North Country Inspiration: Lowville’s Citizen of the Year

North Country Inspiration: Lowville's Citizen of the Year
Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 6:46 AM EDT
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The Lowville Fire Hall is like a maze to some, but it’s like home to Rick Bush, who has been volunteering there since he was a teenager.

“I’ve been a member of the fire department here for 66 years,” he said. “Active member.”

He’s a lifelong resident of Lowville and used to run Lowville Feed and Grain. He’s also been the fire department’s president, on the board of directors, Fireman of the Year, and recipient of the Chief’s Appreciation Award.

“I’ve just always enjoyed being in Lowville and I enjoy being a member of the Lowville Fire Department,” Bush said.

For his dedication to the village he was recently given the honor of Citizen of the Year.

“I wasn’t expecting anything,” he said. “I was floored when Mr. Hanno gave it to me.”

“Rick is definitely the kind of person to deserve this award,” said Doug Hanno, who presented the award, “his dedication to not only the fire department, but also the village. He was the owner of Lowville Feed and Grain, and the great things he’s done with that business, he’s just, well, deserving.”

Friends of Bush will tell you, he’s the best mentor around.

“His dedication,” said Matt Birchenough, who nominated Bush. “His willingness to mentor young people. His generosity.”

His motto is, if the alarm goes off, someone needs help. So Rick gets moving.

“You have to be dedicated, that’s the big thing,” Bush said. “You have to be dedicated and want to help people.”

“We’re pretty sure he sleeps in his truck,” Birchenough said, “because when the fire whistle goes off in the middle of the night, there’s closer people there and he beats everyone there.”

“Rick doesn’t miss many fires,” Hanno said. “He’s always there.”

For the duration of the interview. Bush kept saying, “it’s only a matter of time until the fire whistle blares.”

And sure enough, just as the camera was packed up and our reporter started down the road, the fire alarm went off.

And just like that, he was off. Just another day in the life of Lowville’s Citizen of the Year.