BELLEVUE, WA — Concrete residents, Joe and Jean Crouch, and Verizon Wireless will be honored at an awards ceremony at the annual Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association (CTIA) Foundation dinner, June 5 in Washington, D.C. Attended by Members of Congress and wireless industry leaders, the Wireless Samaritan Awards honor individuals from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico whose use of a wireless phone in an emergency resulted in a safer community, prevented a crime or, as in this case, led to a dramatic rescue.
While on a recreational single engine airplane flight from their home in Concrete, their airplane engine failed in mid-air and the couple prepared for an emergency landing. While Mr. Crouch attempted to land the plane safely, Mrs. Crouch reached for her cell phone and called 9-1-1 for assistance. The plane quickly lost altitude and crash landed into trees on a remote mountainside.
Although the plane sustained major damage, the couple survived. Mrs. Crouch suffered numerous cuts and broken bones, as well as a concussion, which sent her into shock. Mr. Crouch who had a crushed ankle, broken knee-cap and torn rotator cuff, took the phone and stayed on the line with the emergency dispatcher to provide directions for rescuers.
Within an hour, the dispatcher and emergency crews were able to narrow down the couple's location through the use of the wireless phone and transport them by ambulance to the hospital.
"We were spared many hours or even days of pain and suffering by being able to talk to the 9-1-1 dispatcher," Mrs. Crouch said in her account of the couple's ordeal. "We're very thankful that our cell phone worked in the mountains where we had this accident."
"Verizon Wireless is delighted to bring to these modern-day heroes the recognition they deserve," said Kelley DeLaney, Verizon Wireless Pacific Northwest Region President. "Joe and Jean's actions proved that the day-to-day value of a wireless phone in terms of convenience and usefulness, is surpassed only by its priceless value when a life is in danger."
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 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 96 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.
About the VITA Awards
First presented in 1993, the VITA Awards are given to individuals, nominated by their wireless carriers, who exemplify the importance of putting safety first, as well as the meaningful role individuals and wireless phones can have in emergency situations. The 2001 Wireless Samaritans were selected by a national panel of judges comprised of law enforcement and emergency response professional assembled by CTIA.