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Council discusses emergency issues

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Salem City Council met Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. in the City Hall. Many of the council members had heard about the three vehicle accident on Oct. 9 five miles west of Viola. Salem Fire Chief Heath Everett gave his report on what technical difficulties they had at the scene.

Everett said he was impressed with the quick response time, but emergency personnel had some problems cutting a trapped woman out with the Jaws of Life which the Salem Fire Department purchased in 2001. "The cutters wouldn't cut," Everett said. "So, we switched the pumps out." After the hydrolic pumps were switched, Everett said it worked fine and they were able to get the woman out.

Everett said he realized that equipment that runs on a hydrolic pump needs to be serviced on a regular basis. He informed the council that he has scheduled a service technician to come and check all the equipment that uses hydrolic pumps to ensure the public's safety in the future. "We are way too dependent on (the Jaws of Life)," Everett said.

Everett informed the council that the fire department responded to eight calls in August and two calls in September.

Mayor Gary Clayton said the financial statement looks good for the city. "Everybody's done a good job on expenses," Clayton said. "In view of the economy, I think we've had a pretty good year."

Salem Police Chief Albert Roork gave an update on the purchase of a new police vehicle. Roork said he is wanting the police department to get another Dodge Durango. "It's the greatest police vehicle in the 30 years I've been doing this," Roork said. He said a car dealer in Melbourne had a bid of $21,950.

According to the Salem Police Department's activity report for Oct. 16 there were 24 vehicles that needed to be unlocked, 58 complaints, two thefts, four check forgeries and four automobile accidents. There were five arrests and citations.

Mayor Clayton told the council the city has filed an audit report to the Arkansas State Legislative Audit Review. He also informed the council that FEMA has reimbursed the city another $14,000 in flood damage.

The council decided to move the meetings for November and December so as not to interfere with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Nov. 20 and Dec. 18 are the new meeting dates. The council also plans to have a Christmas dinner at the senior center Dec. 5 at 6 p.m.

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