Many local residents were confused by the new “easy access dialing” long-distance telephone service. In the past, only AT&T; had offered “1-plus dialing,” and subscribers to other long-distance companies sometimes were required to dial about a dozen extra numbers to make their call. A new program was offering all long-distance companies equal access to 1-plus dialing. However, some of Lawrence’s 23,319 residential Southwestern Bell customers were having difficulties analyzing each company’s plan and choosing a service.
The Douglas County Ambulance Service was asking rural residents to assist them with HELP, or Home Emergency Location Program, in which residents were invited to submit information which would be kept on index cards at the Law Enforcement Center’s dispatch office. The data would make it easier for emergency services to find a home during a fire or ambulance call, as well as provide special instructions regarding people with medical conditions.