(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A government watchdog says changes are needed to how emergency calls to Chicago's 3-1-1 help line are handled, following the deaths of three women in a Rogers Park senior apartment complex that had no air conditioning during a heat wave.
An investigation by the Better Government Association found six calls were made to 3-1-1 about extremely high temperatures in units at the James Sneider Apartments.
Three women died in their sweltering apartments on May 14 during a hot weather surge in which BGA investigators say building management mistakenly thought the city required them to wait until June 1 to turn off the heat and turn on the air conditioning.
BGA President David Greising says 3-1-1 operators referred those calls to other city agencies, but did not follow up to ensure something was done about the complaints.
For now, Greising recommends Chicagoans call 9-1-1 if they need help with anything they believe puts their health or lives at risk.