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May 11, 2005

Hulley helps Miami Township Fire Department

From: Loveland Herald - Loveland,OH,USA - May 11, 2005

By Liz Vernon Staff Reporter

MIAMI TWP. - Robert Hulley's interest in working as a firefighter was sparked by the work of two relatives.

His nephew, Glenn Hulley, is a volunteer fire captain in Watertown, Minn., and his brother, Roland Hulley, worked with Cincinnati's life squad for many years.

But Hulley, 81-year-old Miami Township resident, had an obstacle to overcome: He was born deaf.

Hulley grew up in Evanston and later moved to Silverton, then moved to Miami Township about nine years ago, after his mother passed away. He worked at the Globe Wernicke Co. in Norwood for 22 years, then moved to Steelcraft in Blue Ash, where he was a shipping clerk. He worked there for 20 years before retiring in 1986.

And, for the past eight years, he has worked with Miami Township Fire/EMS.

"We formed this non-emergency response volunteer program and he fit into that," said Capt. Robert Burns. "He can come out and do things that help us out."

"It keeps him young," he said. "It gives him something to do, something to look forward to." Hulley works solely on Burns' shift, usually putting in 11-hour days. His responsibilities consist of different jobs around the department.

"I clean up everything," he said. He also washes cars, takes out the trash and checks and sorts the mail every day.

"He's a non-emergency response volunteer," said Burns. "He will ride with me in my truck, but he stays in the vehicle." However, on some calls, there may be smaller odd jobs that Hulley will do.

When he was younger, Hulley attended the Oral School for the Deaf at the Hoffman School.

"It's a school that believed they could teach deaf people to communicate through talking," said Burns. Hulley's teacher taught the students "how to sound out letters through music." Hulley can communicate with Burns, as well as the other firefighters, with minimal trouble.

And, although he enjoys his work, he keeps busy even when he's not at the fire department. He said he loves to go on cruises and has traveled to Japan, China, New Zealand, Australia, Germany and throughout Europe.

"He's kept busy," said Burns. "He's not let this disability keep him from working."

Copyright © 2005 The Community Press