How Verizon is teaming up with first responders to fight COVID-19

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As the world is facing COVID-19, Verizon 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 preemption abilities for voice and data where necessary.

“During an unprecedented crisis of this nature, no need is more critical than communication – whether it’s between loved ones or between first responders and healthcare professionals who are on the front line, staying connected is absolutely vital for everyone’s safety and protection,” said former NYPD and LAPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton. “As a police commissioner of the nation’s largest cities and today as a private citizen, I have the opportunity to work with Verizon. I know that their network, their technology and most importantly their people will be there to support first responders when they need them most.”

So far, 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.

Verizon’s fiber optic and wireless networks have been built and engineered to perform during moments of crisis. We are closely 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 currently leading more than 120 engagements in the United States of portable cell sites, WiFi hotspots, 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 like managing quarantines 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 911 traffic

In addition, COVID-19 has led to increased call volumes for governments and public health organizations. To assist, Verizon has added tens of thousands of conference lines to enable connectivity with coworkers and with the public served.

Verizon is also working with organizations to configure integrated voice response (IVR) systems that efficiently route calls, helping to better manage incoming calls. It is also standing up virtual call centers that enable agencies to add additional agents.