Florida First Responders Turn to Verizon Business for Advanced Emergency Services Network

For first responders, saving seconds can mean saving lives.

So when Hillsborough County officials wanted to tap the power of communications technology to speed response times in the cities of Plant City and Tampa and in unincorporated parts of the county, and put all the emergency systems under one umbrella, they turned to Verizon Business.

Under a new five-year, $6.5 million agreement, Verizon Business will manage an Internet protocol-based (IP) network linking all of the county's and incorporated cities' E-911 systems with their 72 fire stations.  The new emergency response network - managed round-the-clock through a Verizon Business Network Operations Center - will enable dispatchers to transmit E-911 emergency call information - such as phone number, location and intelligent routing - to one or more fire stations while automatically triggering certain steps designed to get first responders to the scene more quickly.

The automatic triggers include issuing audible alerts for emergency personnel; printing a paper copy with all known information about the emergency and location; opening the appropriate station bay doors for responding vehicles; turning on specific station lights; disabling fire station kitchen equipment; and closing station doors once fire trucks depart for an emergency. These added features will save precious seconds as emergency responders will not have to double-check on the safety and security of their fire stations.

"Emergency personnel need every possible edge, and this new managed solution enables Hillsborough County firefighters to respond more quickly with the most immediate, comprehensive and accurate information in hand," said Ray Wierzbicki, group president for Verizon Business government and education markets.  "By tapping Verizon Business to handle the distribution of emergency response information, the county fire department can even better focus on its core mission - keeping its county residents safe."

Hillsborough County Fire Chief Bill Nesmith said: "For the past 16 years, Hillsborough County Fire Rescue has worked hard to reduce its response time. We hope that moving to this automated system will help us achieve our response-time goal throughout the entire county."

Verizon Business' relationship with Hillsborough County spans decades.  Prior to implementing the new managed network solution, Verizon Business and its predecessor companies provided E-911, voice and data services.

Verizon Business' government and education organization offers state and local agencies and institutions of primary and higher education one-stop shopping for their communications or connectivity needs. The company has built the next-generation services - including IT, security, communications, network and professional services - that are helping to transform the way government customers - and their constituents - do business.

About Verizon Business
Verizon Business, a unit of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ), is a global leader in communications and IT solutions. We combine professional expertise with one of the world's most connected IP networks to deliver award-winning communications, IT, information security and network solutions.  We securely connect today's extended enterprises of widespread and mobile customers, partners, suppliers and employees - enabling them to increase productivity and efficiency and help preserve the environment.  Many of the world's largest businesses and governments - including 96 percent of the Fortune 1000 and thousands of government agencies and educational institutions - rely on our professional and managed services and network technologies to accelerate their business. Find out more at www.verizonbusiness.com.