Q: What is the current I.S.O. Rating in the Cornelius-Lemley Fire District?
A: Effective March 1, 2005 the Cornelius-Lemley Fire and Rescue Department was awarded a Class 4 ISO rating. The inspection was conducted by the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshall (OSFM), and is required on a regular basis as part of the North Carolina Response Rating System (NCRRS). Among other things, the routine inspections look for proper staffing levels, sufficient equipment, proper maintenance of equipment, communications capabilities and availability of a water source. The NCRRS rating system ranges from one (highest) to 10 (not recognized as a certified fire department by the state). The Cornelius rating was improved from a split 6/9 to a straight 4 in the Cornelius district. The areas that are still in Mecklenburg County, the Lemley district, have a split 4/9. This means that properties that are in the county and are not within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant are rated a 9. All other properties are rated a 4. The rating of 4 is the second best in Mecklenburg County, only behind Charlotte, which is rated a 3.
Q: What do I do when an Emergency Vehicle approaches me?
A: Pull to the right! If an emergency vehicle is approaching you from the rear please pull to the right. If an emergency vehicle is coming at you please pull to the right. With traffic being so heavy in the north end of the county it is imperative that you pull to the right when you see an emergency vehicle approaching you. This will help us reach our destinations in a safe and timely manner. Remember one minute may be the difference between life or death.
Q: Where is Lemley?
A: Years ago the town of Cornelius was not as big as it is today. Our fire district consisted of the incorporated town of Cornelius and the unincorporated areas surrounding the town. Those areas surrounding the town were known as Lemley. Most of the “Lemley” part of our fire district is in Lake Norman under water and the remaining areas have now been incorporated into the town of Cornelius. Other surrounding departments also have two names in their fire districts as well. Davidson is known as the “Davidson North Star” fire district and Huntersville is known as the “Huntersville Craig Head” fire district. Our name has stayed the same over the years due to tradition, and tradition is very strong in our fire department and in the fire service.
Q: How do I become a member of Cornelius-Lemley Fire and Rescue?
A: To become a member of CLFR you must live inside of our district and be at least 16 years of age. If you are between the ages 16-18 you can become a junior firefighter. If you are 18 or older you are eligible to become a firefighter. To join you must come by either station location (Sta #1 located at 19729 S. Main St, or Sta #2 located 19230 Charlestowne Ln.)and pickup an application complete it and return it. Once the application is completed return it to either fire station and have it placed in the Chief’s box. You will also have to get a Physicians Release Form completed by your doctor stating that you are fit for firefighting. Once the form and application have been accepted an officer will contact you and set up a time to run you through the CPAT (candidate physical agility test). If you pass the CPAT you will then be contacted to set up an interview with the Board of Directors. After the interview with the board a recommendation will be made to the general membership and you will be voted on. Members are voted on once a quarter.
Q: Is the Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue Department a volunteer or paid department?
A: The Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue Department is a volunteer organization that is supplemented by part-time employees. We have part-time personnel twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The employees are staggered throughout the day to insure that we have an effective fire fighting force during our peak times. During the majority of the day there are three part-time firefighters at each station. To be a part-time firefighter you must have your NC FFII, NCEMT and be a member in good standing with the department. Volunteers respond from home and are encouraged to pull duty shifts at either one of our stations. There are no full-time positions at our department.
How often are the fire hydrants checked in the town of Cornelius?
A: Cornelius-Lemley Fire-Rescue has a program in place to check each hydrant once a year and perform light maintenance. Light maintenance consist of removing all of the caps, oiling the threads, and making sure water will flow from the hydrant.
The Cornelius-Lemley Fire Department also divides the district into fire demand zones. There are fourteen of these fire demand zones in the town. Hydrants are assigned to a fire demand zone and flow tested on a three year basis. Four demand zones are tested in group A, Five in group B, and four in group C (Interstate 77 has its own FDZ which has no hydrants). These flow test insure that all hydrants have suffcient water pressure to use for fire suppression.
If any problems are found with hydrants Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue reports the problems to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utility Department or the owner of a hydrant if it is private. Major problems are checked again two months after being reported to insure the hydrant has been fixed.