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Lyons Police Sergeant Given Lifesaving Award

Lyons Police Sergeant Josh Blake was honored recently for quick thinking and decisive actions that probably saved a local resident’s life.

Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker presented Blake with a Lifesaving Award at the monthly Lyons City Council meeting on March 1. Walker said that Blake was parked in an area of town while on area patrol in the early morning hours of August 31, 2021, when he was approached by Bruce Herndon, who pulled up alongside Blake asking for help. Blake instantly recognized that Herndon was experiencing medical issues and reached out to EMS for help. “Sergeant Blake has been through extensive training and not only saw that Mr. Herndon was experiencing serious issues, but also needed immediate medical attention,” Chief Walker explained. “He called for an ambulance, but found out they were all tied up with other emergencies. Knowing Mr. Herndon could not wait for an ambulance in his condition, Sergeant Blake took it upon himself to put Mr. Herndon in his patrol car and transport him to the emergency room.” According to Walker, it was Blake’s quick thinking and response that ultimately saved Herndon’s life, which is why Walker wanted to present Blake with the award publicly. Blake received a plaque, as well as a pin, which he may wear on his uniform daily.

Herndon also attended the meeting and spoke on his experience that morning. “I just want to tell Sergeant Blake thank you again. He really saved my life.”

Blake commented on the award. “It is an honor to serve the area and to receive this award.”

Housing Authority Appointment During the meeting, Mayor Willis NeSmith administered the oath of office to new Lyons Housing Authority Commissioner Denise Rogers. She will fill the unexpired term of Lyons City Councilwoman Cathy Benton. Rogers shared her thoughts on her appointment to the Authority. “I have lived in Toombs County all my life and can’t think of a better way to serve my community,” she emphasized. “As an educator for over 32 years, I have seen students and their families live in deplorable housing conditions, so I did my best to provide what I could for these students and tried to make their day at school the best it could possibly be. “ She added, “My parents taught me to ‘help others because one day, you might be the one who needs help.’ By serving on this Board, I will be able to continue to serve others, just as I was raised to do.”

Executive Director of the Lyons Housing Authority Shawnee M. Gunn also spoke on the appointment. We are so happy to welcome Denise Moore Rogers to the Housing Authority and appreciate her accepting this appointment. She brings to the table an extensive background in education with the Toombs County School System which has allowed her to serve our community by training young minds and seeing first hand that stable and decent housing is important for students to succeed. While she is now retired, we feel that she is a good fit for us and this appointment will allow her to continue to serve our community by helping to meet the housing needs for families in Lyons.”

Other Business

The property at 876 Georgia Highway 178, which is currently owned by Eugene and Judy Edwards, was approved for special use to create a storage unit facility. The property, which is located on the divide between the city limits of Lyons and unincorporated Toombs County, was annexed to the city in 2016, while still under the ownership of Stanley Farms.

The Edwards family purchased the property in 2018, and previously planned to use the property for an automotive body shop business. Since abandoning those plans and receiving approval from the Council, the Edwards will move forward with their plans for the storage business.

A n automatic aid agreement between the City of Lyons and Toombs County Fire Department was renewed for one year, with four consecutive renewals also approved, putting the agreement in place for five years. This agreement states that the Toombs County Fire Department will respond to all fires within the city of Lyons, and the city of Lyons will respond to all fires within a fivemile radius from Lyons Fire Station 1. Another agreement regarding fire department aid was approved as the Council renewed the mutual aid agreement between Lyons Fire Department and Vidalia Fire Department. This agreement does not state that the parties must automatically respond when either department is dispatched, like the agreement between Toombs Fire and Lyons Fire, but that each department will assist the other when called upon.

Both the automatic aid and mutual aid agreements include a clause for reimbursement of parties.


The Lyons Main Street Association shared that tickets are now available for the “Tales from the Altamaha” production at the Blue Marquee in Lyons. Performance dates and tickets may be found online at the Main Street Association website, or at the Lyons Main Street Association office.

The Soapbox Derby will run on April 30, and the Run What You Brung event has been cancelled for the year. The Greater Vidalia Chamber Youth Leadership class will have its graduation on March 21 at 6 p.m., while the Chamber will host the annual ConnectHER Women’s Conference on March 24. The Greater Vidalia Chamber may be contacted for tickets.

Mayor NeSmith thanked Boy Scout Troop 939 Member Trip Hughes for his attendance at the meeting, and wished him the best in his endeavors with the organization.

The next City Council work session will be held on March 29, while the next meeting is April 5 at 6 p.m.

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