Citizen band Radio went on the air shortly after the fire broke out at General Telephone Co. Thursday morning, gathering news for The Palladium-Item.
Kenneth Ary and Jerome Roser in a mobile unit parked near The Palladium-Item office made contact with news sources in the Richmond area. The unit was parked at the curb just south of Sailor Street on North Ninth Street. Both are licensed operators.
At the time of contact Centerville had sent one fire fighting unit. Some towns farther away sent emergency equipment, but were protected by standby pumpers and men.
When contacted, Liberty reported emergency equipment on the way, and the Liberty fire chief came here.
One unit and about six volunteer firemen from Hagerstown came here. It was reported by radio that Hagerstown was protected by two units of fire fighting equipment and men.
Also Send TruckCambridge City sent one unit, but was reported back there by 11:15 a.m.
Charles Currens, captain of auxillary police, and William Hittle, auxillary police major, stood by a mobile unit in front of The Palladium-Item, in event of an emergency.
Ary said this was done in case something went wrong or failed in the equipment being used by Ary and Roser.
Ary said he first hard of the fire by Citizen Band radio; and was notified at work to report to the City building for emergency duty. He works at the Richmond Power and Light plant and lives at 1313 South Sixth St.
Roser, who lives at 1519 National Road West, reported to The Palladium-Item early Thursday that the mobile unit was ready to transmit and receive. This was the only contact the newspaper had with its correspondents in the eight-county circulation area.
Roser works for S&S Garage and is an amateur radio operator.
The two men made contact quickly with towns in the reader area, and for the most part the operators were women.
Ary said in most instances the wives of Citizens Band operators are licensed, too, and it was those women who were at their posts in the emergency Thursday morning when Richmond was completely without telephone service.
Ary said licenses issued by the Federal Communications commission (FCC) are good for five years. He said there would be roughly 2,000 to 2,500 licensed operators to Wayne county.
Roser and Ary explained that Walter Stiut, who is captain of the traffic division of Richmond city police, is also head of auxillary police, and added, "He is the one who assigned us today."
Ary explained that Stout is a licensed amateur radio operator, and that he was at the amateur radio unit in the City building with the zone unit, relaying messages.
Other Citizen Band operators are at 429 South Twelfth St., 1117 Berry Lane, 714 South Sixth St., 818 South Eighth St., 812 North West Fifth St., Roy's Pure Oil, 510 South Twenty-third St., 807 South Twelfth St., 1333 South Fourth St., 303 North West Sixteenth St., 1601 South Fourth St., 417 Gardner.
The American Aggregates Gravel Co., which also has radio-equipped trucks, has stationed them at South West First and Main, at Sixteenth and Main, at Thirteenth and East Main, and at the First National Bank branch at the Gateway Shopping Center. All are available to dispatch emergency messages.
Ten Indiana State Police cars are cruising the city. They are radio equipped. Citizens needing help are to contact them for emergency.
Transcribed by James E. Bellaire
Copyright 1965 Palladium-Item