The Rush Fire Department, the community of Rush and fellow members of fire and ambulance services were stunned on May 3 with the announcement that Rush Fire Chief James J. Bucci Jr. had passed away unexpectedly on May 2, 2019.
Chief Bucci, who was 57, served as the Rush Fire Chief from 2009 to 2016 and had returned to that post earlier this year.
Chief Bucci owned a towing business, but his passion was serving the community and he did so very well. In 1984, he joined the Rush Fire Department where he held numerous positions as a civil officer and line officer, including 10 years as the Fire Chief. In 1989 he joined the Henrietta Volunteer Ambulance (now known as CHS Mobile Integrated Health Care, which is the joining together of Henrietta, Chili, Rush and Scottsville Ambulance services). He dedicated over 15,000 hours as a volunteer, serving in many capacities and achieved Life Membership at Henrietta Ambulance. In 2008 he became an employee of Henrietta Ambulance serving as the Executive Deputy Chief. He served in that capacity until his death. He also volunteered as a member of the Monroe County Special Operations Team and held numerous certifications related to EMS and the Fire Service. Chief Bucci was also a NYS Fire Academy Instructor where he taught Swift Water Rescue, Emergency Vehicle Operations, Hazardous Materials Handling and several other courses. He is the recipient of numerous awards and citations for his dedication and service to his community, including the Distinguished Service Award in 2005. He was the longtime chair of the Monroe County EMS Board and captain of the Monroe County Hazmat team.
In a statement on its website, the Rush Fire Department said, “It is almost impossible to adequately report how much this man will be missed and what he has accomplished while he was with us.”
Chief Bucci enjoyed being outdoors and spending time with his family and friends. He enjoyed snowmobiling, skiing, boating and playing euchre. His special gift to anyone who knew him was his willingness to step in and help anyone in need. He would at a moment’s notice come to the aid of family and friends alike. If he personally could not help, he always seemed to “know a Guy” who he could put you in touch with to get it done.
He is survived by his wife Pamela Bucci; children, Katlyn, Erica and Zachary Bucci; grandchildren, Victor and Maxwell; sisters, Tammy Bucci,Tracy Bucci Turybury (Lyle); and nieces and nephews, Joshua, Casandra and Dana Turybury. He was predeceased by father, James Bucci (Nancy) and mother Cathy (Baker) Flinton (Arthur).
Calling hours were held on Monday, May 6 and Tuesday, May 7 at Miller Funeral & Cremation Services (3325 Winton Rd S 14623). Funeral Services were held Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at the Dome (2695 E. Henrietta Road, 14467). All donations may be made to be made to the James J. Bucci Jr. Memorial Account, care of M&T Bank 1400 Miracle Mile Dr, Rochester, NY 14623.