WALNUT CREEK, CA — It's wildfire season. This weekend, Verizon Wireless will help Nevada County firefighters stay connected during the annual Wildland training in Grass Valley, California. More than 400 firefighters from Yuba, Nevada, and Placer Counties are expected to participate in the drill. To ensure adequate coverage during the exercise, Verizon Wireless will set up a portable cell site, or Cell on Light Truck (COLT), nearby.
Increasingly, firefighters and other emergency responders are using wireless phones to communicate as they battle raging fires, since wireless technologies enable communication over longer distances than many two-way radios. Often, local and state officials call upon Verizon Wireless, the leading U.S. wireless company with the nation's most reliable voice and data network, to provide this vital communications link.
Verizon Wireless maintains a fleet of generators, mobile Cells on Wheels (COWs) and COLTs to assist during emergencies by either enhancing existing coverage or establishing a wireless network where none had previously been operating. When linked to the company's network the COWs and COLTs can handle thousands of wireless calls per hour and create a wireless network spanning miles of burning acreage.
"We work year-round to ensure that our network is ready when natural disasters hit," said Jack Tang, executive director of network for Verizon Wireless' Northern California and Nevada region. "We are committed to network reliability and to supporting the efforts of the firefighters and emergency crews."
The Verizon Wireless Significant Event Response Team (SERT) also maintains more than 200 phones at the ready to loan to fire, civil defense and other agencies responding to community emergencies.
For more information about Verizon Wireless, visit www.verizonwireless.com.
*Broadcast-quality video footage of the Verizon Wireless COW in use in Georgia is available in the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
High-resolution stills of the Verizon Wireless COW and COLT, are available in the Verizon Wireless Image Library at http://www.verizonwireless.com/news.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon 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.