BLUFF CITY, Tenn. -

Bluff City is town of a little more than 1,700 people.

It's a small community with a mighty rescue squad that started more than 40 years with very humble beginnings.


"If you had a bad leg injury or something, we couldn't get the splint in. So it would stick out the back door so we would have to tie the door together," said Ike Lowry, Bluff City Rescue Squad founder.

Lowry tells News 5, he and few other men started the Bluff City rescue squad in the late 1960s.

"When I got involved we'd take funeral home hearse and convert from a hearse to an ambulance,” said Lowry.

And for four decades Lowry and more than 80 others would forge a legacy in the community.

Many of them were volunteer first-responders.

But this Sunday was payday, as the squad paid tribute to their lifetime members - who have served more than 10 years.

"the people who volunteer on the rescue squad or anything the fire department there's just a certain this about them, their heart, they just wanted to help the community, their fellow man," said Jerry Malone, President of the Board of Directors.

The lifetime member’s names were placed on a plaque as for reminder for those who pass through the rescue hall.

Lowry tells us he's spent his entire career bringing aid to others and he hopes that even during this busy day and time people will still volunteer.

"I love it, the goal now is to keep it going. We have difficulty getting volunteers. We encourage anybody who'd like to come help us to come out and join us, we’ll put you to work,” said Lowery.

The rescue squad tells us they currently have about 20 volunteers who run a little than 150 calls every month.