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State of Vermont

House of Representatives

Montpelier, Vermont

Joint Concurrent House Resolution

H.C.R.  133

 House concurrent resolution honoring Northfield fire chief William C. Lyon

Offered by:  Representatives Donahue of Northfield and Grad of Moretown

Offered by:  Senators Scott, Cummings and Doyle

Whereas, William Lyon, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who served in Vietnam, joined the Northfield fire department upon his military discharge, and began one of the most illustrious firefighting careers in the town’s history, and

Whereas, his aptitude at mastering the skills and techniques essential for successful firefighting were second to none, and he earned promotions to positions of increasing responsibility, and

Whereas, by 1985, this still‑young firefighter became the logical choice to direct the department through the final years of the 20th century and into the 21st, and

Whereas, the new chief brought a fresh perspective to the department’s leadership and recognized that a modernization campaign, including the replacement of two small and outdated separate firehouses and a number of antiquated vehicles, was essential for the department’s future viability and effectiveness, and

Whereas, his energetic fundraising enabled Northfield to construct a large centralized firefighting facility near the town green with only a minimal amount of taxpayer financing and later to purchase the land on which the station sits with entirely private funds, and

Whereas, Chief Lyon has continued to conduct an innovative fundraising program on the department’s behalf, including the annual duck race and a Labor Day weekend fire station yard sale whose proceeds are split with the local senior center, and

Whereas, his resourcefulness as a fundraiser is also descriptive of the chief’s skill at securing state and federal grants for the department, and

Whereas, the town’s firefighting fleet was modernized, and this process entailed Chief Lyon’s own engineering and construction ingenuity, and

Whereas, in order to create a brush truck, Chief Lyon began with a Ford truck and hand built all of the attachments for fire suppression and the required generators onto the rear of the vehicle, and

Whereas, the chief, using a septic tank truck as his model, built a tank with an attached pump onto the rear end of a truck, and the unusual arrangement of not requiring a portable pump to bring water into the tank made this vehicle unique for a period of time among area fire trucks, and  

Whereas, he oversaw the dousing of several major fires, and a rekindling never occurred, and

Whereas, the importance of promoting preventative measures has been high on Chief Lyon’s agenda, and he organizes an annual safety day, and

Whereas, Chief Lyon has earned the respect of his colleagues in Washington County and was nominated for a Red Cross Hometown Hero Award, and

Whereas, he will conclude his record‑setting 22‑year tenure as Northfield’s fire chief when he retires from the department on July 15, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly honors Northfield Fire Chief William Lyon as he concludes 40 years of exemplary firefighting service, and be it further

Resolved:  That the secretary of state be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Chief William Lyon and to the Northfield Fire Department. 


Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont