On Monday morning more than a dozen Greenwich Firefighters from the Local 1042 IAFF met at Stop & Shop on West Putnam Ave to purchase turkey and fixings to deliver to widows of firefighters and needy families. The effort is a longtime tradition at among town’s firefighters.
Chuck Teichert, a longtime Greenwich resident who started as a volunteer in 1977 and became a career firefighter in 1991 said he looked forward to Monday’s effort.
“It’s important for the community. It’s important for the retirees and it feels good,” said Teichert, who had just finished an 8:00am til 8:00am 24-hour shift. “It evolved form helping widows of firefighters with baskets of food. We still deliver to widows but we also go to social services for a list of families in need and prep the baskets and deliver them.”
According to Lt Tom Lenart, the firefighters pooled funds for the project to the tune of about $1,500 – enough for 17 full Thanksgiving meals.
When the group arrived at Irene Ross’s house, she was waiting and waived from her kitchen window.
Mrs Ross, 89, whose husband Henry was a firefighter, said her husband Henry had fought the fire at Gulliver’s night club in 1974 which killed 24 patrons and injured 19 patrons and 13 firemen. The fire was caused by arson in the adjacent bowling alley.
“He was a good firefighter. He saved a lot of people,” she said.
Mrs. Ross, 89, said firefighters like Henry worked side jobs in the trades and helped each other out with their homes.
“This house was a prefab that arrived on a van in 1953,” she said. “It cost $16,000.”
“A lot of firemen did the work. We bartered to build this house. The electrician helps the plumber,” she added. “Firemen were good people and still are.”