City fire chief clears up allegations

GSU made front-page news in the Sept. 14 edition of the Ruston Daily Leader , which boasted “Chief: GSU dorms unsafe” as its headline.The Leader’s article featured alleged claims made by Grambling fire chief, Carl McCarter. McCarter reportedly said, “People send their kids to Grambling and expect the university.and fire department, to keep them safe.I’m not sure we can.”

With ever-brewing controversy on campus, The Gramblinite sat down with the freckled, friendly fire chief to address campus security.

Imani Jackson: How long have you been a Grambling resident? How long have you worked in Grambling?

Carl McCarter: [I’ve lived here since] ‘85.23 years. [I’ve worked here] for about a year and two months.

I.J.: Do you believe that safety concerns have intensified during recent years? Elaborate.

C.M.: Definitely.the citizens and students are more safety minded from years past… [People are] more fire preventative.

I.J.: Would you want your children to live on Grambling State University ‘s campus?

C.M.: (nods enthusiastically) Oh.sure.

I.J.: Did the absence of a police chief present the university with unique challenges?

C.M.: .In a way, but not too much. the second in command is probably educated enough to fill [in]. [Campus remained] secure [while we] found a permanent chief.

I.J.: Tell me about claims that GSU is “unsafe.”

C.M.: I knew Ruston would mess that up.I didn’t say it was unsafe.Some areas [on campus] need to be addressed so emergency vehicles can respond.

I.J.: Are we up to date as far as fire codes and fire technology?

C.M.: It’s not my job to check the code. [The] fire marshal does the code.(pause) I think he does a good job…One of the guys [on his staff] isn’t going to let anything slip through.

I.J.: Why doesn’t the fire department respond to fire drills? I always wondered why the police are called and R.A.s let us back in.

C.M.: You got me there. (pause) I don’t know the answer. Campus personnel should call us.We never know when there’s a drill on campus. We need to check the buildings out. We need to tell students when it’s safe to return to the building. R.A.s aren’t trained to do that.

I.J.: Were you surprised to hear about the rumored dice game?

C.M.: Yes I was. No comments.

I.J.: Any additional information that you would like to share regarding GSU’s safety? Anything else for the record?

C.M.: The fire department and university should come together as one. We need to be on one accord about safety for the citizens and students.(pause) and just make sure you tell the truth, young lady.