In Storm’s Wake, New Canaan Firefighters Step In To Remove Ripped American Flag Tangled in Tree Downtown

District officials spotted Old Glory straightaway, returning to their offices at Forest Street and Locust Avenue on Friday after a blustery winter storm that brought gusts of up to 50 mph to New Canaan. Those high winds had separated an American flag from its pole on the district’s leased property downtown and flung it into the upper branches of a nearby tree, where it was torn apart by more gusts, too high for district employees to reach. Cheryl Stolba, an administrative assistant to the New Canaan Public Schools’ director of finance and operations, contacted the property’s manager immediately. “I wanted to see it corrected as soon as possible, it just seemed a shame to have the flag hanging that way,” said Stolba, a longtime district employee and daughter of the late William Stolba, a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II. When she heard that a veteran who worked in the office building across the street had seen the discarded flag and was saddened by the sight, “that was even more impetus for me to get someone to deal with the flag properly,” Stolba said.

Did You Hear … ?

We’re hearing that the wonderful New Canaan Beautification League hosted its second annual Mead Park Breakfast on a recent sunny morning, as a way to say ‘Thank You’ to town employees including many DPW crewmen for their support and partnership in making our village lovely throughout the year (see gallery above). The event was held in the colonnade at Mead Park (a popular spot that had been WPA-era children’s wading pool, originally). Recognized at a recent Town Council meeting for its effective local work, the nonprofit organization creates the hanging baskets downtown and manages many of the traffic triangles around New Canaan. “This non-profit organization of volunteers is open to all, whether for social, civic-minded or educational purposes,” league memberts tell us. “No green thumb is necessary.

New Canaan Fire Department Swears in Two, Promotes Two, Presents Special Commendations

More than 100 town officials and residents joined New Canaan firefighters and their families Tuesday night for an awards, swearing-in and special commendation ceremony at Lapham Community Center. “Tonight means a lot to me because it’s something I’ve worked very hard to get, to be a career firefighter,” Damien Sheerin said after he’d been sworn in. “Tonight feels a little surreal, that all my hard work has paid off, to be a firefighter officially in New Canaan, Connecticut.”

See the photos and captions in the slideshow above for quotes and information about each honoree. They are:

Fire Commissioner Kerry Smith
Retired Deputy Fire Marshall Bill Dingee
Firefighter Jim Pickering
Firefighter Damien Sheerin
Lt. Duffy Sasser
Capt. Michael Baker

The ceremony was led by Fire Commissioner Jack Horner. Town officials in attendance included Selectman Beth Jones and Emergency Management Director Mike Handler.

New Canaan Firefighter to Main Street Motorists: ‘Hang Up the Phone and Pay Attention to the Rigs’

New Canaan firefighters returning to the Main Street fire house from life- and property-saving calls say they face another, immediate danger in trying to back trucks back into their bays: distracted, hurried and aggressive drivers. What happens is this, firefighters say: In returning to the station from either direction, trucks in order to back into the garage must nose out across Main Street, blocking both lanes of traffic. Those driving the fire trucks pull in front of the firehouse lengthwise first, allowing passenger firefighters to hop out with a stop-sign paddle and halt motorists so that the trucks can safely nose toward Vine Cottage and then back in. But drivers often do not wait for that process to unfold, Fire Chief Jack Hennessey said. “Either way they come up here, guys dismount the truck and try to stop traffic and as they are doing that, people will try to drive around the truck,” Hennessey said, adding that he’s seen his men nearly clipped and heard reports about it happening.

Meet Northern Ireland Native Damien Sheerin, New Canaan’s Newest Firefighter

The Summer Internship Program is sponsored by Baskin-Robbins, Connecticut Sandwich Co., Joe’s Pizza and Mackenzie’s. On a humid recent morning, sat down with newly hired Lateral Firefighter Damien Sheerin inside the New Canaan Firehouse after his return from a call in New Canaan. New Canaan may seem a long way from Sheerin’s hometown of Foreglen, Northern Ireland, located in the northernmost county (Derry) of Northern Ireland, but Sheerin says that he is driven to learn as much as he can and build a living for himself in his new country. Having left his school in Northern Ireland at the age of only 16 to pursue work as a carpenter of sheet rock and metal framing, Sheerin came to the United States in January of 2006 to work as a construction worker and bartender in Queens, N.Y.

Through his move to Connecticut after earning his EMS to become an EMT, and eventual joining of a volunteer fire fighting force and Danbury Ambulance, he met his future wife and the two of them now live together in Ridgefield. The couple also have two children: a 16-month-old daughter named Lylah and a 7-week-old son named Dylan.