Sprint supports California disaster drill
Sprint last week participated in the Los Angeles-based Golden Guardian effort, a state-sponsored emergency-preparedness exercise. The company supplied equipment, personnel and wireless telecommunications service to emergency-response teams as they reacted to a mock 7.8-magnitude earthquake, said Tanya Lin, operations manager for Sprint’s emergency response team (ERT).
“A lot of first responders use our equipment and unless you can simulate all communications—including Sprint Nextel’s–going down, you’re not getting the full effect of what the exercise is going to be,” Lin said. “So, whenever we hear about large-scale exercises, the company asks to participate.”
The Sprint team deployed several technologies during the two-hour exercise, which was designed to test California’s response to an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault. The company activated its wireless service during the drill using a satellite cell site on a light truck (SatCOLT) technology, Lin said.
“We bring highly-trained personnel and equipment like the SatCOLT, a mobile satellite truck,” she said.
The company also distributed its ERT GoKit, which is an emergency supply of 50 wireless phones and service to emergency responders. The phones are equipped with Nextel Direct Connect push-to-talk service. The kit includes phones with multi-bay battery chargers and accessories, while the ERT manages the inventory, packaging, programming, labeling and charging the phones. Lin said the ERT works side-by-side with public-safety agencies and other customers to coordinate communications during emergencies and other large-scale events. In addition, the ERT maintains an inventory of more than 25,000 handsets, along with a fleet of SatCOLTs and IP trailers, and related communications equipment, she said.