Postponed: Pancake Supper To Benefit The Volunteer Fire Department

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Mar 232020

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary has postponed its 11th annual Pancake Supper that was scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, at Chip’s Restaurant, 321 Boston Post Road, Orange.

Here are the details of the event which we will update when it is rescheduled:

The menu includes Pancakes, Eggs, choice of Bacon or Sausage and a beverage.

There will be an early seating at 5:30 p.m. and late seating at 6:30 p.m.

Prices are: $12 for Adults, $6 Children 10 and under, gratuity included.

Tickets must be purchased in advance as we a limited number of seats available.

Tickets may be purchased from any Auxiliary member or at Knight’s Inc., 286 Boston Post Road. Orange. All proceeds benefit the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

For further information, email Lynn@ LMK415@yahoo.com or visit our website at www.orangevfd.com

Firefighters From Two Towns Battle House Fire

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Mar 232020

The Orange Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call for a chimney fire on Ridgeview Road near Sycamore around 3:20 p.m.

The fire spread from the chimney and it became a structure fire in a newly constructed home. Woodbridge VFD responded to assist at the scene and the Milford fire department is covering the town for all other calls.

AMR ambulance responded, but neighbors said they believe no one was hurt.

The area has no fire hydrants so fire hoses are laid out across the road and police have blocked access to the neighborhood.

Let’s all pray that the family can recover from this and that all of the volunteer firefighters get home without injury.


Stay Safe, Stay at Home, Requires More Closures

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Mar 202020

(photo from live science.com)

The governor is signing an executive order that will take effect at 8 p.m. on Monday, March 23, called “Stay Safe, Stay at Home” that will require all non-essential businesses to close.

Exemptions include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Take out and delivery food service
  • Gas stations
  • Pharmacies
  • Major construction projects already underway
  • Major defense manufacturing facilities
  • Public transportation
  • Childcare services
  • Auto repair stores
  • Hardware stores
  • Package stores
  • Banks/Financial institutions

If you MUST get something from Best Buy, Bed Bath and Beyond, Target and other such stores make sure you get there before Monday at 8 p.m. “Those retail stores that are non-essential, do not open,” said Gov. Ned Lamont. “Businesses that don’t comply could face civil fines.”

All non-essential businesses will need to have employees work from home, the governor said.


Residents will still be allowed to leave their home for critical services.

“All of the direct and indirect services that are critical to helping battle COVID-19 and keeping our economy moving as much as possible” will be exempt, said Josh Geballe, the state’s chief’s operating officer.


On Thursday, hair salons, barbershops, nail salons and tattoo parlors were ordered to close due to the coronavirus.

A serious situation

As of today, Friday, March 20, there were 194 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Connecticut and four people have died from it.  

Here is how the cases break down by county:

All four of the patients who died were in Fairfield County.

Police: Beware Of Potential Scams

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Mar 202020

A Warning From the Orange PD Facebook Page:

There have been reports elsewhere in the country of people posing as personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) going door-to-door, allegedly conducting a Coronavirus survey or investigation.

The CDC is not conducting any such investigation and residents should not grant anyone claiming to be a representative from that agency access to their homes.

The Town of Orange has not received any complaints of this nature, however the Orange Police Department wishes to take this opportunity to remind its residents to always be vigilant against potential scams, especially in times of state or localized emergencies.

Officers Sworn In At Volunteer Firemen’s Dinner (With Correction)

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Mar 142020

Submitted Photo

Following is a press release from the Orange Volunteer Fire Department: It contained one error, naming Associate Firefighter Andrew Pol as having been deceased in 2019. We have corrected it to state “Associate Firefighter LARRY Pol.” Andrew is alive and well. 

With friends, families and officials from area departments looking on, First Selectman James Zeoli administered the oath of office to the officers of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department.

The department’s annual dinner, attended by about 180 firefighters, families and representatives of other departments, kicked off a year-long celebration of the department’s 95th anniversary. In addition to celebrating new officers and future goals, guests remembered three people important to the Orange Volunteer Fire Department who died during 2019.

Fire Chief Vaughan Dumas recognized three firefighters for outstanding service and Auxiliary President Jillian Gagel acknowledged the service of several auxiliary members.

In addition to Zeoli and other members of town government, state legislators joined the celebration. State Rep. Kathy Kennedy, R-119; State Rep. Themis Klarides, R-114; and State Sen. James Maroney, D-14; thanked the firefighters for their service.

“You make our lives safe and you keep our families together,” said Klarides, who also got loud applause when she promised to continue fighting for a regional fire school.

Zeoli swore in the new Orange fire officers after expressing his appreciation for the work done by the department.

“Every person here has someone who is concerned about you when you leave the house,” he said. “We appreciate what you do for this town each and every day. I’m behind you 110 percent.”

