Wireless Call Boxes Aid County Motorists
More than 1,600 emergency call boxes located along freeways in San Bernardino County will receive an extreme makeover with GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless phone service funder the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies (SAFE) program.
San Bernardino is the first county in Californias statewide SAFE program to begin replacing the first-generation analog wireless services currently used in call boxes with GSM. GSM is the world standard for wireless technology.
The call box upgrade will improve motorist safety by providing a clearer, more reliable connection when summoning help, transportation officials explained.
It is imperative for the safety of the millions of drivers who travel on the countys freeways that they have the most modern wireless communications technology available to them when using call boxes during emergency situations, said Paul Biane, president of San Bernardino Associated Governments, which serves as the SAFE for the county.
Our upgrade to Cingulars GSM network in call boxes countywide will provide motorists with a clearer, more reliable connection when speaking with our Call Answering Center, said Baine. This will help operators get the information they need the first time, so that help will arrive as quickly as possible.
Each call box contains a battery-powered, solar-charged wireless phone that connects automatically with a Call Answering Center and provides operators with location information. The countys system of call boxes is operated in close coordination with both the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which dispatches police, fire and paramedic services.