New York Senator Airs Unified Fire/Police Radio Plan

May 23, 2004 -- Police, firefighters and EMTs should adapt military communication techniques and technology when responding to emergencies, Sen. Chuck Schumer said yesterday.

Schumer is introducing a bill to establish a new agency responsible for keeping rescue workers on the same wavelength.

The city agency would be a prototype for the planned Homeland Security Signal Corps, which Schumer said is modeled on the Army Signal Corps. Half of the project's initial $50 million budget would go to the city.

"We already have the best police and fire departments. This will make us even better," Schumer said.

The departments were clearly not on the same frequency when Schumer called yesterday's press conference. Fire officials showed up, but the NYPD was a no-show.

City officials declined to comment on Schumer's proposal.

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