There has been a lot of recent movement in the upper ranks for the Manchester Fire Department, including the departure of Fire Chief Dan Goonan.
Whenever that happens, a reshuffling takes place as people move up in rank. That means that several city firehouses saw new captains this year.
Captains run the firehouses. They work out schedules, make sure equipment and the building are maintained. And they address what may be the most far-reaching and sensitive issue of their tenure — the fire company patch.
Every MFD station has its own patch, and at least one has expanded into a mascot. The emblem attempts to capture the setting, the psyche, the spirit of the firehouse, and the focus ranges from muscle-bound flamingos to cigar-chomping skulls.
Some patches have endured for decades.
Others are new this year, the work of a new captain, who either by whim or consensus initiates a new aura for the firehouse.