The Verizon Crisis Response Team answers the call in response to Alaskan wildfires

We don't often think about wireless carriers providing more than reliable service, but Verizon is working hard to actively provide emergency communications and opportunities for innovation.

Usually when you think of your wireless carrier you think about your smartphone, how much data you are using, and how much you are paying for service each month. Thus, when I read yesterday's article on Verizon's response to Alaskan wildfires I was encouraged to see Verizon going beyond typical expectations.

As a professional engineer who works on the Alaska Marine Highway System passenger/cargo ferries, I spend a lot of time traveling to and from Alaska. Like many parts of the country, Alaska is dealing with severe water shortages and extremely dry conditions in the forests.

Unfortunately, wildfires are rampant in Alaska this year and responders are doing all they can to protect lives and property. Verizon's Crisis Response Team (VCRT) is helping responders answer the call.

The VCRT provides critical communications in times of emergency with smartphones, mobile hotspots, wireless routers, charging stations, and even mobile cell sites to enhance and expand emergency communications. In Alaska, the team is currently providing smartphones, mobile hotspots, and routers free of charge to crews fighting fires near Willow and Fairbanks.

Verizon provides these emergency services to first responders and local citizens who experience loss of communications during fires, floods, snowstorms, earthquakes, tornados, tsunamis, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. The VCRT works with local, state, and federal agencies in all 50 states.

I also spent a couple hours recently at a Verizon Tech and Innovation Influencer event in Seattle where I learned about the Verizon Innovation Program, new smart and destination stores, emergency response services, and Verizon's active philanthropy efforts with a focus on domestic violence assistance.

I may complain here from time-to-time about wireless service and pricing, so it is great to hear news that a carrier is going above and beyond simply providing service to paying customers.