Wireless Phones Offer Added Safety for Summer

Orangeburg, NY — No matter where you're headed this summer, be sure to take along your wireless phone. It's the way to get help in an emergency whether you're reeling in a big catch, soaking up the sun at the beach or enjoying a picnic in the park.

Verizon Wireless, formerly Bell Atlantic Mobile, offers the following tips for using your wireless phone to enhance safety for yourself and others wherever you go this summer.

Press * CG For Help on Waterways

Boaters can gain access to the U.S. Coast Guard in an emergency by dialing *CG (*24) from their wireless phones. Your call will be routed to the nearest search and rescue group for help. There is no charge for *CG calls.

Press SEND Button After Dialing 9-1-1

Most people know to call 9-1-1 for help in an emergency, but you must press SEND for the call to go through. More than 100,000 calls are made everyday from wireless phones to 9-1-1. Be sure to call 9-1-1 only for true emergencies.

Know Your Wireless Phone Number

Emergency personnel may ask how they can reach you, especially if you're traveling in an unfamiliar area and can't give them an exact location.

Check Your Battery

If your wireless phone is reserved for emergency use, be sure to check and charge the battery before taking off. You may even want to bring along a spare battery or keep a lighter adapter in your car. If you're planning an extended motor trip, digital phones offer the longest battery life.

Make Safe Driving Your Top Priority

When behind the wheel, safe driving is always your first responsibility. Use a headset or ear bud while driving and talking on the phone to allow you to keep both hands on the wheel. A variety of "hands-free" accessories are available at Verizon Wireless stores throughout the New York/New Jersey metro area or at the company's online store (www.verizonwireless.com ), free of shipping charges. Whenever possible, pull off the road before dialing. Pre-program frequently dialed numbers and never take notes or write down phone numbers while driving.

Stay In Touch

When you're away, the folks at home will want to hear from you. A check-in call when you've arrived at your destination will let loved ones know you're safe.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 18 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless company was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. The new company will have 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. Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is 30,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more Verizon Wireless information at www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter.