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March 4, 2013 - 10:27pm

Oakfield Fire Department issues statement regarding water dispute with Village

posted by Howard B. Owens in Oakfield.

John Igoe, president of Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department, issued the following statement, approved tonight by the board, regarding the arrest of Robert Hilchey for alleged "theft of services."

The members of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department would like to state that we disagree with the actions of the Village of Oakfield against Robert “Buck” Hilchey.  

The Oakfield Fire Department has always had the ability to use public water prior to the water meter. The fire hall is equipped with a 2” standpipe that is installed prior to village water meter. We have a cap for that line that is drilled out with a ¾” water hose adapter. Over the course of several years this fitting has leaked when used. This has caused damage to our fire hall. We have had to remove the door to the bathroom in the truck garage as a result of this water damage.  

The Fire Department accepted and passed a motion on 12/3/2012 to allow Mr. Hilchey to make minor modifications to the plumbing in the fire hall, as well as looking into the possibilities of purchasing and installing a tankless hot water heater.  

In no way did Mr. Hilchey profit personally or monetarily from the plumbing changes that were performed.  

The Oakfield Fire Department has stated that they would repair the water service back to original, but the village mayor and trustees are requiring the fire department to install plumbing changes that will cost the department a significant sum of money.  

The sole purpose of the installation of the garden hose fitting was so the Oakfield Fire Department could service and maintain the village property, which for several years was done with metered water.  

The Oakfield Fire Department has been paying water bills for years so that we could have the privilege of maintaining the village trucks. The toilets, kitchen and other services have never been supplied by unmetered water, and our water bill has always been paid.  

It was stated in a closed-door meeting with the mayor and village trustees that they are pursuing this action in this way because the village wants to change attitudes, behaviors, and to send a message to the Oakfield Fire Department and Robert Hilchey.

Robert “Buck” Hilchey has been an active member of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department for over 42 years of service. He has been one the most active volunteers in our department's history.  

It is the position of the Oakfield Volunteer Fire Department that Mr. Hilchey is not at fault for the charge of theft of services. We stand as a department behind Mr. Hilchey. It is deplorable that the village is willing to ruin a person’s reputation in the community, and possibly his livelihood because that village wants to send a message and change attitudes and behaviors.

Jason Crater
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From an outside perspective, it seems pretty classless that the Village of Oakfield would act this way.

Good luck Buck. I hope things work out for you.

Fred GUNDELL
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I do not live in Oakfield. I would like to know who the individual is that started this waste of time. Obviously the village board does not go door to door and check water fitings. The whole board that supported this should be fired, and the Volunteer Fire Department should post canidates or support canidates to run against them.

Irene Will
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Shame shame shame on that Village Board.

Cheryl Wilmet
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I bet it a board member's house was on fire they wouldn't worry about where the water was coming from. Some things are more important than a few lost dollars. I feel bad that the VOLUNTEER FIRE FIGHTER is being treated like this. Way to say thank you Oakfield. Good luck Mr. Hilchey.

bob hilchey
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this is the real story and believe me its the true one !! whats not funny is i never was questioned by the sheriffs department or any village official. they would have had the full story and i would have showed them what and why it was done !! i am proud of my 42 years in the fire service, i was fire chief 9 years and president for 4 and assistant chief for over 20 years !! i quess i am done , now that i can see a year in jail for this bogus charge !!!!!!!!!!!!! i missed school avents for my kids and took my vacation from my job for the fire service. thats ok " I DID IT FOR MY CITIZENS OF MY TOWN AND VILLAGE !! PROUD TO BE A VOLUNTEER !!!

Sam Tambe Jr.
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I am 43 year old and remember Buck, Mr. Lundmark and the Laneys always being at the scene 1st. People really need to get their priorities straight!! The Oakfield Board must be bored if they have to go digging around to slam someone!!!

