Tahoe Firefighters Stay Connected While Battling Angora Blaze In California

WALNUT CREEK, CA — Local firefighters battling the Angora fire in South Lake Tahoe, California are relying on an enhanced Verizon Wireless network for their communications. After fire officials relocated their command center to Heavenly Ski Resort, the company boosted wireless coverage and capacity in the area to help ensure that emergency responders can communicate with each other during this crisis. As a result, the network has handled a 60% to 100% more calls in the area without degrading network performance.

"Verizon Wireless works to make sure that emergency responders can rely on our wireless service during wildfires and other natural disasters," said Jack Tang, executive director of Network for Verizon Wireless in the Northern California and Nevada Region. "Year-round, we focus on improving and maintaining our network so that we're prepared to respond when our customers are most in need."

The Verizon Wireless network is built for reliability in emergencies — such as power blackouts and extreme weather conditions — with redundancy capabilities in place to help maintain services for customers when they need it most.

  • All facilities have battery back-up power and for additional reliability, generators installed at all switching facilities, and many cell site locations.

  • The company also owns a fleet of portable generators that can be deployed to provide emergency power during extended power outages to those cell sites without permanent generators.

  • Verizon Wireless also operates a fleet of "Cell on Wheels" (COW) and "Cell on Light Truck" (COLT), which are fully functional, generator-powered mobile cell sites that enhance coverage and capacity in a given area. A COW or COLT can accommodate both voice and CDMA data services.

For tips on preparing an emergency wireless and home telecommunications plan, visit http://www.verizonwireless.com/news/article/2007/05/pr2007-05-31a.html. For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.

(Editors: Information about Verizon Wireless' preparations for natural disasters, including network information, consumer tips and Verizon Wireless spokesperson information can be found online in the Verizon Wireless Emergency Information Center at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news.

Video footage with helpful tips for consumers to prepare for hurricanes and other severe weather is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.)

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 60.7 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 66,000 employees nationwide. The company is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at 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.