First responders team up to train on Lake Norman for lake season


CORNELIUS, NC (FOX 46) — 2016 was a deadly year for the lakes with multiple drowning and even a boat explosion that left a woman severely burned.

So when an emergency call goes out for the lake, who responds from the many rescue agencies serving Lake Norman?

Most likely, it’s two or three completely different ones.

“Any time there’s an event, you are dealing with multiple agencies. Cornelius may work with Mooresville, We may work with Denver,” Cornelius Fire Captain EJ McCormick said.

All of them also have their very different procedure. That’s why the Cornelius Fire Department is hosting this cross agency training to help smooth out communication when tragedy strikes on Lake Norman.

“The police do things a little differently than fire does. So as we are running these scenarios today, we are trying to find a middle ground of what works best for both agencies,” Captain McCormick said.

They are also sharing each other capabilities like types of sonar equipment they have, as well as sharpening skills and learn new techniques for missing person searches, learning boating maneuvers and meeting other fellow rescue personnel they may have to work hand and hand with in the future.

“You are not dealing with a complete stranger. You know you’ve seen them, you’ve trained with them and know what they are capable of. Know what their boat is capable of, so it should be no big surprise,” Captain McCormick said.

Captain McCormick says this type of training is valuable for everyone involved and hopes more departments join for future training.

“It never seizes to amaze us of what can happen out here. So we try and be as best prepared as we can by doing events like these. Coming out and training together so that when incidents do happen, it’s flawless. We can come out here and operate together like we do every day,” McCormick said.

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