Contents Previous Page Next Page
When such a call came in to the exchange, the operator in charge would ring ten times and everyone would pick up the phone. This was the first fire alarm system in Orange but it ceased in 1938. The old switchboard service was discontinued, and at 3 p.m. on January 7, 1938, telephone service for the town was incorporated with the New Haven Exchange of the Southern New England Telephone Company.
Thus began a new era for Orange. At that point, all fire calls were routed to the old Police Station, which was a small building next door to the Paragon Garage on the Post Road where Yale Transport stands today.
Police Chief Carl A. Peterson and Assistant Police Chief Joseph Cummings were the Orange Police Department of that era. When World War II came, Mr. Cummings went off to war, and Chief Peterson was the only policeman for 14 months. (A great many men went into the services during World War II and their names are inscribed on an Honor Roll on the Town Green.)
With no local operator to alert the Volunteer Fire Depratment and a shortage of police, the townspeople faced a severe problem. Humbert Savastano, proprietor of the Paragon Garage and his son, Arthur, did their part as good citizens of the town. An extension of the fire call line was placed in their garage and they manned that phone for years, activating the siren for all fires, 24 hours a day and sounding the noon siren 365 days of the year. They provided this service for the townspeople, without recompense, from January, 1938, until the present Police Station was completed in February, 1950. Later that year, the
[picture caption] Top: The Orange Fire Department on Orange Center Road, one of two firehouses maintained in town by the Volunteer Fire Association.
Bottom: As part of its fire prevention program, the Volunteer Fire Association conducts annual fire fighting demonstrations for children of the town. This demonstration took place at the Mary L. Tracy School in 1958