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July 19, 2001
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Deb Batten, Aging Services, 441-6156

Emergency Beacons Now Available

Mayor Don Wesely today introduced the Emergency Beacon, a light bulb that can be useful in helping emergency officials locate those in need of help. Aging Services is partnering with the city Police and Fire Departments and the Lincoln Electric System (LES) to make the beacons available in the Lincoln area.

"In rural areas and in some urban neighborhoods, it can be hard for emergency personnel to find addresses, especially at night," said Mayor Wesely. "In some situations, time can make the difference between life and death, and these Emergency Beacons can provide a signal to emergency crews."

The 60-watt bulbs fit in standard porch lights, and are to be used after placing a call to 911. The bulbs are activated by switching the light on and off three times, which triggers the bulbs to flash in a strobe manner. The beacon is visible for up to a mile-and-a-half at night and 125 yards in the daytime. The Emergency Beacon, which retails for $19.95, is available for $8.50 from LES, 11th and "O" streets. Neighborhood associations can purchase boxes of 25 bulbs and have them shipped directly.

Pilot projects were conducted in the Autumnwood neighborhood of Lincoln and with interested users of the Emergency LifeLine Units. In June, 43 beacons were distributed at an Autumnwood Neighborhood Association meeting. About one-third of the Emergency Lifeline Unit users who were contacted have requested a beacon.

The product is recognized by the National League of Cities, the National Crime Prevention Council, McGruff's "Take a Bite Out of Crime" Program and various crime prevention agencies around the country.

Older citizens who would like more information about the Emergency Beacon can contact the LIFE (Lincoln Information For the Elderly) office 441-7070.

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