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(Washington, D.C.) - U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen today announced that her request to help the City of Rochester upgrade its emergency communications system has been approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Shaheen secured $135,000 for the project, which will allow the city to install a wireless communications system for use by its emergency responders.  These funds were included in the Fiscal Year 2011 Commerce-Justice-Science Appropriations bill, which is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. 

"Our first responders do an outstanding job keeping our communities secure, and we should do everything we can to provide them with the equipment they need to continue doing their job safely and effectively," said Shaheen.  "This assistance will help ensure that Rochester is well-prepared to respond to emergencies, and that its first responders can communicate with each other when they most need to." 

"How well you communicate determines how well you do your job, and this system will ensure our emergency teams can work together in the toughest environments and situations imaginable," said Rochester Fire Chief Norman Sanborn. "We understand what's at stake during an emergency and communication is key to getting a tactical advantage or even the number of lives we can save, and the use of a microwave system provides emergency responders with confidence to know that critical communication links will consistently be available and operational. Thank you to Senator Shaheen for supporting this project, and we are hopeful that the Senate will pass this bill soon."

The new communications system will allow responders to communicate even during situations when phone lines are not working.  The project will also upgrade the entire analogue radio system in the city's Public Works department with new base stations, vehicle radios, and portable radios to facilitate the department's critical role in storm-related and other emergencies.