Alexander Corpening, known as the Chief, “is the ultimate personification of outstanding commitment to volunteerism”, according to his friends. As the Fire Chief Lake James Fire and Rescue Department, he serves as the main incident commander for the majority of the emergency fire, rescue and medical response calls in his area. In his administrative day-to-day duties of running a Fire and Rescue organization, he is responsible for the maintenance and testing of vehicles and equipment, planning and providing ongoing classes and training opportunities for firefighters and medical responders, ensuring records are kept for all required maintenance and training, inspection and replacement of equipment, assignment of personnel and equipment, liaising with other fire departments to ensure adequate mutual aid agreements for mitigating major emergency incidents, develop long-range capital plans for the department and accomplishing these important task with an all-volunteer department. 

Mr. Corpening first joined the Fire Department as a Firefighter in 1979 became a Medical First Responder in 1987(32 years of service); and became Chief in 1996(23 years of service). The best visual evidence of his commitment and dedication to the Fire Department is that his personal truck is almost a constant fixture in front of the building. 

Mr. Corpening’s community service also includes his commitment to his Church where he attends Sunday School, a member of the Steward Board for more than 30 years, Church Treasurer for more than 25 years, Stewardship & Finance Committee and the King's Men Choir. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Lake James Community Center. 

Mr. Corpening and his wife, Martha have two sons, David and Brian, and five grandchildren. Mr. Corpening has three sisters, Shirley Corpening Fields, Laura Ervin, and Betty Caldwell, and one brother, Kenneth Corpening. Alexander’s mother, Annie Bell Corpening of Morganton is 96 years old.