VOL. 129 | NO. 216 | Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Benson Appointed County Fire Chief
By Bill Dries
Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell has appointed the director of the Memphis Fire Department to be the new Shelby County Fire Department chief.
Alvin Benson is leaving the Memphis Fire Department to become the new Shelby County Fire Department chief.
Alvin Benson will start his duties Dec. 1 and in the interim will announce his retirement from the Memphis Fire Department, according to county communications director Steve Shular.
Benson replaces Dale Burress, who served as interim chief following the retirement of longtime county fire chief Clarence Cash.
Benson has been Memphis Fire director since 2008 and recently oversaw the department’s budget cuts that included “brown outs” in which trucks were taken out of service depending on the number of firefighters on vacation or on sick leave.
He started with the Memphis Fire Department in 1987.
The county fire department operates nine engine companies at eight engine houses around the 300 square miles of Shelby County that the department covers. Those in its coverage area pay a fire fee for the department’s services.