NYNEX launch training program for firefighters; joint initiative to help ensure quick emergency response to NYNEX automated central offices

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NEW CITY, NY -- Rockland County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef and NYNEX today unveiled several new initiatives including a training program for firefighters to ensure a swift response in the event of an emergency at NYNEX automated central offices in Rockland.

The action comes a year after a fire at the Orangeburg central office damaged telephone switching equipment, leaving many residents and businesses without telephone service for several days. (A central office serves as a local hub for transmitting telecommunication traffic.)

Since then, County and company officials have worked together to improve emergency notification procedures, develop training for firefighters, and create a "rapid entry" plan for the company's nine automated central offices in Rockland.

"This marks the first time that government and business have come together for a project of this kind in Rockland. We owe it to our residents and our community's businesses to help ensure that they receive the services they need," stated County Executive Vanderhoef.

Meredith Pera, NYNEX Vice President an General Manager-Midstate, said the teamwork by County and company officials over the past year has been extraordinary. "We've worked closely to develop a consistent, more effective approach to emergency readiness that will benefit the Rockland community. We are delighted to be taking part in such an important initiative."

Under the joint plan, NYNEX's internal fire alarm systems will signal company officials and the Rockland County Fire Control Center at the same time. In addition, firefighters will be able to gain easy access to a central office without having to wait for a NYNEX official to arrive at the scene.

As part of the training program, firefighters will become familiar with the layout of a central office and learn when and how to disconnect power in order to safely extinguish a fire.

"NYNEX has introduced many new initiatives in the past year that will help us do a better job of responding to an emergency," said Gordon Wren, Rockland County Director of Fire and Emergency Services. Wren, who played a key role in the development and implementation of the changes added, "We also appreciate the company's efforts in helping us develop a training program for our emergency forces."

Wren said the training program was developed by outside experts working with Rockland County Fire Training Instructors and NYNEX employees. These experts will present the initial training program for the county's fire chiefs and line officers. RCFTC Instructors will then present the program to all volunteer firefighters throughout Rockland.

"By improving these emergency procedures NYNEX has done an outstanding service to the people of Rockland," added County Executive Vanderhoef.

NYNEX is a global communications and media company that provides a full range of services in the northeastern United States and high-growth markets around the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand, Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The Corporation is a leader in the telecommunications, wireless communications, cable television, directory publishing and entertainment and information services.


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