Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile today announced a new toll-free Emergency Hotline that will provide New York/New Jersey metro area emergency service agencies with immediate access to wireless communications equipment and services in the event of an emergency.
The hotline number is being distributed to all local, state and federal emergency management personnel in the New York/New Jersey metro area and will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In many crisis situations, wireless services are the only reliable form of communications, especially when weather conditions or fire destroy existing landline facilities. Wireless services offer response workers direct communications with critical resources and allow disaster survivors to contact and reassure family members.
"Responding in emergencies is nothing new for Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile," said Regional President Rick Conrad. "We dispatched wireless equipment and personnel to aid rescue workers at the site of the tragic TWA Flight 800 crash last summer, we assisted New York City officials after the World Trade Center bombing, and provided communications support after the gas line explosion in Edison, NJ. in 1994. But establishing a central point of contact with the 800 number will allow us to respond even more quickly and efficiently with needed wireless communications when these events occur."
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the first wireless service provider to create a toll-free number for emergency response efforts. The hotline provides a direct link to trained personnel who will mobilize the portable, wireless communications equipment and employees needed on-the-scene for the duration of the emergency, free of charge. Wireless phones, data equipment and a portable cell sites can be deployed swiftly whenever and wherever disaster strikes.
Ralph Sailler, an American Red Cross worker on the front lines of the Flight 800 disaster, commended the Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile employees who rushed wireless services to the scene of the accident. They were there everyday with phones for the families of the victims as well as for rescue workers," he said. "The new hotline will be a tremendous help to the Red Cross. We respond to emergencies every day and having immediate access to wireless services will facilitate our efforts and provide much-needed relief for those we serve."
When an Office of Emergency Management official calls the hotline, wireless equipment and the company's local Emergency Response Team members will be dispatched to the site immediately. Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile's 40 area Communications Stores will serve as local Emergency Response Centers to store the wireless equipment dedicated to this effort and collect the equipment once an emergency is resolved.
The emergency hotline is the newest initiative in the company's Wireless at Work community service program, designed to bring the benefits of wireless technology to communities in need.
Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile is the largest wireless service provider on the East Coast and the second largest in the United States. The company owns and operates the most extensive network in the east, covering 111,000 sq. miles, and the largest chain of wireless retail outlets offering a full range of wireless personal communications services, including voice, data and paging. Based in Bedminster, NJ, Bell Atlantic NYNEX Mobile has 4.6 million customers and 6,500 employees in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic, Southeast and through a separate subsidiary, in the Southwest. The company was formed in July, 1995, by combining the cellular operations of Bell Atlantic Mobile and NYNEX Mobile.