Vermont Supplying Communications Equipment to Puerto Rico
Waterbury, Vt. – The state of Vermont is sending much-needed communications equipment to Puerto Rico to assist the island in hurricane recovery. The loan of temporary equipment is being made through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC).
Vermont is sending 86 compact radio access network units to Puerto Rico to support communications systems. The units are small-cell antenna systems that will provide voice and text service to mobile phone users. These will be in use until permanent communications destroyed by Hurricane Maria can be rebuilt.
“Vermont has been looking at all requests for assistance from Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida, and other states,” said Governor Phil Scott. “We’ve answered the call multiple times, and now we’re happy to be able to offer vital equipment that will improve communications for responders, relief workers, and the public. I appreciate the work of those across the state who have allowed us to respond to and support these efforts.”
This is the eighth time during this hurricane season Vermont has provided resources or people to areas recovering from hurricanes through EMAC. Three missions are current and five have been completed:
- Aviation crews from the Vermont National Guard for air movement of personnel and equipment, and search and rescue – U.S. Virgin Islands;
- Three Public Affairs Officers from the Vermont National Guard – Puerto Rico; and
- 86 compact radio access network units to expand communications recovery – Puerto Rico.
- Vermont Task Force-1 Urban Search and Rescue – Texas;
- Vermont National Guard Public Affairs personnel – Texas;
- Eight Vermont National Guard Communications Operators to the Virgin Islands;
- 21 Vermont National Guard personnel to provide medical services to recovery workers and the public – U.S. Virgin Islands; and
- One Vermont Department of Health employee to assist in coordination of volunteers and donations – Florida.
“Vermont Emergency Management staff has been reviewing every EMAC request that has come in to determine if Vermont can offer assistance, and we will continue to do so,” said Vermont Emergency Management Director Erica Bornemann. “Whenever it has been logistically possible, state and local responders have been eager to volunteer for the effort.”