Sprint will support over 30 participating agencies with well-trained emergency personnel, interoperable wireless devices, and equipment and network services
AUSTIN, Texas & BROWNSVILLE, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May. 27, 2009--
As the Atlantic Hurricane season begins on June 1, Sprint (NYSE:S) will
continue its long history of supporting Texas’s first responders and
public safety agencies in crisis situations by serving as the official
wireless communications provider for two concurrent emergency training
exercises that will simulate rescue and recovery efforts following a
Category 3 hurricane. These exercises are:
For these two events, the Sprint
Emergency Response Team (ERT) will deploy three Satellite Cell on
Light Truck (SatCOLTS), hundreds of Nextel Direct Connect® devices, and
various ERT personnel to facilitate interoperable wireless
communications among the dozens of federal, state, and local relief and
response agencies and military units.
DICE to play critical role in ensuring interoperability
DICE is the only DoD exercise whose principal purpose is to generate
joint interoperability certifications. Participating agencies are given
a series of interoperability testing, training, and transformation
exercises with a primary focus of mitigating operational risks by
thoroughly testing technical and communications systems in a realistic
joint tactical network. Over 30 federal, state and local government
agencies and military units will participate, including the Texas
“Over the years, the Texas National Guard has consistently relied on
Sprint’s wireless network, Emergency Response Team, and Nextel Direct
Connect® service to communicate during hurricanes and other emergencies
that may threaten our state,” said Brian Attaway, deputy J6/plans chief
for the Texas National Guard. “In fact, last year we started using
Sprint’s mobile navigation services, and we’ve been more than pleased
with the results.”
The Rio Grande Valley Counts on Sprint during hurricane season
While the DICE is being held in Austin, officials in the Lower Rio
Grande Valley will hold a hurricane drill for the first responders of
Cameron, Hidalgo and Willacy counties on the South Texas coast.
“We’re confident having Sprint and its Emergency Response Team provide
mobile communications for the Lower Rio Grande exercise will demonstrate
how valuable their service will be to us this hurricane season. Sprint
is a model of how a wireless carrier should perform, respond, and
partner with public safety during a hurricane,” said Cameron County
Judge Carlos H. Cascos, CPA.
Sprint Emergency Response Team provides critical support
Created in 2002, the Sprint ERT is the only organization in the wireless
industry made up of full-time, seasoned staff with experience in fire,
Emergency Medical Services (EMS), law enforcement, military
communications and commercial network technology. The Sprint ERT will
support both Texas exercises this week.
Sprint ERT members train throughout the year for worst-case scenarios,
provide business and first responders with immediate access to mobile
communications for emergencies and field training exercises, and
maintain a 24-hour hotline, 365 days a year, to rapidly address client
needs. Sprint’s ERT has conducted more than 2,800 deployments for more
than 700 public sector and enterprise agencies across the country; 28
presidentially declared disasters; seven national security events; and
dozens of hurricanes, including:
Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike (2008).
The 2005 and 2009 Presidential inaugurations in Washington, D.C.
The 2008 and 2004 Democratic National Conventions and Republican
The 2004 G8 Summit and the D.C. Sniper Task Force (2003).
Additionally, to ensure critical communications are available to its
Texas customers this hurricane season, Sprint invested more than $105
million in expansion and enhancements to its Nationwide Sprint Network
and Nextel National Network in 2008, including:
Network investments of more than $4 million in South Texas, more than
$33 million in Houston, $19 million in the Dallas-Fort Worth region
and $11 million in San Antonio.
Pre-staging Sprint’s ERT, network and business continuity personnel in
hurricane-prone states with mobile devices for public safety agencies,
and additional portable generators, SatCOLTS, and Cell Sites on Wheels
(COWs) that can be deployed to restore wireless service quickly for
customers and disaster response efforts.
Making “clean” energy efficiency a priority in its network management
and resiliency during hurricane season by installing more than 60
hydrogen fuel cell generators at cell site locations across the
Houston area. Installed between 2005 and 2007, these cells provide a
much cleaner alternative to diesel-powered backup generators and are
activated when service from the local electric utility is disrupted
during severe weather or during other natural disasters.
For more information about Sprint Nextel hurricane preparation efforts,
or to learn what you can do to prepare for a major storm, visit www.sprint.com/hurricaneinformation.
Public safety officials seeking information about services from the Sprint
Emergency Response Team should call 1-888-639-0020 or email ERTRequests@sprint.com.
ABOUT SPRINT NEXTEL
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline
communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers,
businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel is widely recognized for
developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including
two wireless networks serving more than 49 million customers at the end
of the first quarter of 2009; industry-leading mobile data services;
instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a
global Tier 1 Internet backbone. For more information, visit www.sprint.com.
Crystal N. Davis, 571-288-6806