Ogdensburg man receives Red Cross hero award

Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 3:59 PM EST
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - The American Red Cross has recognized an Ogdensburg man who helped city residents during a rough time.

In March, fire crews rushed to Riverview Apartments in Ogdensburg after a fire broke out.

John Miller, who used to be a crisis response coordinator for the Salvation Army, was teaching math at the local school when he got a call.

“I got a call from the Ogdensburg Police Department and they said that I needed to report. There was a fire at Riverview Towers and I needed to report there. And I had said to the police officer that that was five years ago and I don’t do that work anymore. And he said, today you do because you are all we have,” he said.

Miller spent the next two weeks with the American Red Cross and other volunteers setting up temporary shelters at Ogdensburg Free Academy and Wadhams Hall outside Ogdensburg.

Miller’s hard work caught the notice of the Red Cross workers who saw how much service Miller had done.

“I met John personally that night and I was very impressed. I watched him just working his magic with people. You know, bringing all the communities together. We were there for at least two weeks just sheltering people and John would show up every single day,” said

Lisa Smith, executive director of Central and Northern New York American Red Cross,

Last week, Miller was awarded the Emergency Disaster Real Hero Award from the American Red Cross.

Miller says that while he’s grateful for the award, he believes the real heroes were the people in the community who helped out every step along the way.

“Yes, I was there. Yes, I kind of facilitated things. But really I think all of the recognition should go to the community,” he said.