When the Gong Rings
A Fire History of Charleston, Illinois
351.  FIRE LOG          Return to the Table of Contents 1985              


Tom Watson used the 1973 Henry Taitt fire, in which a house burned to the ground because of not being within the city limits of Charleston. A similar thing was dangerously close to happening with rural citizens and ambulance service. The County was withdrawing its support of rural ambulance service. Watson developed a plan to have townships help to pay for ambulance service for people who could not pay. He ended his
letter by asking that citizens pressure governmental agencies to "get the necessary agreements signed before it's too late." 


October 1, 1984, a wife of old-time Charleston fireman, Lenora V. Fleming died. Charleston firemen and retired chief Mel Taylor were pallbearers. Mrs. Fleming, 75, died Monday Oct. 1 in Cambridge Court Nursing Home.





October 20, 1984, Torn Watson was appointed assistant fire chief, combining two roles. Watson will also continue his duties as Charleston Ambulance Service supervisor, a position he has held since 1973. The new assistant chief replaces Les Hickenbottom, who was appointed fire chief in May following the resignation of former chief, Mel Taylor. "It's a big responsibility," Watson said of his new job. "It's going to be quite a change, and I have some ideas I would like to implement." Watson does not expect to be overwhelmed by his workload. Combining the two positions has been considered for several years and "I think it'll work out fine," he said. Watson worked for the Coles County Ambulance Service from 1970-73, when the City of Charleston assumed control of the service. He was then appointed ambulance service supervisor. Watson attended EIU for 2 1/2 years and has taken several firefighting and emergency medical technician courses. As assistant fire chief, Watson's responsibilities will include assuming the fire chief's duties in his absence and helping train firefighters. He will also set up work schedules, conduct drills, assist the fire chief with investigations and help maintain firefighting equipment.

Return to 1980's Pages:  298, 299, 300, 301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 319, 320, 321, 322, 323, 324, 325, 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 336, 337, 338, 339, 340 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350,  352, 353, 354, 355, 356, 357, 358, 359, 360, 361

Return to the Yearly Log Page

Return to My "When the Gong Rings" Home Page