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FDNY drill tests wireless technology

By The Associated Press
Monday, April 30, 2007 10:22 AM EDT

NEW YORK - Fire, technology and Port Authority officials tested a new wireless system designed to give first responders fast access to video and other data during a fire drill on Sunday at the World Trade Center site.

Last year, city officials announced they had selected the Northrop Grumman Corp. to build and maintain the multimillion-dollar citywide high-speed wireless data network for police, fire and other city workers.

Some 100 firefighters participated in Sunday's simulated fire at 7 World Trade Center, which stands in the shadows of ground zero in downtown Manhattan. The exercise included 20 mock injuries and a rescue from an elevator shaft, said Joseph Pfeifer, chief of counterterrorism at the Fire Department of New York.

Officials tested sending surveillance video from the building's 50th floor to the network operations center and from there to the fire department's operations center in Brooklyn, allowing them to monitor the scene remotely, Pfeifer said.

“It's important for firefighters to come here - this is a new building - and to be familiar with the building and to practice our procedures,” he said. “This is a good day for the fire department, for our technology department and for the community. (It) reassures the lower Manhattan community that we're there as we've always been.”

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which owns the trade center site, also participated in the drill.
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