This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Verizon MERIT Hazmat Team Celebrates 20 Years Of Service In Protecting Network Assets

Stock quotes in this article: VZ

NEW YORK, April 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon's elite Major Emergency Response Incident Team, called MERIT, is celebrating 20 years of service as it continues to protect thousands of miles of the company's communications network assets during natural disasters or hazardous materials incidents.

This week, the 30-member MERIT team, which includes eight of the original members, is assembling in the Dallas metro area to participate in Verizon's national disaster recovery and hazmat exercises. Training at the national and regional drills enables team members to perfect their hazmat skills and complete the mandatory annual recertification. Founded in 1993, MERIT was the first such team in the industry.

"Verizon has network facilities that we protect from all kinds of hazards, but we can't always control the external environment," said Dick Price, chief business continuity officer for Verizon Communications. "That's why we created MERIT.  We needed technically skilled communications employees who could be trained in hazardous materials, enabling them to enter an area affected by a hazardous materials spill and complete a network repair. And now, 20 years later, we are still going strong."

MERIT is comprised of fulltime Verizon employees including communications technicians and specialists, building engineers, and environmental health and safety professionals. All team members have daily responsibilities in their specialties and have been trained under Occupational Safety and Health Administration and National Fire Protection Association guidelines, the same certification guidelines used by fire department hazardous materials teams in the U.S.

MERIT members, who are also trained in emergency response management, are authorized to operate at the highest operational protection level, Level A, which allows them to enter a containment zone, wearing fully encapsulated hazmat suits. The team uses multiple tools to detect chemical and radiological contamination.

Through the years, the team has responded to protect Verizon's network assets during numerous events including Hurricanes Sandy, Irene and Katrina; the Colorado Springs Waldo Canyon wildfire; terrorist attacks in New York City and the Washington, D.C., area; floods in Iowa, Texas and Pennsylvania; and industrial fires and train derailments nationwide. The team also deployed to a postal distribution facility in Trenton, N.J., that had been contaminated by anthrax after the September 2001 attacks and successfully re-established data communications inside the contaminated building. (Photos of the Verizon MERIT hazmat team can be downloaded here.)

"During all deployments, our No. 1 goal is safety," said Dennis DeRolf, Verizon MERIT coordinator. "We know we have a serious job to do to repair the network or enter a technical facility, but safety must always come before we do anything at the site of the incident."

With nationwide network operations, Verizon's hazmat team members are assigned to three diverse regions – the Northeast, Southeast and West. Equipment is also staged in multiple locations nationwide for immediate transport by land or by air.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,804.71 -238.19 -1.40%
S&P 500 1,946.16 -26.13 -1.32%
NASDAQ 4,422.0850 -71.3050 -1.59%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs