Former Richmond Hill fire chief Vernon Rushing died Monday, Mayor Harold Fowler confirmed Tuesday morning.
Rushing was fire chief from 1997, when he replaced Herbert Schwabe after Schwabe died, until his retirement in November 2013. He began with the department in 1968 and became assistant chief in 1974.
When Rushing started with the department, which was six years after Richmond Hill was incorporated, the crew was all-volunteer. Upon his retirement, the department was up to nine full-time firefighters and 20 volunteers, plus three engine companies, a ladder company and rescue and support units.
“He was a very dedicated employee for the city. He did all he could to fortify the department and just did a great job,” Fowler said.
A post on the Richmond Hill Fire Department’s Facebook page Tuesday gave condolences to Rushing’s family and added, “Without his guidance, leadership and expertise, the Richmond Hill Fire Department would not be where it is today. Chief Rushing was a pleasure to work for, and he will be greatly missed.”
His obituary has been posted here.