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Fire Fighters, Evacuees Relying On Verizon Wireless Network, Relief Efforts

Discussion in 'Western US Wireless Forum' started by Andy, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Fire Fighters, Evacuees Relying On Verizon Wireless Network, Relief Efforts



    Network Performance and Free Airtime Making an Impact

    IRVINE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--California fire fighters in the field and evacuees at shelters across the southland are relying on the Verizon Wireless network for help. The company has donated laptops with free internet access and cell phones with free airtime to help fire fighters battling wild fires and evacuees keep in touch with loved ones and obtain updates on the status of their homes and communities.

    None of Verizon Wireless’ cell sites were destroyed by fire. The network is operating at normal performance levels. Less than one percent of cell sites remain out of service in San Diego County, and fewer still in Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. The company has used alternate routes and alternate technology to restore connectivity to isolated sites, has used generators to power sites lacking commercial power and is working to reconnect the remaining sites.

    Support for emergency responders

    Verizon Wireless has donated equipment and service to nineteen government agencies, including fire departments and forestry services. To date, the company has donated:

    * More than 200 cell phones to make free phone calls to help battle fires and to keep in touch with family members
    * 12 BroadbandAccess wireless cards to provide free Internet access
    * 3 Cells on Light Truck (COLTs) to support coverage at the Orange County, Santa Clarita and Lake Arrowhead command centers
    * 1 repeater at the Orange County command center at Irvine Park

    Support for relief efforts

    To assist evacuees, Verizon Wireless volunteers have staffed communication booths at Del Mar Race Track, El Toro High School, Orange Show Fairgrounds, Qualcomm Stadium, Rancho Bernardo Recreational Center and the Ramona Senior Center. Employee volunteer teams are shifted as shelters close and others open. Resources for the booths include a total of:

    * 160 cell phones to make free phone calls
    * 27 BroadbandAccess wireless cards to access the internet for free

    “The devastation caused by these fires is unprecedented. It’s affecting our customers, communities and employees,” said John Palmer, Verizon Wireless Southern California regional president. “We know this is a marathon, not a 100-yard dash. We are committed to making a difference for the long haul.”

    Verizon Wireless’ Southern California campus has been partially closed by smoke odor all week. Emergency and normal business operations continued as customer calls were routed to centers elsewhere in the western U.S. and many employees worked on laptops at home using the company’s own wireless BroadbandAccess service.

    About Verizon Wireless

    Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s most reliable wireless voice and data network, serving 62.1 million customers. The largest US wireless company and largest wireless data provider, based on revenues, Verizon Wireless is headquartered in Basking Ridge, NJ, with 67,000 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 Cell Phones, Cell Phone Plans, Cell Phone Accessories - Verizon Wireless. 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.

    Fire Fighters, Evacuees Relying On Verizon Wireless Network, Relief Efforts
     
  2. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Verizon Donates $60,000 And Free Calling Services To Aid Victims of Southern California Wildfires

    Verizon Helps Keep Evacuees, Responders Connected During Crisis


    10/25/2007

    THOUSAND OAKS, CA — Verizon is stepping up with a $60,000 grant to assist Southern Californians forced from their homes amid devastating wildfires that have swept across the region.

    Verizon is also providing evacuees with a range of free calling services – from cell phones to automatic call-forwarding – to help them stay connected during the natural disaster.

    “Our neighbors are in trouble and we want to help,” said Verizon West Region President Tim McCallion. “Communicating in times of crisis is critical, and obviously many people need food, shelter and other basic necessities. We are providing an array of financial and operational support to those who have been displaced by these devastating fires, and we intend to help make the homeowners, business owners and relief workers’ lives a little easier during this very trying time.”

    The Verizon Foundation will donate $60,000 to the American Red Cross for fire victims, with the grant to be divided equally among the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, San Diego and Riverside county chapters of the Red Cross.

    Meanwhile, hundreds of Verizon employees throughout Southern California are working in shifts round the clock to maintain and restore communications in areas where the blazes have disrupted landline and cellular service.

    “Verizon employees will continue to work tirelessly to enable our customers to make calls and use the Internet on our network, and to meet the special needs of emergency responders and relief organizations,” said John Palmer, president, Verizon Wireless’ Southern California region. “We recognize the value of communications in a crisis, and are proud to serve. It's times like these that we can see the real value of our ongoing investment in our California network --for coverage, capacity, new capabilities and reliability.”

    Steve Young, senior vice president for corporate and government markets for Verizon Business, said, “Verizon stands ready to help our customers in the state of California to ensure their continued business operations during this challenging time.”

    Other ways that the company is responding to needs of residential, business and government customers include:

    * Donating 260 cell phones and 25 BroadbandAccess wireless cards to 16 government agencies throughout Southern California.
    * Setting up banks of toll-free phones for evacuation shelters at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds, Building Gate No. 5, 590 Arrowhead Ave., San Bernardino.
    * Deploying an emergency mobile communications command center at the shelter at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds. The calling command center should arrive later this week at the site, where evacuees and emergency response personnel will be able to make local and long-distance phone calls.
    * Providing a high-capacity data line to the local government agencies operating at the National Orange Show Fairgrounds evacuation shelter.
    * Offering free call-forwarding to Verizon landline customers who have been forced to leave their home or business because of the fires. (To set up the service, residential customers should call 1-800-483-1000; business customers should call 1-800-483-2000.)
    * Installing one cellular repeater to enhance cell phone signal strength and capacity at the Irvine fire command center.
    * Installing one Cell on Light Truck (COLT) at the Orange County command center and one at the Santa Clarita command center to increase cellular network capacity.
    * Deploying employees equipped with 100 Verizon Wireless phones, 20 laptops and seven BroadbandAccess cards to Qualcomm Stadium, El Toro High School, the Orange Show Fairgrounds and Del Mar Racetrack relief centers to allow evacuees to make calls, check email and charge their wireless devices.
    * Verizon Business has set up audio and net conference calls for state and local agencies and educational institutions. The calls will be used for emergency response, to coordinate firefighting strategy and disaster relief efforts, and conduct daily business during the crisis situation. Many of these conference calls have 100 connections or more and are kept as standing calls so emergency responders can dial in for updates throughout the day.

    Despite the widespread fires, Verizon’s Southern California wireline and wireless networks remained largely unaffected Wednesday.

    Fewer than 3,600 landline phones were reported out of service, and only a small fraction of the region’s cell sites had been affected. Some minor outages were the result of direct fire damage to Verizon communication lines and equipment, and others were attributed to drained backup batteries in electronic equipment in areas that lost commercial power.

    Verizon technicians are stockpiling materials and are prepared to enter the affected areas to restore service as soon as fire department officials declare it safe to do so.

    Verizon is encouraging customers to limit non-emergency calls to free up network capacity for emergency agencies and operations. For wireless customers, text messages are an effective way to get messages through with a smaller demand on the network.

    Verizon Donates $60,000 And Free Calling Services To Aid Victims of Southern California Wildfires
     
  3. TelcomJunkie

    TelcomJunkie Bad Handoff Investigator
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    Hahah Sprint says they will donate $50k to the Red Cross, so what does VzW do? $60k!
     
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