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Election officials to share cell phones

By Adam Allington, KWMU

07/16/07 – The St. Louis Election Board says it will lend its 160 cell phones to first responders during emergencies. The board uses the cell phones during elections. The rest of the time they are not in use.

Fire Chief Sherman George is the Chief says the phones will be an asset and could have been used during last year's severe storm which knocked out power for over a week in some areas. "In case of a large of emergency, man-made or natural, certainly we're going to need some more and to have that extra resource is important to all citizens and the St. Louis Fire Department." George says.

George says the phones have a digital two-way radio service that often works when other cell networks are jammed.

Chris Goodson, chair of the St. Louis Police Board, says the phones would have come in handy during last year's storms as a way to communicate with national guardsmen. The cell phones will be available to metro police, the fire department and City Emergency Management Agency. The phones will not be available to outside agencies during election cycles.


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