Phones And Network Aid Firefighters In Southern Colorado

What: Verizon Wireless engaged its Crisis Response Term (VCRT) to respond to a request from the U.S. Forest Service for additional cell phones and to boost wireless coverage for emergency personnel battling the wildfire near Westcliffe, Colorado.

The Medano Great Sand Dune Monument National Park fire has spread over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and threatens to burn more public and private property.

Expanding coverage and capacity to an existing cell site 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: A Network Repeater and 50 emergency wireless phones were dispatched to Westcliffe, Colorado, Sunday evening, June 20.

Where: The U.S. Forest Service Command Center established in Westcliffe, Colorado.

Why: Verizon Wireless deploys mobile cell sites – or boosts the call-handling capacity of existing sites – to enhance its network when there is a natural disaster or other unplanned event. In the past year, Verizon Wireless has deployed mobile cell sites and other equipment to wildfire incidents around the country. Additionally, the company has provided hundreds of wireless phones with service to aid public safety officials and others.

Network Investment: Verizon Wireless invested more than $109 million in its Colorado network in 2009. The company’s ongoing network investment now totals more than $900 million in Colorado and $59 billion nationally since its inception in 2000.

Reliability: In addition to its fleet of mobile equipment, Verizon Wireless’ reputation as the nation’s most reliable network is supported by industry-leading redundancy and maintenance measures. This has proven particularly valuable during natural disasters and other emergencies across the country.

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 Wireless Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 81,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NASDAQ and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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