Verizon Frontline has deployed its Tactical Humanitarian Operations Response (THOR) emergency response vehicle to the Fort Myers Beach, FL area to aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. The vehicle is designed to support first responders conducting search, rescue, response and recovery missions.
THOR is capable of private 5G network capability. It features its own private 5G Ultra Wideband mobile network. It offers commercial satellite options, an onboard drone, remote operation by tablet, and other assets.
The Verizon Frontline Crisis Response team has deployed almost 400 Verizon elements across the state, according to a press release. These include drones, smartphones, routers, mobile hotspots, and portable satellite assets.
It is working across Lee County and Polk, Osceola, Hillsborough, Charlotte, DeSoto, and Sarasota counties. Depending on the situation, it has implemented cell site optimization, the use of microwave connections instead of fiber or satellite, and other ways in which to restore and maintain service.
“THOR is one of hundreds of state-of-the-art Verizon Frontline assets and solutions we have deployed across Lee County in particular, and many of the hardest-hit areas of Florida, to support those on the front lines of Hurricane Ian response efforts,” said Maggie Hallbach, the president of Verizon Frontline, in a press release. “As these counties begin to rebuild following the devastation left in Ian’s wake, our focus is making sure first responders have the mission-critical technologies they need in their around-the-clock search, rescue, and recovery efforts.”
THOR – then referred to as THOR’s Hammer — was introduced in August. The company said at the time that it features a nearly 30-foot trailer and is capable of network slicing, which could give each public safety agency in a city its own dedicated bandwidth.
It’s been a late but catastrophic hurricane season. Hurricanes Ian and Fiona both were devastating. Hurricane Ian hit Florida and South Carolina, while Fiona left 128,000 customers in Puerto Rico without telephone, television and/or Internet services weeks after the storm hit, according to the most recent FCC damage report.