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New York - NYC Wants to Remove Emergency Alarm Boxes

Published on: June 26, 2010 11:27 PM
By: AP
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New York - New York City officials have asked a federal court for permission to abandon an old-fashioned alarm system that predates the days when people dialed 911 from their cell phones to summon help.

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The city now spends $9 million per year maintaining a network of 15,000 emergency street boxes. They allow people to alert emergency dispatchers by pushing a button or pulling a lever.

Use of the boxes has dropped by 90 percent in the past 15 years, and false alarms outnumber true emergencies 9 to 1.

But a court blocked the city from getting rid of the boxes in 1996 because of the potential impact on deaf residents.

Advocates say that for people who are hearing-impaired, the alarm boxes are still valuable.

The city’s request isn’t expected to be decided for several months.



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Read Comments (15)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jun 26, 2010 at 11:33 PM Anonymous Says:

The city is broke and they are wasting nearly ten millions dollars a year on these old fashioned boxes. For a million or two, they can buy hearing aids for those who insist on keeping these old alarm boxes.

2

 Jun 26, 2010 at 11:35 PM Anonymous Says:

So they'll go to Court at a price tag of how much? Then how much to dismantle them? So the savings will be HOW MUCH, exactly???

3

 Jun 26, 2010 at 11:54 PM Use Your Head Says:

Oh please. For a fraction of the $9 million, the City could give emergency-use cell phones to every deaf resident who doesn't already have a phone for texting etc.

4

 Jun 26, 2010 at 11:57 PM newyoker Says:

I think its extremely not smart to do what there doing cause I don't have. A cell phone and what happens when I have an emergency

5

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:00 AM Anonymous Says:

I have called 911 from my cell phone for an accident in Yonkers but was transferred to NYPD and from there on hold to another agency and it took quit a while until they got me the appropriate police department on the line. Had I pushed the emergency button out in the street, it would ring right away at the station in charge.

6

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:38 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
newyoker Says:

I think its extremely not smart to do what there doing cause I don't have. A cell phone and what happens when I have an emergency

so how old are you? if you dont have a cell phone you must be in your 90s
go get yourself a cell phone

7

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:42 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
newyoker Says:

I think its extremely not smart to do what there doing cause I don't have. A cell phone and what happens when I have an emergency

You pick up a regular phone, or you ask anyone else to lend you a cell phone to call the fire department. Then you go get yourself a cell phone.

8

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:44 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I have called 911 from my cell phone for an accident in Yonkers but was transferred to NYPD and from there on hold to another agency and it took quit a while until they got me the appropriate police department on the line. Had I pushed the emergency button out in the street, it would ring right away at the station in charge.

No. You were probably on the highway, crossing from Westchester to the Bronx. There are no call boxes that you could reach from the highway anyway.

9

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:49 AM Ah Nechtager Tug Says:

I realize that the boxes are very useful to some people. I suggest that the city provides portable boxes for these people. So if you see a person walking his fire alarm box, don't be surprised.
This will save the city enough money, to leave the current boxes and maybe add a few more for people who find it hard to push those red alarm boxes around town.

10

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:56 AM Anonymous Says:

This issue will fall on deaf ears.

11

 Jun 27, 2010 at 12:58 AM SOCIALISM IS A DISEASE!! Says:

Reply to #5  
Anonymous Says:

I have called 911 from my cell phone for an accident in Yonkers but was transferred to NYPD and from there on hold to another agency and it took quit a while until they got me the appropriate police department on the line. Had I pushed the emergency button out in the street, it would ring right away at the station in charge.

granted that is a problem with cell phones. you never know which "tower" you are being routed thru.

12

 Jun 27, 2010 at 03:11 AM Anonymous Says:

First they should cut down on these stupid cops giving tickets and keeping dunkin doughnuts in buisness then worry about this!!! Next thing I know they are cutting down on street lamps cause people have cars!!!

13

 Jun 27, 2010 at 09:32 AM Anonymous Says:

Those old alarm boxes remind me of the old police call in boxes which were prevalent prior to 1970, prior to the cops being given mobile two way radios. The old fire alarm boxes predate the 20th century. They should all be scraped; vandals use those boxes to send false alarms. Every other city requires people to use a telephone to call for emergency services.

14

 Jun 27, 2010 at 10:10 AM Floridian Says:

New York is bass ackwards. Every thing they do is prehistoric.

15

 Jun 27, 2010 at 02:27 PM Lady Gaga Says:

In the words of the chahchomet, Lady Gaga, "you're not gonna reach my telephone!"..NY is backward on man y things, including this red box which has alot of red tape. Maybe you should dial '311' on your cell phones (during davening) to get the '411" on these outdated boxes. When will they have meetings to rip out the extra fire hydrants which take up valuable parking spaces?

16

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