Chelan County, Washington, Fire Chief, Sheriff To Discuss Wildfire Preparations/Preview Communications Equipment

SEATTLE, WA — WHO: Fire Chief Randy Johnson, Chelan CountySheriff Mike Harum, Chelan CountyCraig Matthews, Director of Network Operations, Verizon Wireless

WHAT: An overview of Chelan County preparations for this summer's wildfire season. A tour & demonstration of Verizon Wireless' state-of-the-art, self-contained mobile cell sites ready for rapid disaster response in Washington.

WHEN: 10:30 -11 a.m., Thursday, May 19, 2005

WHERE: 3440 6th Ave. S, Seattle, WA

WHY: As the state prepares for the possibility of wildfires during a hot, dry summer, Verizon Wireless stands ready to respond rapidly should a wildfire threaten wireless service or damage key communications equipment needed to aid firefighters and residents in an emergency. Last summer Verizon Wireless deployed a state-of-the-art Cell on Wheels at the request of Chelan County, so that emergency responders could communicate within the fire zone. In 2003 and 2004, Verizon Wireless invested more than $160 million to further expand and enhance its wireless voice and data network in Washington, and safeguard network reliability. Standard Verizon Wireless network reliability features include battery back-up power at all facilities as well as generators installed at all switching facilities and many cell site locations. Each year, Verizon Wireless invests on average about a billion dollars every 90 days in its national network.

VISUALS: Three 25,000 lb. Cells on Wheels (COWs) featuring retractable masts — 30 and 60 ft. tall — antennas and emergency power generators.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 45.5 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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