When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois
 
270.  FIRE LOG 1978      

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Also read: 271, 272, 273, 274, 275, 276, 277


911 PHONE SYSTEM DISCUSSED IN 1978

       As of the writing of this book (1994), that is all that was ever done concerning the "mandated" state-wide program of having all emergencies in counties called into a 911 central number. The system design for Coles County was supposed to be on file by Jan. 31, 1980. Final plans finished by 1982. Statewide implementation was to be Dec. 31, 1985. The whole downfall of the 911 system was that the state was not providing any funding to do it. Becca Weatherford, Project 911 assistant for the ICC presented a slide show to explain the unfunded program. She ended the program with the statement that, "Funding is the biggest problem; sometimes local politics also get involved."

CHARLESTON DAY-CARE CENTER TO BE CLOSED

       February 15, 1978, the Wesley United Methodist Church was told by the Department of Children and Family Services that a fire alarm system will have to be installed before a new two-year license would be issued to operate. Linda Dorn, the center's director, said the system will cost about $5,000 and indicated the center would not be able to handle the expense. The system would have a direct link to the CFD. The director and Mrs. Dorothy Lawson, a center board member were to go to Springfield to request that the alarm system requirement be waived. At a Feb. 20th meeting, the Day-Care Center. The State Fire Marshall's office recommended that the alarm system (in-house) be converted to a new system of connecting to the fire house. A six-month extension was granted to the center to take care of the problem.

SNOWSTORM WORST SINCE '74

       March 8, 1978, headlines in the Times-Courier tells of 8 inches of new snow dumped on Charleston and all Central Illinois. In January a blizzard hit, but this storm produced more snow. Visibility was better in this storm. CFD ambulances were able to get to Sarah Bush Hospital this time.

GASOLINE LEAK AT LINCOLN & UNIVERSITY DRIVE

       Assistant Chief Les Hickenbottom, State Fire Marshal Jack Carr and a gasoline tank installer, Jim Cauldwell were investigating a serious leak of gasoline in a manhole. Some 1,000 gallons of gasoline were pumped from the manhole at the N.W. corner of Lincoln & University Drive. No cause was discovered.

BUILDING AT 4TH AND MADISON CONDEMNED

       Building inspector Arthur Adcox and Fire Chief Mel Taylor were actively trying to rid Charleston of deplorable structures. The target this time were three buildings once owned by the Haddocks. The city officials judged the three buildings at the intersection of 4th and Madison to be "unfit for human habitation." Chief Taylor's home was right across the street from the buildings. Taylor said, "Little children are not supposed to be exposed to conditions like that." Taylor also said that unsanitary conditions in the buildings "make policemen and firemen sick when they have to go in there." In one of the buildings, two families shared one broken toilet. Taylor also reported that a gas vent to a water vent had been broken and has not been repaired to his knowledge.

GASOLINE LEAK AT LINCOLN & UNIVERSITY DRIVE

Assistant Chief Les Hickenbottom, State Fire Marshal Jack Carr and a gasoline tank installer, Jim Cauldwell were investigating a serious leak of gasoline in a manhole. Some 1,000 gallons of gasoline were pumped from the manhole at the N.W. corner of Lincoln & University Drive. No cause was discovered.