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Richard Connelly

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Richard ‘Rick’ Connelly is a Fire Captain in the Boston Fire Department. He was appointed on December 24, 1969 and assigned to Engine Company 29 in Brighton. In 1971, he transferred to Ladder Company 20 in Roxbury/South Boston. When Ladder 20 was disbanded on February 4, 1981 he was transferred to Ladder Company 7 in Dorchester. On March 4, 1987, he was promoted to Fire Lieutenant and served on Engine Company 10, Downtown Boston until 1988 and then transferred to Rescue Company One, Downtown Boston.  On April 10, 2007, he was promoted to Fire Captain and has again been assigned to Engine Company 10, Downtown.  Richard Connelly is the author of Returning to Quarters: A History of Boston Firehouses.

According to the book description of Returning to Quarters: A History of Boston Firehouses, “This is a history of all Boston firehouses that have ever been in service. Under each location is a listing of all companies with dates of service. Where it is at all possible you will find at least one, and maybe more, photos. Photos may be older, when in-service, recent in-service or, if no longer occupied by the BFD, a photo of its present day use. Chapters take you through the periods of growth of the City of Boston from the 1800s through 2008. Ever wonder what that building used to be? The answer can be found here. A pictorial history of every firehouse in the City of Boston, past and present, with every company ever housed and dates of service plus photos whether active or not.”

One reader of Returning to Quarters: A History of Boston Firehouses said, “35 years on the BFD and I thought I knew where most of the old firehouses were located. After reading Returning to Quarters A History of Boston Fire Houses I see how little I knew. I've driven by firehouses that have been converted to residences and never had a clue they were there. What I found particularly interesting is how some of the present day firehouses have undergone structural changes. Rick certainly covered all the bases in this book. I would strongly recommend this to all members, fire buffs, and historians. Now it is time for me to drive around the city to get a look at these old firehouses before they make the "razed" status. I recommend you pick up a copy and look for them too!”

One reader of Returning to Quarters: A History of Boston Firehouses said, “Returning to Quarters is a MUST for any fire buff, but particularly for fire house buffs and fans of the Boston Fire Department. Rick Connelly has done a great job in chronicling the history of each and every Boston firehouse, including the various and often numerous fire companies that were assigned to each house over the long and proud history of the BFD. The book opens with a thumbnail history/description of the city and the BFD, along with a listing of important landmarks such as historical sites, hospitals, schools, and colleges. It includes a chart listing the present day fire houses and their assigned companies, and a glossary of the "jargon" unique to the BFD. The author takes you on a tour of the city by geographic section (Downtown, East Boston, Roxbury, etc.) detailing the history of the firehouses with a short history and description of each area. You will be amazed at how many former firehouses still exist throughout the city living new lives such as residences and commercial uses. A special section also covers each of the many administrative facilities, including Headquarters, Communications, the Fire Training Academy (on an island in Boston Harbor!), and the many fireboat stations that once graced Boston's waterfront. What will catch you immediately is the front cover - a photo of one of the most famous "classic" firehouses in the country - Engine 33 on Boylston Street in the Back Bay. But don't miss the back cover, a color collage of Boston's firehouses that is worth the price of the paperback alone! Pick it up, you won't regret it!”

About the Boston Fire Department

The Boston Fire Department employees over 1400 uniformed fire personnel working out of 35 stations. According to the Boston Fire Department, “The officers of the fire fighting force have the following titles and are ranked in the following descending order: Chief of Department; Chief of Operations; Deputy Fire Chief; District Fire Chief; Fire Captain; and, Fire Lieutenant.

The fire fighting force is organized into divisions, districts, and companies. There are 2 divisions and 11 districts (1 and 3 through 12). Each division is under the command of a Deputy Fire Chief and each district is under the command of a District Fire Chief. Division 1 is comprised of Districts 1, 3 (includes old district 2), 4, 6, and 11. Division 2 is comprised of Districts 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12. The companies are classified as follows: Engine Company; Ladder Company; Rescue Company; Tower Company; and, Marine Unit.

All companies are under the command of a Fire Captain and are divided into four working groups (shifts). Three of the four working groups are under the supervision of a Fire Lieutenant. Minimum staffing on all companies (except for the Rescue Companies, Tower Company, and Marine Unit) is one officer and three fire fighters per shift. The Rescue Companies, Tower Company, and Marine Unit are staffed with a minimum of one officer and four fire fighters per shift.”

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