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Cornelius News

Fire Dept. annual fund drive is under way


Cornelius Lemley Fire Station No. 2

Dec. 8. By Dave Vieser. The 2024 Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue Fund Drive is underway and mailings have been sent out throughout town. The department, which conducts a fund drive annually, has been serving the town and surrounding communities since 1951.

It responded to 3,503 calls for service in 2022, the most recent year available; 1,778 were fire calls, while 1,725 were emergency medical calls.

The department is a 501c4 organization that relies on financial contributions from the town, Mecklenburg County and MEDIC, as well as residents and business owners, to fully fund operations.

Chief Barbee

“2023 was an exciting year as we achieved an ISO Insurance rating of 2,” said Chief Guerry N. Barbee. “In these ratings, the lower the score, the better, and our department was one of only 88 statewide which received the ‘2’ rating.”


Pursuant to a 2018 study performed by the International City/County Management Association’s Center for Public Safety Management, the department is transitioning to a paid municipal department. Currently, there are 75 firefighters in Cornelius; 13 are full-time paid, 56 are part time paid, and 6 are volunteer. More full-time paid will be forthcoming as the transition continues.

However, the department still relies heavily on financial contributions from the town, county and both residents and business.

Contributions are tax deductible and may be sent to Cornelius-Lemley Volunteer Fire and Rescue, PO Box 311, Cornelius 28031.