Verizon Business Adding Emergency Vehicles To Its Fleet

The service vehicles are equipped with satellite links, VoIP phones, and Ethernet access to help restore communications.
Businesses knocked offline by an emergency will be able to restore communications through Verizon Business' new Emergency Response Mobile Communications Service (ERMCS), Verizon has reported.

The service, announced Thursday, utilizes ERMCS vehicles with satellite links, and each vehicle in the fleet has VoIP phones and Ethernet access for laptops. The vehicles -- in 40-foot and 53-foot configurations -- have up to 24 individual workstations, and each station has its own telephone jack, Ethernet port, and electrical port.

"Obviously, the faster a company can overcome an unplanned communication disruption, the faster it can get back to business," said Diane McCarthy, senior VP of network field operations, in a statement. "To be most effective, ERMCS needs to be incorporated into a larger business-continuity plan."

The emergency vehicles provide local, long-distance, and international calling services, as well as Internet access and fax services. McCarthy noted that the ERMCS can be part of a complete Verizon Business continuity plan. "While the details can vary by company," she said, "a complete business-continuity plan will include a way to re-establish communications."

Earlier this month, Verizon Business introduced its 51-foot mobile command center into the company's emergency response fleet. The mobile command center has a variety of sophisticated communications gear along with space for public officials, public-safety emergency responders, and Verizon employees who can work during events that require their attention.

Verizon ERMCS vehicles were pressed into service in hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as in other emergency situations when communications have been impacted or knocked out.

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