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Sprint shows off emergency equipment to Valley police

A satellite truck offered by Sprint is shown. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Valley police agencies met in Glendale on Tuesday to check out the latest in emergency response communications equipment.

Representatives from Sprint showcased equipment designed to get communications back up and running in the event of an emergency. Sprint's Tanya Lin-Jones said the equipment can help answer several questions.

"How we can restore communications at a 911 center if it were to go down in the event of an emergency or a disaster or a terror event type of thing," she said. "How do we restore communications at a large national corporation so that they can get their point of sale systems back up and running?"

Lin-Jones described the largest piece of a equipment that was on display.

"We have a satellite truck. We can drop it anywhere and create a cellular bubble of coverage. We can tie it into our existing Sprint coverage as well, so that we can bring coverage into those devastated areas."

The equipment would cost the agencies about $6,000 dollars per month and Lin-Jones said that could be reimbursed by FEMA.

Sprint is taking the equipment on a 23-city tour to show it to police and fire agencies.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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