A former firefighter, Zeoli promised to support the needs of the fire department. Firefighters cheered when he said preliminary discussions about a new firehouse were under way.

Fire officers sworn in were:

  • Vaughan Dumas, fire chief
  • Charles Sherwood, deputy fire chief
  • Dan Cole, assistant fire chief
  • Eric Auscavitch, assistant fire chief
  • Joe Duplinsky, captain
  • David Tufano, captain
  • Dan Abrams, lieutenant
  • John Gagel, lieutenant
  • Leo Moran, executive board representative
  • Charles William Laudenslager, executive board representative
  • Peter Daniels, recording secretary
  • Lisa Kaplan, corresponding secretary
  • Burt Gallant, treasurer
  • Art Williams, assistant treasurer

Each officer took the oath of office and had their badge pinned on their uniform coat. John Gagel, a third-generation Orange firefighter, received his grandfather’s lieutenant badge.

Firefighter Tom Astram received an award for responding to the most calls. Firefighter Drew Panapada was recognized for his leadership.

Dumas also remembered Associate Firefighter Larry Pol and OVFD Auxiliary Member Annie Davis, both of whom died suddenly during 2019. Dumas then turned his thoughts to 2020 and beyond.

Dumas said the department responded to 634 calls during 2019, its highest call volume ever. Active firefighters put in 325 hours of service each at fire calls. Adding in clean-up from calls, training, fund-raising, work around the firehouses and other duties, brings that figure to more than 500 hours of service by each active firefighter.

Accomplishments during 2019 included taking delivery of a new truck, improving the radio system, exceeding the department’s financial goals and completing some station renovations.

For 2020, goals include celebrating the department’s 95th anniversary and beginning work on other long-range plans including replacing its 85-year-old station on Orange Center Road and replacing a ladder truck. Dumas also talked about continuing to build close relationships with the police department and fire marshal’s office.

“Information sharing is growing, and we appreciate the positive impact of working cohesively with the police and other town agencies,” he said.

— submitted by Doug Fenichel OVFD

Support Officer Peterson In This Year’s Super Plunge — With Update

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Mar 142020

Officer Denny Peterson is a member of the the Orange Police Department and a town captain for the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics.

Last year, he participated in his First Super Plunge to benefit the CT Special Olympics and with the help of family and friends, he was able to exceed his goal of raising $2,400 and brought in $2,800.


On Saturday, March 14, Officer Peterson wrote: “With regards to my SUPER PLUNGE Fundraiser… Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Special Olympics Connecticut have cancelled all Penguin Plunges to include the 24th and final plunge on March 29th. The SUPER PLUNGE, however, is still scheduled as of this time. It will just be us with no spectators.”

He added, “I know with these uncertain economic times, it may be difficult for some to donate to a fundraiser. I will continue to try and raise funds for this cause. https://www.classy.org/fundraiser/2508900


In two weeks, on Saturday, March 28th through Sunday, March 29th, Officer Peterson will be joining the Super Plungers for another 24 hours of fun. His fundraising goal, once again, is $2,400, though he is hoping to exceed last year’s $2,800. But he needs your help.

The SUPER PLUNGE is a Penguin Plunge Event to Benefit Special Olympics Connecticut and is an effort to increase both awareness and fundraising for the Torch Run Plunge.

The SUPER PLUNGE is exactly like your typical Penguin Plunge, with only one small difference.  Instead of plunging into the near-freezing water a single time, “SUPER PLUNGERS” must plunge once per hour for a 24-hour period.

Peterson said the water feels like a million needles, and as the day goes on the pain increases, yet it’s worth it for the cause.

Want to help?

Support by making a donation to his page. The process is fast, easy, and secure… and you can be sure that it will benefit a great cause. As of today, Saturday, March 14, he is $837 shy of his goal, so why not help him out now while it’s fresh on your mind?


Donate Online: Just click the donate button and answer a few questions to use your credit card online.

Donate by Check: Make a check out to Special Olympics CT and send it to Officer Peterson.  Make a note on the check that your contribution is for his plunge.

“Thank you all so much for your donations,” he said. “Together we can reveal the champion in all of us.”

Auxiliary Will Help Fund Fire Station Upgrades and New Air Packs

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Mar 132020

Fire Station 1

During the annual Firemen’s Dinner on Tuesday, the Orange Volunteer Fire Department Auxiliary announced it would be donating the money it has raised from its fund-raising efforts to the department for station upgrades and new air packs.

Auxiliary President Jillian Gagel talked about the success of new events the group had featured in the past year, and reminded members to attend the Pancake Supper at Chips on the Boston Post Road on April 27.

