News Release

Video Available of Verizon Wireless Phones Aiding Residents and Firefighters in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Verizon Wireless Sets Up Emergency Communications Center; Delivers Wireless Devices to Support Emergency Crews Near Jesusita Fire

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Contact Us

May 8, 2009

Heidi Flato
Heidi.Flato@VerizonWireless.com
925-279-6545

Tom Pica
Thomas.Pica@VerizonWireless.com
908-559-7516

SANTA BARBARA, CA — WHO:
Verizon Wireless, the leading wireless company with the most reliable voice and data network, including the nation’s largest wireless 3G broadband network

WHAT:
Broadcast-quality B-Roll of:

  • Comments from Region President Kevin Zavaglia on maintaining reliable wireless service and providing free calls and wireless Internet access for displaced residents seeking refuge at local Red Cross shelters.
  • Comments from Red Cross staff on the importance of maintaining wireless communication services during times of crisis.
  • Comments from firefighters on the critical role wireless communications services play for front line troops.

WHERE:
The B-Roll can be found at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia  

WHEN:
Available immediately

BACKGROUND:
Firefighters in the field and evacuees at shelters in Santa Barbara County are relying on the Verizon Wireless network to stay connected during the Jesusita wildfire.

Verizon Wireless donated wireless modems for Internet access, and mobile phones with airtime to help fire fighters battle wildfires and evacuees contact loved ones and get updates on their homes and communities.

Verizon Wireless has established two Wireless Emergency Communications Centers (WECCs) at Red Cross evacuation shelters in Santa Barbara County. The centers are open to all wireless customers who need to charge their phones, access the Internet or connect with loved ones and employers during this difficult time.

In addition, Verizon technicians are waiting for permission from fire officials to enter the burned area and assess any damage to its networks from the fire, which has been burning in Santa Barbara County since Tuesday. Verizon Wireless technicians have added capacity to area cell sites to keep customers connected as mandatory evacuations of residential and commercial neighborhoods generate spikes in call volume. Backup batteries and generators have powered several sites during intermittent commercial power interruptions caused by the fire.

About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit 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.  

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