Keeping communication lines open during disasters

How the lines of communication stay open during a catastrophic event.

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Monsoon just started this month and we are in the heart of wildfire season and this means natural disasters are a big threat. When these events occur, establishing reliable communication lines are a top priority.

“Communication is critical, especially for first-responders and those that really need to get in touch with our loved ones,” said David Nelson, Verizon operations director.

To ensure lines of communication stay open, Verizon has a fleet of mobile assets they can deploy in less than 24 to 48 hours of the call coming in that they are needed.

“Various cellular cell sites on wheels and these are mobile assets we can roll to a fire in the event of an emergency,” said Nelson.

They have a barnyard of equipment including:

COW: Cell On Wheels

GOAT: Generator On A Trailer

COLT: Cell On Light Truck

PIG: Pull-In Generator

RAT: Repeater And Trailer

HORSE: HVAC On Road-Side Equipment

On many occasions these assets are deployed to help first responders communicate with one another in remote areas of the state. "We respond when possible to provide that service that they need in order to do their job," said Nelson. 

They currently have equipment deployed in Yarnell, after a cell tower was damaged in the Tenderfoot Fire. They have also deployed this year for the Jack Fire and several wildfires in southern Arizona. Right now, they are getting a request almost every week.

The best part for first-responders, Verizon does not charge for deployment. 

So the next time disaster strikes and your signal disappears, know there are teams of people out there making sure your line of communication is restored as soon as possible. 

Copyright 2016 KPNX


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