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Con Edison Media Relations
Contact: D. Joy Faber
Telephone: (212) 460-4111

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2000


(New York, NY) - Two hundred lifesaving devices today were presented to the New York City Fire Department by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison) [NYSE: ED] to assist firefighters handling severe electrical emergencies caused by downed power lines.

The eight-foot long devices, called “Hot Sticks,” are used only when a situation exists that poses an immediate threat to human life. The rods have aluminum alloy clamps on the end of a non-conducting pole that enable the user to safely grasp, control and secure live wires. In addition to the “Hot Sticks,” Con Edison provided a training video to the Fire Department.

“Con Edison and the Fire Department both have a long history of providing a safe environment for New York City residents,” said Kevin Burke, president of Con Edison. “We are proud of our close working relationship with the city’s firefighters and are pleased that today’s joint effort will further enhance our commitment to public safety.”

“As first responders, we are extremely aware of our responsibility to maintain a well-trained and well-equipped workforce,” said Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen. “Working with Con Edison to provide “Hot Sticks” is a logical partnership that benefits all New Yorkers.”

Von Essen and Burke attended the special presentation at Ladder Co. # 1, 100 Duane St., Manhattan. Ladder 1 is the first ladder company, and first tower ladder company in the United States. It has been housed on Duane Street since 1904.

When placed into action under the direct order of a Fire Department incident commander, firefighters using the bright orange, seven-pound “Hot Sticks” must wear authorized electrical lineman’s gloves. The gloves must be able to withstand a minimum of 35,000 volts of electricity. By contrast, it takes 120 volts to power a common household appliance like a toaster or microwave oven.

For years, Con Edison field crews have used various models of “Hot Sticks” during field emergencies. “Hot Sticks” may be used to move a power line draped over a car with passengers trapped inside. Extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, heavy rain or ice storms are the primary causes of fallen power lines. Secondary causes, such as tree limbs or other debris on the lines, are also attributed to downed lines.

Con Edison is a subsidiary of Consolidated Edison, Inc., one of the nation’s largest investor-owned energy companies, with approximately $9 billion in annual revenues and $16 billion in assets. The utility provides electric, gas and steam service to more than three million customers in New York City and Westchester County, New York. For additional financial, operations and customer service information, visit Con Edison’s web site at

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