Effingham's 4th of July Fireworks Display a Go, Precautions Being Taken


Published on July 2 2012 9:14 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Wayne Moran

We got word this morning from the Southtown Business Association that Effingham's 4th of July Fireworks display is a GO. Fireworks will be launched at dusk at Hendelmeyer park.
In a meeting held earlier this morning with officials from the City of Effingham, Mayor Merv Gillenwater, Effingham Fire Department Chief Joe Holomy, City Administrator Jim Arndt, City Council Commisioner Matt Hirtzel and Southtown Business Association members Jerry Moon, Jerry Jansen and Rick Wittenborg all agreed that the fireworks display should go on as planned, despite the incredibly dry conditions.
Jerry Jansen explained to us that the current company that launches the fireworks for the city uses a trailer that raises the fireworks into the air, unlike companies in the past that have dug holes to launch them, which is much safer. He also explained that during the meeting, Chief Joe Holomy stressed that it's not the launch of the fireworks that's so much the concern, it's the falling embers. Should there be a wind out of the south, extra precautions will be taken to protect the area North of Hendelemeyer Park. Even without that wind however, additional resources from the Effingham Fire Department, as well as "runners" with hand-sprayers will be on hand, should anything go awry.
The Effingham Fire Department also requests that all residents forgo homemade firework displays this year, including small items such as sparklers, some of which can burn as hot as 500 degrees. With the extremely dry conditions that persist throughout the area, fire officials reiterate that it "only takes a spark" to ignite a major blaze.
Several area cities have cancelled, including Vandalia and Greenville, citing concerns that the fireworks may spark a fire that, given the extremely dry conditions, could quickly go out of control.
Earlier this morning, the Shumway Fire Department let us know this morning that the fireworks at Lake Sara will go off as planned, at dusk on July 3rd.
Also, officials from Dieterich let us know that their 4th of July fireworks display will go off as planned.