There has been a “changing of the guard” at Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department (Company 18).

LAKEVILLE -  There has been a “changing of the guard” at Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department (Company 18). Robert Boogertman, who served 16 years as chief, has officially stepped down, and David Fillebrown was named chief.

Boogertman is still active with the fire company, having taken the role of assistant chief.

“I’d like to give a heart-felt thank you to the members and the community and of course to the [Paupack] township supervisors,” Boogertman said in an interview, January 11. “It has truly been an honor and privilege to be chief. It’s a family and a brotherhood. I couldn’t do it by myself.”

In 2019 he will mark 30 years with the department.

He stated that it was time to hand it over to someone else, and have more time for his family.

Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department has grown tremendously, Boogertman said, and expressed hope that it would continue to grow and succeed for the community.

"I had the luxury of support of my fellow officers and look forward to returning that support to the new chief,” Boogertman said.

Fillebrown, he said, has been active with Lakeville almost as many years. Fillebrown is stepping up from his role as deputy chief. “I have no doubt he’ll do a good job,”Boogertman said of their new fire chief.

“Bob was an excellent chief, he brought the company though some hard times,” Fillebrown said. “I hope he and I will work close together as we did before.” He said he definitely learned a lot from Bob.

Fillebrown will be marking his 28th year with Lakeville this year. He has served as lieutenant, rescue captain, captain and deputy chief.

He has been a resident of the Lakeville area since he was six  years old. Fillebrown works at the Wallenpaupack Sports Shop and is the father of two children.

There’s always a need for new volunteers, Fillebrown said, when asked about the fire company’s need for members. He said they can find a job to do for anyone, whether as a social member, fire police member or a firefighter.

Robert Boogertman’s brother Dave, who presented Robert with a plaque in appreciation at the fire house this past week, is the new deputy chief. Dave is stepping up from service as assistant chief.

Boogertman  said, “I feel blessed with the membership we do have.”

At the ceremony, Chief Engineer Chip Albion was also honored with a plaque, upon his retirement after 30 years with Company 18.

Lakeville Volunteer Fire Department was founded in 1979. The company is the primary responder for Paupack Township and the portion of Lake Township that includes Paupacken Lake Estates. The Department’s main station is at 10 Daniels Road, Lakeville, with a substation at Wallenpaupack Lake Estates. They also supply mutual aid to surrounding fire companies.