Sprint Emergency Response and Network Disaster Recovery Teams provide immediate aid and wireless support to consumers and emergency personnel
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), April 29, 2011 - The Sprint Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Sprint (NYSE:S, news, filings), has made a $100,000 donation to the American Red Cross in support of the recent tragic storms experienced by much of the southern United States. The donation will support the American Red Cross’ disaster-relief efforts to help those affected by tornadoes, floods and other forms of severe weather in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Georgia and Texas.
“Our hearts go out to those who have suffered such devastation in the past 48 hours,” said Ralph Reid, president and executive director of the Sprint Foundation. “Sprint and the Sprint Foundation have been long-time partners of the American Red Cross, and we know that their tireless workers are doing everything possible to aid those affected by this tragedy.”
In addition to the $100,000 donation, the Sprint Foundation is matching American Red Cross donations made in support of the storms made by Sprint employees and retirees and members of the Sprint board of directors.
As it does following any significant natural disaster event, Sprint has deployed backup generators, network engineers, emergency personnel and other critical assets to locations experiencing impact to its networks and to areas most in need of support.
Sprint has permanent generators at all of its wireless and wireline switches – the network components where wireless data and calls are routed to their final destination. In addition, permanent generators are installed at all of the company’s network Points of Presence (POP), the facilities where traffic enters and leaves the company’s global IP network, which facilitates dedicated data services for Sprint’s corporate and government customers, as well as other critical communications. These backup generators have automatic cutover switches to immediately neutralize any loss of commercial power.
Sprint also has a strong track record of providing critical communications and personnel to assist first responders with relief efforts. Sprint’s network and business continuity personnel, along with the Sprint Emergency Response Team (ERT) have deployed Cell Sites on Wheels (COWs) and Satellite Cell on Light Trucks (SatCOLTS) to provide immediate restoration of service and help facilitate wireless and IP communications among disaster relief and emergency response agencies.
In the aftermath of the recent tornadoes in the southeast, the Sprint Emergency Response Team mobilized its assets of seasoned personnel, wireless devices and SatCOLTs to provide wireless and IP service and support to numerous public safety officials and medical personnel, including the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office in Fort Wayne, Ala. and Huntsville Hospital and Trauma Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Sprint ERT maintains a 24-hour hotline, 365 days a year, to rapidly address client needs and, during times of state- and federally declared national disasters, provides 25 mobile devices and wireless service free of charge for 14 days to state and local agencies.
To enhance their on-the-ground communications during major hurricanes, first responders can use Nextel Direct Connect® BlackBerry® devices with Direct Connect® and Direct TalkSM capabilities. Direct Talk-enabled handsets can communicate off-network via push-to-talk with other Direct Talk-capable handsets, completely independent of any wireless network – a critical feature for public safety personnel during emergency response situations.
Additionally, as part of its ongoing work with weather data and hurricane forecasting expert Mark Sudduth of HurricaneTrack.com, Sprint has supplied his team with Sprint 3G and 4G mobile phones and broadband devices to give them fast and reliable mobile Internet connectivity during their online and video reporting during hurricane and storm seasons. Sudduth is based in Wilmington, N.C., and has reported on close to 40 named tropical storms and hurricanes along the Atlantic Coast since 1998.
About Sprint Nextel
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 served more than 51 million customers at the end of 1Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
About the Sprint Foundation
Since its establishment in 1989, the Sprint Foundation has supported community organizations across the country with a special emphasis on K-12 education, positive youth development, arts and culture outreach, and Internet safety. Through direct grants and a robust matching-gifts program for employees and retirees, the Sprint Foundation creatively and thoughtfully delivers Sprint’s commitment to championing the communities where Sprint customers and employees live.