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[–] Empire_of_the_mind 1 points 4 points (+5|-1) ago 

This is exactly the takeaway. A fire dept, especially of a county as big and rich as Santa Clara County, should absolutely have negotiated their telecom services. There should, and probably is, a department of people at Verizon who specialize in managing these kinds of accounts. This story appears to be classic PR "getting ahead" by the management of the fire department, who bungled their most critical communication services and got exposed when they were needed.