Verizon Outlines Support for First Responders, Governmental Agencies
Monday, March 23, 2020 | Comments

As the world is facing COVID-19, Verizon said it is partnering with first responders, federal agencies, state and local governments, and public health agencies to deploy mobile network assets to support emergency response facilities, supply emergency wireless communications devices, support communications and collaboration services, and provide mobile broadband services. In addition, Verizon provides first responders with priority and pre-emption abilities for voice and data where necessary.

Verizon has deployed portable cell sites to provide additional network coverage at emergency operations centers (EOCs), coronavirus mobile testing sites and quarantine areas in Arizona, California, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, Texas and Washington states. The carrier said it is monitoring network usage and prioritizing network demand in assisting many U.S. hospitals, first responders and government agencies, as needed.

“The challenges faced by public-sector agencies — many of whom are leading the response to this pandemic on a national level — are unprecedented," said Andrés Irlando, senior vice president and president, public sector and Verizon Connect at Verizon. “For the past several weeks, we've been working with federal, state, local and education agencies to deliver the technologies, solutions and support they need to serve our communities, and we'll continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

In addition, the Verizon Response Team, which supports governments and nonprofits 24/7/365, has been activated since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and is leading more than 120 U.S. engagements of portable cell sites, Wi-Fi hot spots, free charging stations and other devices that help boost network performance and foster communications for agencies involved in response efforts.

First responders and medical teams are using these devices to support critical tasks such as managing quarantine sites and triaging patients, supporting the needs of public health and safety professionals including:
• Quarantine locations at military bases and airports for people returning to the U.S. from abroad
• COVID-19 testing facilities
• COVID-19 triage areas for first responders
• Airport command centers for emergency services
• First responders and medical staff at hospitals, departments of health and public-safety agencies
• State field workers assigned to COVID-19 response
• City event management organizations
• Work-from-home support for fire chiefs and chiefs of police
• Government housing for military families
• Backup smartphones for dispatch and operations centers
• Separate COVID-19 hotlines to divert 9-1-1 traffic

Verizon also added tens of thousands of conference lines to enable governmental agencies to have connectivity with coworkers and with the public served. We’ve also worked with organizations to configure integrated voice response (IVR) systems that efficiently route calls, helping to better manage incoming calls. We are also standing up virtual call centers that enable agencies to add additional agents.

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