New York – NYC Wants to Remove Emergency Alarm Boxes

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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.

    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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    15 COMMENTS

    1. 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. 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.

    3. 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.

    4. 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.

    5. 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!!!

    6. 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.

    7. 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?

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