WIND BLOW — You never know when the “call” will come in and you never know what will happen when you answer it.
Chris and Worth Bynum received that “call,” answered it and found their careers as a sheriff’s deputy in Richmond County and a fireman in Albemarle.
“It’s a calling to want to help people, said Chris Bynum. “I feel everyone has a calling for what they should do in life, whether its to be a preacher, a fireman, an EMS worker or whatever.”
Chris Bynum retired last week after 28 years with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office and his son, Worth, signed on with the Albemarle Fire Department last August.
According to Sheriff Mark Gulledge, Chris Bynum is an asset that will be missed.
“Chris has served well throughout his career,” said Gulledge. “He was one of the original members of the (Strategic Response) team that captured James Andrew Findley in the Pekin community in July of 1998. We still have the picture of that arrest in the office of the sheriff.
“We are really going to miss him.”
Chris Bynum has always worked to respect everyone he has come in contact with.
“It’s a good career but you go out and treat people the way they want to be treated,” said Chris Bynum.” You never know when you’ll need someone to help you look for someone who is bad, committed a crime, or just to help you search for someone. The one thing I always did was not to forget where I came from. If you enjoy helping someone, I think it’s a good calling for anyone.”
His son feels the same way. He got his start back in 2010 in a volunteer capacity.
“I had a bunch of buddies who were on the Candor Fire Department and I joined in 2010,” said Worth Bynum. “It really stuck with me, I got pretty decent at it and I’ve been hooked ever since. Now being full time at the city of Albemarle, I work with a great group of guys and there is a lot of opportunity for advancement.”
Worth Bynum also likes the fact that he can spend more time with his family and on the farm.
The Bynum Farm was recognized by the state as a Century Farm in 2022. Click here to read that story.
The Bynum Farm was also named Richmond County Family Farm of the Year for 2022. Click here to read that story.
“Working in Albemarle gives me more time with the family, said Worth Bynum. “My wife Courtney is a paramedic in Moore County and we have an 18-month daughter, Raelynn. It gives me an opportunity to look at the big picture and not just looking at life under red lights all the time.“
In one instance, both Bynum’s wound up participating in the same rescue.
“He was home from the Eagle Springs Fire Department and a call went out of someone in cardiac arrest,” said Chris Bynum. “I walked in and he was there doing CPR on the patient and got down and we both wound up doing CPR on the patient.”
“I knew daddy was working he walked in the door,” said Worth Bynum. “He got down and stared doing CPR. We didn’t speak to one another, we went to work do a job. Whether law enforcement or fire and rescue, it’s part of the everyday thing. You show up and you do what you’ve got to do.”
Both Bynum’s agree that regardless if it’s law enforcement or fire and rescue, respect is the key.
“I treat people with respect,” said Chris Bynum. “I don’t forget where I came from. Earning that respect is a daily job. People trusting you and knowing they could ask you for advice.”
One story Chris Bynum relates is about him mentoring a young high school student.
“I had a student ride with me for a couple of weeks and I think from the family he was in that he was probably going to head down the wrong path,” said Chris Bynum. “By him riding with me and seeing how things were done by the sheriff’s office kind of changed his attitude around. After the two weeks, he cried and gave me a hug and told me thank you for showing him life a different way.”
The father and son also both believe that when people need help, you cannot be selfish. You must put other people first.
Chris Bynum said that his days are now filled with taking care of the crops at his family farm in Wind Blow. “I’m pruning peach trees these days and really staying busy,” said Chris Bynum.
However, he is concerned about the unseasonably warm weather we are currently experiencing.
“This warm weather is bad for us now,” said Chris Bynum. “Everything is blooming and sprouting way too early. We still have March and April to get through. We’ve got a long way to go.”
Chris Bynum wanted to tell Richmond County “thank you” for 28 years of service.
“I appreciate and enjoyed working for the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office. Sherriff (Dale) Furr hired me in 1995 and promoted me to sergeant before he left office. Then Sheriff (James) Clemmons took office and promoted me to lieutenant. I finished my career with Sheriff Gulledge. I enjoyed working in Richmond County and becoming friends with a whole lot of people — not just on the north end of the county, but everywhere. I appreciate everyone’s help bringing me into family of the Richmond County Government. I really enjoyed it.”
Worth Bynum says that although his career in Albemarle is just beginning, he is looking forward to the future.
“I’ve been trying to go to a bigger city department for many years but I don’t feel that it was in God’s plans at the time,” said Worth Bynum. “Obviously, I’m in the right place. I don’t want to rush time, but I hope I’m able to continue working in fire and rescue and to retire in 30 years.”
The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word “commencement” as “a beginning.” Both Bynums are facing a new beginning — one, with the advent of retirement and the other with the duties of a new job with a larger department. Regardless wherever these new duties lead them, they will have earned respect of both their peers and communities that they serve.
“You don’t raise heroes, you raise sons. And if you treat them like sons, they’ll turn out to be heroes, even if it’s just in our own eyes.”- Astronaut Walter M. Schirra, Sr.