiser, and limited time to use up the supplies. Ray came up with an idea that cost the Company literally no money, used up the supplies that we had and managed to make some money for the company. We still do the Breakfast with Santa for the community.
~Chief Kevin Toner
Photo Courtesy Of The PFD