Nicole Emeril
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I find it hard to believe a man who has worked in maintenance all his life had no idea he was bypassing the water meter when fixing a "leaky pipe". I don't think the police or town officials would have gone to this extreme if not for good reason. Stealing is stealing, and good deeds done prior certainly do not make it ok.

bob hilchey
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NICOLE, FIRST HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT DID ALL MY LIFE. AND SECOND I NEVER STOLE A DROP OF WATER, I FIXED A LEAKY VALVE. THE VALVE WAS A EXISTING VALVE BEFORE THE METER AND ITS BEEN THERE SINCE 1963 !!!

Nicole Emeril
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So you are admitting you knew the valve was an unmetered valve yet you tied into it anyway because it was pre-existing? Maybe you should check your facts before taking action. Sounds to me like you think you are above the rules, and smarter than the average bear. Maybe your ongoing "troubles" in the fire department had something to do with their actions. Just a thought....

bob hilchey
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i dont know you, but do you want me to show you what i did i will , let me know what time. your comments are off base and i am offering you the chance to see. no guilt here !!!! O do you volunteer anywhere ???

Nicole Emeril
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I know exactly what you did Mr. Hilchey. I don't need you to show me. You already admitted you knew what you were doing. And again, past good deeds do not entitle you to bad ones. It's a shame our town officials and fire department have to take bad press and make excuses for your poor decision making skills

Kyle Couchman
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Nicole must live in a vaccum of ignorance with some of the facts that have come to light it seems the town board is recruiting someone to come here and snipe at Bob. Note she just joined to make these comments. Can that be any more obvious...

Don Vickers
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OK, I want to know. I understand a water line in the fire station that is used to wash the trucks and keep the parking area clean that is connected prior to the water meter. It got a leak and Mr. Hilchey was asked to fix it.

What did the repair consist of that upset everyone? If a valve is leaking you either replace the leaking cap or you replace the valve. Was there something else done or was the water routed somewhere else that it shouldn't have been?

Just to let everyone know, I am not the Don Vickers that lives in Oakfied. I am his son and I live in Kansas City. I read thebatavian.com daily so I can keep up with what happens around Genesee County.

bob hilchey
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nicole, you obviously dont want to see the repair and i love your fake name !! what time ????? i again want to meet you there !!! i have the burden of proof you have nothing !!! besides to a loud mouth !!!!

bob hilchey
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don, you are correct about the leaking valves and no there were no additional lines !! we had one hose line and we still have one hose line !!! i would love to show any one the repair !!! thanks for your question !!

Kyle Couchman
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Bob dont the the Nicole person get under your skin, anyone with a modicum of sense can see right through it for what it is. Trying to get you upset enough to lose it in this forum.

bob hilchey
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thanks kyle , your very right !!!!!

Adam Riexinger
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Maybe I missed this in another thread or maybe its due to my lack of knowledge for the law but why is Buck taking the hit for this when a motion was passed by the fire department? As an organization aren't they just as responsible?

Nicole Emeril
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Mr. Wirthington, oops I mean Hilchey, show your handy work to the judge.

Kyle Couchman
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You think its gonna get that far Nicole, your freakin hilarious.....

Howard B. Owens
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There's no evidence that a Nicole Emeril lives in Oakfield and at the address given, so I've blocked the account.

bob hilchey
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thank you howard !!!

Kyle Couchman
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That right there puts an interesting spin on the supposed facts of this issue. Why take the time to harass Bob here unless they are afraid the might have screwed up, especially with the FD's notice today. A bit of advice Bob keep a printout of this forum to show a judge, cant hurt your case that this could be harassment from the Board. Just my 2 cents.

Barbara Hendershott
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Adam, that is the same question my husband and I have. Why are not the Board of Trustees of the Oakfield Fire Department responsible?
Shame on the Oakfield Village Board.
To Buck: Keep up the good work as a volunteer! You should be proud of what you do and what you have done. I know you came to help me one time at a fire scene and I appreciated that! As far as your reputation is from this, it seems to me that you have many many supporters.
GOOD LUCK and KEEP UP THE GREAT VOLUNTEER WORK THAT YOU DO!!!

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