RESTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 15, 2007--Recent U.S. events have brought attention to the growing need for supplemental communications for first responders during large scale events or disasters. In an effort to be better prepared, the Rapid Deployment Solutions Interoperability Project (RDSIP), a public-private partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia and Sprint (NYSE:S) recently secured a $1 million federal Byrne Grant to upgrade tactical communications capabilities in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Through this grant, the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT), will provide an easily deployable and scalable set of voice, video and data equipment, to the public safety community of the Commonwealth, as well as infrastructure and technical support personnel to provide temporary communications during large events or catastrophic loss of communications capabilities.
"This very important public-private partnership between the Commonwealth and Sprint will greatly enhance the state’s ability to re-establish communications during disasters and other emergency situations," said Governor Tim Kaine. "These resources will be available to the Commonwealth immediately, and we are pleased to work with Sprint ERT to have this additional capability to serve our residents during such critical times."
The federal government’s Edward Byrne Memorial Formula Grant Program provides sub-grants to local governments and state agencies to support criminal justice improvements in areas such as drug control, drug treatment and crime prevention. With this grant, the Commonwealth will utilize Sprint ERT’s differentiated suite of rapid deployment solutions to augment their existing communications and disaster recovery plans. Sprint ERT will offer:
- Services - reliable program design, consulting and on-site technical support.
- Training - multiple ERT Field Training Exercise Scenarios, planning and service and field operations.
- Equipment - access to a variety of rugged devices for emergencies and pre-planned events.
- Infrastructure - mobile cellular solutions including Satellite Cell-On-Light Truck (SatCOLT) and Satellite IP Trailer (SatIP Trailer) supporting voice video and data on Sprint’s premier IP network, giving first responders the ability to rapidly augment communications after an emergency or disaster.
- Products and Services - provide access to specialized products, including the RDS Go-Kit(TM), which include the Sprint i355 phones and mobile broadband cards that can be activated quickly for emergencies, drills or exercises; Wireless Priority Services (WPS) which gives first responders the ability to communicate even during times of network congestion; industry leading Nextel Direct Connect and Vehicle Integration to install reliable communications and GPS-based applications in the first responder vehicles.
"Significant events in the last six years, including Sept. 11, 2001, Hurricanes Isabel and Katrina, the Washington, DC Sniper Task Force, and the most recent tragic incident at Virginia Tech, have highlighted the need to enhance communication capabilities, capacity and coverage issues for federal, state and local agencies," says Mark Angelino, president of Sales & Distribution for Sprint. "The Sprint Emergency Response Team is honored to be a part of this project and is looking forward to sharing our expertise, equipment, infrastructure and differentiated services that will enhance the Commonwealth’s emergency communications plan."
The RDSIP will utilize dedicated infrastructure, equipment and personnel to deploy commercial push-to-talk (PTT) technology for voice, video and data services that are interoperable with the existing systems within the Commonwealth. Additionally, the RDSIP will provide the Commonwealth with a self-sustaining and rapidly deployable system capable of providing additional capacity and coverage for critical voice and data systems for law enforcement and other first responders.
To learn more about the Sprint Nextel Emergency Response Team and interoperable communications from Sprint Nextel, you can contact the ERT via email at EmergencyResponseTeam@sprint.com, or call the 24x7 ERT Support Hotline at 1-888-639-0020. GETS Users can reach the ERT at 254-295-2220.
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SOURCE: Sprint Nextel