A new city dispatch center was dedicated Thursday as the “John W. Callahan Memorial Emergency Community Center” in honor of the San Luis Obispo fire chief who died Aug. 18.
A memorial service for Callahan is expected to draw a large crowd to the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly this morning.
Callahan, 61, spent the past five years as the chief of the San Luis Obispo Fire Department and 32 years with the Los Angeles Fire Department, where he worked his way up the organization, leaving as a deputy chief.
The San Luis Obispo City Council during a special meeting Thursday voted 4-0 to dedicate the dispatch center, which is next to Fire Station 1 at Broad and South streets. Councilman Allen Settle was absent.
The council also voted to declare today’s memorial services for Callahan a city event and cover the costs associated with having public safety staff at the service.
A trust fund has also been established for Callahan’s family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in the name of “Callahan Family Trust Fund” at any Mission Community Bank branch.
City officials announced the dedication of the dispatch center during a candlelight vigil held Thursday night.
Starting this morning at 8, a procession of the hearse and two fire engines, one from San Luis Obispo and the other from the Los Angeles City Fire Department, will travel from Reis Family Mortuary to Grand Avenue.
There, the chief’s casket will be transferred to a horse-drawn 1906 Seagrave Chemical Wagon used by San Luis Obispo city firefighters in the early 1900s.
The procession will continue up Grand Avenue to the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly, where the memorial will be held from 10 a.m. to noon, followed by a reception at the Madonna Expo Center, from noon to 4 p.m., at 100 Madonna Road.
The service will be broadcast live on KSBY Channel 4 from 10 a.m. to noon.
The city’s share of the costs associated with the service is not yet known; City Manager Katie Lichtig estimated the hard costs associated with the use of the Performing Arts Center to be less than $5,000.