Get to know your First Responders: Benny Lyons

Published 5:04 pm Wednesday, June 29, 2022

By Angela Cutrer
Benny Lyons is a lifetime resident of Carter County, and a lifetime member of the Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
As well as serving as an assistant chief and captain, Lyons has put in a lifetime of energy to an organization he finds priceless.
It also started back in 1982, when he was a kid.
“When I was a small child, my house burned down,” he said. “I remember everything, and the help we got from the community. Ever since then, I wanted to give back and make a difference.”
Lyons began his volunteer career when he was around 19 or 20 years old. However, he says he had a few bumps along the way to get to his 30 years of loyal dedication. “I was wild [growing up],” he says with a nervous laugh. “I really was. For me personally, volunteering saved my life in more ways than one. It calmed me down. Volunteering kept me out of trouble.”
Lyons’ regular day-to-day job is as Solid Waste Director for Carter County. He’s married to Lynn, the office manager at Amedisys Home Health, and they have two children, Wyatt, 23, and Morgan, 18.
Lyons does a little bit of everything with the Stoney Creek Volunteer Fire Department. “I drive the truck, operate the pump … I mean, with such a small agency, you pretty much do everything [that’s needed doing] in the fire service,” he says.
Lyons shared that his most unforgettable memory comes from the North American Rayon Corp. fire, where Walmart is currently located. “We spent a week tending that,” he says. “It was by far the biggest thing we ever tackled.”
The enormous fire broke out on Feb. 25, 2000, at what was once the city’s largest employer. Corrugated boxes initially started the fire, but it quickly got out of control and raged on for seven days.
Lyons is also proud of the times they were sent over to Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg to help fend off wildfires.
Lyons encourages young people to volunteer in their communities. “You get a certain level of accountability [by taking on such a responsibility],” he said. “It keeps you more focused on the right track.”

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