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The Oakfield Fire Department will discontinue its ambulance service at the end of the month due to a lack of manpower.

“We feel very confident that Mercy EMS has taken over our responsibilities in a good way," longtime department member Robert Hilchey said. "Our tax payers and residents in the town and the village of Oakfield will not be short-changed.”

The department has three EMTs now and department president Mike Ognibene says it would take at least 10 to properly perform the ambulance service. He says residents can rest assured that they will receive dependable emergency medical care.

“Mercy EMS has done a great job since taking over," Ognibene said. "It benefits us more to be there to help them which we still can do with our rescue truck. We can go there and assist them, but they would do all the medical things.”

Training to become an EMT is approaching 200 hours -- a long commitment which makes it difficult to recruit. Truck 70 at the Oakfield Fire Department will go out of service at midnight on Jan.1.

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