What: Verizon Wireless engaged its Crisis Response Team (VCRT) to respond to requests from the U.S Forest Service and local authorities for additional cell phones and to boost wireless coverage for hundreds of emergency personnel battling the wildfires consuming southwest Idaho.
The Trinity Ridge fire has expanded to more than 94,000 acres while Springs and Mustang Complex fires continue to burn. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter has declared a state disaster to support firefighting efforts across Idaho.
Expanding coverage and capacity to existing cell sites in the area enhances wireless coverage so that emergency response teams and other Verizon Wireless customers can make more calls and send more data transmissions.
When: August 2012 -- A temporary Network Repeater was dispatched last week to the Trinity Ridge fire and a Cell-on-Wheels was dispatched today to the Mustang Complex fire. Additionally, 76 fully-activated emergency wireless phones and data devices were delivered to emergency responders.
Where: Near Trinity Ridge fire in Elmore County and Mustang Complex fire in Lemhi County.
Why: Verizon Wireless deploys mobile cell sites and network repeaters -- or boosts the call-handling capacity of existing cell sites -- to enhance its network when there is a natural disaster or other unplanned event.
Reliability: In addition to its fleet of mobile equipment, Verizon Wireless’ industry-leading network redundancy and maintenance practices have proven especially valuable to first responders during natural disasters and emergencies across the country. Standard Verizon Wireless network-reliability features include battery back-up power at virtually all facilities as well as generators at switching facilities and many cell site locations.
Network Investment: Verizon Wireless invested more than $30 million in its Idaho network in 2011. The company’s ongoing network investment now totals more than $257 million in Idaho and $70 billion nationally since its inception in 2000.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 94.2 million retail customers, including 88.8 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 78,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.