PATERSON, NJ — Mayor Martin G. Barnes and members of the Paterson City Council marked a new era of safety for Paterson school children today when they accepted the donation of 50 wireless phones and service from Verizon Wireless.
"Paterson's crossing guards are a key factor in keeping our children safe on the way to and from school," Mayor Barnes said. "These phones will provide a wireless safety net for guards stationed at some of the city's busiest intersections where both vehicular and pedestrian traffic are heavy."
Programmed to dial both 9-1-1 and the Paterson Police Department, the phones will allow crossing guards to summon help quickly and easily in an emergency without leaving their posts.
Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region President Charles Hand said this donation is the first in the company's expanded "Wireless at Work" community service program which includes phones pre-programmed to dial local police.
"Every day, school crossing guards are on the front lines protecting our children as they navigate busy streets and intersections on their way to class. These phones will ensure they can summon help immediately. By augmenting 9-1-1 service with a hotline to the Paterson police, Verizon Wireless hopes to cover many kinds of emergency situations, allowing guards to report suspicious activities and life-threatening emergencies," Hand said.
Since the inception of Wireless at Work in 1995, Verizon Wireless has donated and recycled over 40,000 wireless phones in the New York Metro area, providing essential communication tools to people who need a vital, reliable link to emergency services in times of crisis. In addition to crossing guards, recipients of these phones include victims of domestic violence, senior citizens and community patrols in more than 50 communities.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S.with 26.3 million wireless voice and data customers and 3.5 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. The company has a footprint covering nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 32,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.