In the midst of record-setting Alaskan wildfires, the Verizon Crisis Response Team (VCRT) has activated for the first time in the state since launching retail stores last September. The crisis team is currently providing more than two dozen wireless devices, including smartphones, jetpacks (mobile hotspots) and a wireless router free of charge to crews fighting fires near Willow and Fairbanks. The wireless devices were requested by the federal Bureau of Land Management, Alaska Department of Natural Resources and Mat-Su Borough Emergency Services.
During an emergency, first responders rely on wireless more than ever to coordinate efforts in the face of fire, flood, snow and wind storm, quake, tornado, tsunami or hurricane. When the Alaskan wildfires ignited, Verizon network teams immediately began monitoring for any loss of power or wireless coverage at all cell sites—to ensure that residents and emergency crews could communicate.
The company also stands ready to provide mobile cell sites to enhance and expand emergency communications along the fire lines and if necessary, a wireless emergency command center (WECC) to assist citizens who’ve lost power and phone service along with access to computers and printers. The unit also comes with a charging station to power devices.
The VCRT works directly with emergency managers, firefighters and law enforcement at the local, state and federal level in all 50 states, assisting with critical wireless communications and providing wireless equipment and network communications assets free of charge.