April 02, 2009

Sprint Emergency Response Team Demonstrates How Interoperable Wireless and IT Services Can Assist Public Safety Agencies Following an F4 Tornado

OKLAHOMA CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apr. 2, 2009-- Today Sprint (NYSE:S), an industry leader in mobile communications for emergency response and disaster recovery, conducted a live, over-the-air tactical demonstration on how interoperable wireless systems will better serve first responders and other public safety officials during an emergency situation.

The Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT), along with representatives from federal, state and local agencies in Oklahoma participated in this real-time simulation of how to effectively use IP and wireless communication systems following an F4 tornado.

“With a highly reliable network and long history of supporting public sector agencies during disasters, Sprint knows that in times of crisis public safety personnel need an immediate and seamless way to communicate with each other and relay information between the command center and the folks on-the-ground,” said Dan Gillison, director of public sector operations for Sprint. “In particular, with the recent tornado in Long Grove, Okla., it’s important to Sprint that we provide an opportunity to demonstrate the huge benefits of wireless interoperability like this drill did today.”

Since its creation in August 2002, 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:

  • The 2005 and 2009 Presidential inaugurations in Washington, D.C.;
  • The 2004 Democratic National Convention (Boston) and the 2004 Republican National Convention (New York);
  • Hurricane Katrina (2005) and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike (2008); and
  • The 2004 G8 Summit and the D.C. Sniper Task Force (2003)

The Sprint Emergency Response Team (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 ERT is at the forefront of emergent communications and is supported by an active and well trained ERT Reservist program. The group is prepared to quickly support first responders, enterprise organizations and relief agencies year-round with rapidly deployable, scalable and reliable communication solutions including satellite based infrastructure, devices with Nextel Direct Connect® and Direct TalkSM, an off-network two-way radio solution. Sprint’s ERT trains for the worst-case scenario and provides businesses and first responders with immediate access to mobile communications for emergencies and field training exercises. Sprint’s ERT maintains a 24-hour hotline, 365 days a year, to rapidly address client needs.

Another critical resource Sprint provides public sector and first responder teams is the Sprint ERT Go-Kit™. These kits provide businesses and first responders with immediate access to mobile communications tools for emergencies, including fully charged cell phones and wireless broadband cards.

Additionally, this unique group supports federal, state, and local public safety agencies and enterprise organizations each year with approximately 80,000 Nextel Direct Connect® handsets and Sprint Mobile Broadband Cards for their disaster recovery and response needs.

“Over the close to two years that our agency has used the Nextel Direct Connect® handsets we’ve experienced seamless wireless communications during our maintenance and emergency deployments in Oklahoma City and Tulsa,” said Richard T. Newkirk, manager of technology services for the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. “In fact, we’re looking to expand our push-to-talk resources beyond these urban areas by purchasing a Sprint ERT Go-Kit™ for a number of our sites across the state.”

Visit www.sprint.com/ert for more information, or view a short video on Sprint’s ERT capabilities at http://www.sprintenterprise.com/ERT/. Public safety officials seeking information about services from the Sprint Emergency Response Team should call 1-888-639-0020 or email ERTRequests@sprint.com.


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 fourth quarter 2008; 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.

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Source: Sprint

Sukhi Sahni, 703-592-7779
Crystal Davis, 571-288-6806