Several members were honored for the length of service in the Auxiliary. Those included Barbara Boppert, Linda Gagel and Mary Gagel, 25 years; Victoria Arms, Gloria Capecelatro, Bert Gallant and Bette Goodwin, 20 years; and Elaine Capecelatro, 15 years.



Meet The New Orange Fire Marshal

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Mar 132020

Orange Fire Marshal Jamie Vincent.             (Submitted Photo)

The town of Orange has a new Fire Marshal, James “Jamie” Vincent, who served as Deputy Fire Marshal for the past 20 years, was administered the oath of office at the annual Firemen’s Dinner on Tuesday, March 10, with his family by his side.

After swearing in all of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department’s officers, the mood shifted as First Selectman Jim Zeoli again rose to the podium to swear Vincent in as the town’s new fire marshal.

Although the fire marshal is a town employee, the venue for the ceremony recognized the close relationship between the Fire Department and the marshal’s office.

It was an emotional few minutes as first Zeoli, then Vincent, spoke fondly about Tim Smith, Vincent’s predecessor and close friend, who died earlier this year. Vincent took the oath as Orange officers rose to attention.

Vincent began working in the fire marshal’s office as a part time fire inspector in June of 1998. He became a full time employee and the Deputy in August 1999.

Whenever Tim Smith spoke to me about retiring, he would say he had full confidence that the office would be in good hands with Jamie.

Zeoli said he waited to appoint Vincent until he (Jamie) and the town had some time to heal from the shock of Tim’s death — he passed away in a car accident on January 19.

Vincent is fully qualified and well trained for his new role. He said no extra training is required as he’d already taken the necessary courses when he joined the office.

Of his new position, he said, “I couldn’t ask for better people. Jim Zeoli, the Fire Department and the staff in the Fire Marshal’s office are all supportive and have been great.”

We wish you many good years in your new position, Jamie. We know everyone will feel welcome when they see your smiling face in the office.


Police: Be Aware = Road Closure On Sunday

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Mar 122020

From the Orange Police Department:

Indian River Road between Marsh Hill Road and Prindle Hill Road will be closed this Sunday, March 15th, from 8pm – 4am for road construction related to the new assisted living facility being constructed at 197 Indian River Road.

Detours will be in place utilizing Edison Road or the Boston Post Road.

Officers will be on scene to provide assistance as needed. Please be attentive and drive safely.

Schools, Library Closed, Large Gatherings, Senior Events Suspended

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Mar 122020

                                            (Royalty Free Image)

With the Coronavirus now identified as a global pandemic and human cases as close as Stratford, the town of Orange is taking every precaution  to try and keep residents safe and stop the spread of the virus in the BOWA area.

Please read this entire article so you know what services are and aren’t open to the public until further notice.

Everyone should do his or her part to help prevent the spread of this potentially deadly virus. If you were exposed you may not know that you have it until you have symptoms, yet, in the meantime, you could be spreading it to others.

If you are a senior, if you have a compromised immune system or chronic illnesses, you may be more susceptible to getting the virus and passing it to others in the same age demographic. Please take precautions, follow the health director’s suggestions, and stay safe.

Case Memorial Library

The Town Library will be closed today for two weeks or until further notice. All non essential programs, meetings, and gatherings at the High Plains Community Center will be cancelled for the next two weeks.

Senior Center

Senior Center Director Dennis Marsh today announced, “Please be aware that due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) as a precautionary measure, the Orange Senior Center is suspending all Senior Center activities until further notice.”

BOWA Schools 

The BOWA Superintendents sent out this message:

This afternoon, the Quinnipiack Valley Health District (QVHD) and the Orange Department of Health made the recommendation that all Bethany, Orange, Woodbridge, and Amity schools should be closed. This step is being taken as a precautionary measure to limit community transmission of ​Novel Coronavirus (​COVID-19).

The closure is effective immediately and will begin ​Friday, March 13, 2020​.

At this time, we anticipate schools will be closed until further notice. As this situation is evolving, we ask that you continue to check district websites for information and we will continue to use our communication systems to keep families and staff informed.

During the school closure, resources for supplemental learning may be available. Further information about supplemental learning activities will come from each individual BOWA school district and/or your children’s teachers.

Please remember that the purpose of the school closures is to limit community transmission through contact and by gathering large groups of individuals together. You can support our community by keeping your children home during the closure. During the closure, school buildings will remain staffed but not open to the public. Our districts will continue to follow guidance, recommendations, and directives from the health departments and the state Department of Education.

High Plains Community Center

Offices at the High Plains Community Center will remain open, but all meetings and gatherings have been suspended for the time being.

Town Hall, Police, Fire, Highway Offices

The Orange Town Hall offices will be open so, if you have any questions or an emergency situation you will be able to reach a human for answers.