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Consumers Name Crime, While First Responders Rank Natural Disasters as Top Safety Matter

As 2008 hurricane season begins, new survey results compare consumers' and first responders' safety priorities; both say future

SCHAUMBURG, Ill., June 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Motorola, Inc. today released survey findings (http://www.motorola.com/futuretechconsumer) that reveal consumers rank crime as their top safety concern. Results of an APCO-Motorola survey (http://www.motorola.com/futuretech) conducted earlier this year found that first responders named natural disasters as their highest priority. Regardless of the emergency, both groups agree that investments in technology are vital to protect officers and the public they serve.

Marking the beginning of the 2008 hurricane season and National Safety Month, Motorola's new consumer survey (http://www.motorola.com/ftconsurvey), which polled approximately 1,000 consumers nationwide, uncovered the public's top safety priorities for their local communities. In the earlier first responder survey, Motorola teamed with the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) to poll 200 local firefighters, police officers, EMTs and county officials to determine their needs and concerns.

Overall, an analysis of the two surveys revealed that consumers and first responders have different concerns. For example, consumers selected crime and drugs (59 percent) which are immediate in nature and perhaps more frequent as opposed to less frequent events like natural disasters (19 percent). Conversely, first responders picked natural disasters like hurricanes, fires and floods (65 percent) as their top threat.

"During Hurricane Katrina, our communications systems became submerged in water and we were left unable to communicate with other counties to coordinate vital rescue and safety efforts," said Ronnie Cuevas, undersheriff, Hancock County, MS Sheriff's Department. "When a disaster strikes, communication is critical. Today, we've taken measures to ensure we have the technology we need, like a Project 25 digital communications system, so all of our agencies can talk to each other and we can also communicate with other counties to effectively coordinate evacuation, rescue and safety efforts."

Both consumers and first responders felt technology was essential to protect the public during everyday emergencies and natural disasters. In fact 92 percent of consumers believed that investments in new technology were important, with 69 percent ranking it as extremely or very important.

"We are committed to investing in new technologies that are innovative, intuitive and interoperable so that first responders are armed with the tools they need to save lives," said Bob Schassler, corporate vice president, Motorola Radio Products and Solutions Group, Government and Commercial Markets - Americas. "From withstanding harsh weather, fires and floods to improving response times to crimes, we work closely with first responders to develop new solutions."

Yet, only one in five consumers felt that their communities were well funded to purchase these advanced technologies. Similarly, in the Motorola/APCO survey, first responders pinpointed new technology as essential to help them do their jobs.

"Improving communications and providing critical information to emergency responders helps save lives regardless of the emergency," said Richard Mirgon, First Vice President of APCO.

"Plano has made a significant commitment to utilizing technology that helps our first responders better protect our community," said David Stephens, director, Technology Services, City of Plano, TX. "Through the use of our citywide mesh network, our public safety personnel are able to communicate and coordinate incident management better. By extending many IP-based applications into the field, they are able to make better, informed decisions by having more diverse information available at the scene."

The survey also found that consumer confidence in first responders' ability to coordinate and get help from colleagues ranked high. Nearly all consumers (85 percent) surveyed felt their communities were equipped to obtain/coordinate help from other first responders such as Federal agencies, state officials or other counties. In addition, consumers believed their community was prepared to efficiently warn residents to evacuate in the event of a natural disaster with 43 percent ranking their communities as extremely or very prepared to do so.

"Neighboring York and James City counties both had significant gaps in their communications capabilities and decided to build a state-of-the art regional communication system to better coordinate both day-to-day operability as well as interoperability with surrounding governments," said Terry Hall, emergency communications, York County, VA. "In just two years, the interoperable digital technology has been tested and proven time and again. When a fast-moving storm knocked out James City County's 9-1-1 communication center, calls were immediately re-routed to York County and during Queen Elizabeth's 2007 visit, county interoperability helped with federal, state and local governments to secure the area."

Not surprisingly consumers' opinions varied regionally as well. In the Northeast, more people (15 percent) worried about terrorist attacks versus those living in the Midwest, South and West regions combined (7 percent). Consumers in the South and West (22 percent) were more concerned with natural disasters like fires or hurricanes. In addition, southerners are more confident in their communities' ability to warn residents in the event of an evacuation and are more likely to feel that their public safety officials will be able to connect them to loved ones in an emergency situation. This may be a result of evacuation signs, shelters and other procedures that coastal states have employed to help facilitate evacuation.

Access a full report of the survey (http://www.motorola.com/ftconsurvey). About the Consumer Survey

Between April 18, 2008 and April 21, 2008, Opinion Research Corporation (hired by Motorola) conducted interviews of 1,009 consumers 18 years of age or older in the continental United States. The sample was comprised of 504 men and 505 women. The sampling error is plus/minus two to three percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.

About the First Responder Survey

Between November 2 and December 4, 2007, the professional interviewing service, Western Wats, conducted a quantitative survey with 200 public safety officials, sampled from the top 100 MSAs. The sample includes both those responsible for overseeing first responders, and those responsible for managing purchases of technology used by first responders. The survey was conducted through telephone interviews, averaging 20 minutes in length. The sampling error for the survey results reported is plus or minus seven percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

About Motorola

Motorola is known around the world for innovation in communications. The company develops technologies, products and services that make mobile experiences possible. Our portfolio includes communications infrastructure, enterprise mobility solutions, digital set-tops, cable modems, mobile devices and Bluetooth accessories. Motorola is committed to delivering next generation communication solutions to people, businesses and governments. A Fortune 100 company with global presence and impact, Motorola had sales of US $36.6 billion in 2007. For more information about our company, our people and our innovations, please visit http://www.motorola.com/.

About APCO

The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International is the world's oldest and largest professional organization dedicated to the enhancement of public safety communications. APCO International serves the professional needs of its 15,000 members worldwide by creating a platform for setting professional standards, addressing professional issues and providing education, products and services for people who manage, operate, maintain and supply the communications systems used by police, fire and emergency medical dispatch agencies throughout the world.

MOTOROLA and the Stylized M Logo are registered in the US Patent & Trademark Office. All other product or service names are the property of their respective owners. (C) Motorola, Inc. 2008. All rights reserved.

Motorola, Inc.

CONTACT: Steve Gorecki of Motorola, Inc., +1-847-538-0368,
[email protected]

Web site: http://www.motorola.com/

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