Portsmouth Crossing Guards Connected for Safety

Portsmouth Crossing Guards Connected for Safety

Verizon Wireless Donates Pre-Programmed Phones to City's School Crossing Guards

August 22, 2001




Each day of the school year, crossing guards from the city of Portsmouth's police department are dispatched to various intersections to protect the city's children. This school year police, medical and other emergency assistance is only a phone call away thanks to Verizon Wireless.

On Friday, August 24th at 11:00 A.M. Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, will present five wireless phones and service to the city of Portsmouth Police Department. The phones will be pre-programmed for 911 and the city's emergency service line.

"Having immediate and reliable communications with emergency services is vital to the safety of the city's children and our crossing guards. Verizon Wireless' donation of phones and service is greatly appreciated, and will certainly be put to good use," said Portsmouth Police Chief Bradley Russ.

David Ruggieri, manager of the Verizon Wireless Communications Store in Manchester, New Hampshire will present the phones to Chief Russ at City Hall in Portsmouth. "Giving back to the communities in which we do business is important to Verizon Wireless, and I'm honored to be part of this donation to the people of Portsmouth," said Ruggieri. Also present at the ceremony will be Portsmouth Mayor Evelyn Sirrell.

"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," said Bob Stott, president of Verizon Wireless' New England Region. "These phones will ensure they can summon help immediately. By augmenting 9-1-1 service with a hotline to the police, Verizon Wireless hopes to cover many kinds of emergency situations, allowing guards to report suspicious activities as well as life-threatening emergencies."

As part of its ongoing commitment to community service, Verizon Wireless puts wireless products and services to work helping communities through its HopeLine® program. The program collects used wireless phones, refurbishes them, and provides funds for the donation of new wireless phones and airtime to domestic violence victims through human services and law enforcement agencies.

According to the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, there were more than 51 million emergency calls placed from wireless phones last year. "It's my sincere hope our crossing guards will not have to make any emergency calls this year, but it's reassuring to know help is only a call away," said Chief Russ.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 28 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 97 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.