REVERE, MA – The Revere Department of Public Works and the Water and Sewer Department, despite their importance in city operations and residents’ daily lives, often goes overlooked by the general public. But let’s face it – every time there’s a storm, a water break, or even a fallen American flag on Broadway, Marc Hilton and Chris Fabiano are there for the City of Revere – even at the drop of a dime in the middle of the night. Marc Hilton, DPW Supervisor for the Water and Sewer Division, and Chris Fabiano, Supervisor for the DPW Parks and Open Spaces Division, embody what it means to be a Revere public servant. Without the work of both Marc Hilton and Chris Fabiano, along with the other incredible men and women of their departments, the City of Revere would not be able to offer important services like water, sewage, and open spaces – something many of us take for granted. Their love for their city and dedication to the work they do make Marc and Chris clear choices for this month’s Public Servant of the Month.
Q: What does Revere mean to you?
FABIANO: I grew up here all my life. Both sides of my family – my mother and my father – grew up in Revere. I went to school here, nowhere else. It’s nice being able to work in the City you grew up in – you see familiar faces and know what you’re doing affects those you care about.
HILTON: I grew up in East Boston, but my wife lives in Revere and I’ve been here for about 20 years now.
Q: How did you end up in this line of work?
FABIANO: I did the summer program down at the DPW yard when I was in high school and I always thought it was a great place to work back then. It was nice when I was able to come down here – I initially ended up in the Water Department and I never pictured myself doing that type of work but I took to it, enjoyed it, and enjoyed the guys I was working with. It’s definitely a different type of work but it’s an important function. Then there was an opportunity to work in the Parks Department and I decided to make the jump.
HILTON: My career started in construction right after high school. I was in the union for a lot of years, and when I saw in the paper the City of Revere was hiring, I said “why not work in the city I live in?” I landed in the Water Department and it was like second nature coming from construction. I didn’t work on water in the union but when I started in Revere, I learned a lot and I’ve been here ever since.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
FABIANO: The Parks Department that I’m in now is very visible to the community. You can kind of see a start and an end result – whether it’s setting up events, cleaning up a park, or landscaping designs. So you can see work getting done with your vision. The Water Department is a lot of unseen work. People know when they have water and when they don’t – it’s definitely an important function of this city. The reward is probably being able to work in the city that you grew up in, and see a lot of people you grew up with – it really is rewarding.
HILTON: He hit it on the head! I mean, you’re working with a great group of people, which always make things easier. It’s a team effort – without us all it wouldn’t be possible. That’s the rewarding part for me.
Q: What do you wish more people knew about the departments you work in?
HILTON: With the Water Department, what a lot of people don’t know is that we don’t break the pipes – we’re just there to fix them! Some people do get frustrated and understandably so – but a lot of times we’re the target of that frustration. But we do care and we love what we do. We are there to fix things – it’s what we do.
FABIANO: I want the residents to know that we do care about the work we do and how we leave jobs and what the city looks like. We want it to be a good reflection of our city and our people. We really do care. I think this administration has given us everything we needed – that goes a long way. We have a new DPW building coming new trucks and machines to make our job easier, it’s a good time to be in the department, for sure.
Q: When water breaks occur, what needs to happen? What’s that like?
HILTON: Depending on how big it is, we can usually open up the street and fix it with everyone still having water. Unlike what happened last Thursday night – we had to shut the water off due to the size. 6 PM to 10 AM is a long time for residents to not have water. When there’s a break in the middle of the night, we’re on call, and during an emergency our guys always show up. They come in stretches – we could have 5, 6, 7 a month and then not have one for another month. We very rarely go home.
FABIANO: We’re getting to the busy time now when it starts getting cold and most of the time this is when pipes start to break. You can’t forecast water breaks of course, but we’re always prepared during this time of year to be on-call and ready.
Q: If you had to give yourself at the start of this job some advice, what would it be?
HILTON: Be willing to learn and always be available when the phone rings!
FABIANO: If you’re not familiar with this type of work, be willing to learn and help your crew as much as you can. For me personally, I would probably tell myself not to listen to too much outside noise. I tend to take a lot of that stuff personally, but at the end of the day I know what we’re doing matters.