Residents and businesses with Mooresville mailing addresses might expect that a fire call to 911 would bring fire trucks and firefighters from the Mooresville Fire Department.
The response could come from any of six fire departments, each of which serves a different portion of the 28115 and 28117 ZIP codes. Mooresville. Dispatchers determine which department should respond based on the location of the fire.
The town of Mooresville's department is paid; the five others are mostly volunteer.
Fire officials said anyone reporting a fire should always dial 911, no matter where they are. Dispatchers at the Iredell County Emergency Communications Office in Statesville, where all fire calls for Moorseville are routed, have been trained to know which department should roll, especially in borderline cases.
"We'll always send more than less if there's any doubt," said David Martin, Iredell County EMS communications director.
Despite multiple service areas, there are no plans to merge or consolidate departments. They work together frequently, local fire officials said.
"It may sound a bit confusing, especially when the call is near the border line of the departments," said Assistant Chief Curt Deaton of the Mooresville Fire Department. "However, we always make sure that all areas are covered."
The various departments have agreed on the details of how they'll help each other. That ensures sufficient manpower and equipment respond to every alarm, officials said.
Officials said most of the volunteer fire departments now have paid "day crews," to provide a faster response when most volunteers are working at other jobs.
One unusual aspect of the Mooresville arrangement is how Shepherd's Volunteer Fire Department shares its Fire Station No. 1 on N.C. 115 with the paid firefighters of Mooresville Engine Company No. 4.
The station was opened in 2007, and the Mooresville pumper based there covers several neighborhoods and the industrial district along Mazeppa Road. It covers the Talbert Pointe Business Park, home of the NASCAR Technical Institute and many of Mooresville's professional racing teams.
Here's anoverview of the six departments that serve Mooresville:
Mooresville Fire Department: This is the only fire department with a fully paid staff. It covers fire calls that come from inside the Mooresville town limits. Established in 1910, the department has 88 members at four fire stations; they're assigned to four engine companies and one tower/ladder company.
The department's headquarters is on Main Street beside Town Hall; other stations are on Knob Hill Road, Shearers Road and at the Shepherds Volunteer Headquarters on N.C. 115 (Charlotte Highway), as mentioned above.
Shepherd's Volunteer Fire Department: This department, founded in 1961, covers many areas outside the town limits, mainly north and west of town. Its headquarters is on N.C. 115, and it has a second station on Doolie Road, west of Interstate 77, near Lake Norman High School.
Mount Mourne Volunteer Fire Department: Firefighters from this department cover calls southeast of town. Established in 1955, its headquarters is also on N.C. 115, just south of Faith Road.
Lake Norman Volunteer Fire Department: Covers the area beside Brawley School Road including The Point. Before it was formed in 1966, the Brawley School Road peninsula had been covered by the Troutman, Mount Mourne and Shepherds departments. The town of Mooresville also made a truck available if needed. A community meeting in 1966 at Williamson Chapel Methodist Church led to the formation of the Lake Norman department. Its headquarters opened on Brawley School Road in 2006.
South Iredell Volunteer Fire Department: Located on Linwood Road, this department covers fire calls in the primarily residential easternmost part of the 28115 Mooresville ZIP code.
Troutman Fire Department: A small residential section of the northernmost part of the 28117 ZIP code is covered by this department. It recently opened a new fire station on Perth Road, north of Judas Road.