Fire Fighters, Evacuation Centers Relying On Verizon Wireless Network In Northern California

WALNUT CREEK, CA — California fire fighters in the field and evacuees at shelters in Northern California are relying on the Verizon Wireless network for help. The company has provided cellphones with free airtime to help fire fighters battling wild fires. The company also provided cellphones with free airtime to agencies managing evacuation centers in affected parts of the state.

Support for emergency responders and relief effortsIn this most recent emergency, Verizon Wireless has loaned equipment and donated service to government agencies, including fire departments as follows:

  • Cellphones to make free phone calls to help battle fires: Fire command centers at Martin Fire in Santa Cruz County and Indians Fire in Los Padres National Forest

  • Cellphones with free service for evacuation center staff and volunteers to keep in touch with family members at the following American Red Cross locations: Martin Fire evacuation center located at Scotts Valley Middle School at 8 Bean Creek Road in Scotts Valley

  • BroadbandAccess wireless cards to provide free Internet access at the Martin Fire evacuation center

  • Network repeater to support coverage at the Martin Fire command center

"The devastation caused by these fires affects our customers, communities and employees," said Rich Garwood, Verizon Wireless regional president. "We are committed to making a difference now and for the long haul. It's one of the reasons we added generators at even more cell sites last year."

Verizon Wireless' reputation as the nation's most reliable wireless network is supported by industry-leading redundancy and maintenance measures, including brush clearance. This has proven particularly valuable during natural disasters and other emergencies across the country. In 2007, Verizon Wireless deployed mobile cell sites and other equipment to more than a dozen wild fire incidents in the Western United States.

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.

About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 67.2 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 69,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, go to: 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