BGA outlines failures it says led to 3 seniors dying in hot apartments

emergency dispatcher
dispatcher Photo credit Getty Images

(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.

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