After the revelation this week that Verizon throttled data service to Santa Clara County firefighters who recently were battling the Mendocino fires, Verizon quickly said it was a mistake and a customer-service issue that had nothing to do with the hot-button issue of net neutrality.

That’s not what firefighters think. This week, they threw their support behind SB 822, the et neutrality bill that’s making its way through the California legislature. The bill, which has already been approved by the Senate, is expected to be voted on by the Assembly early next week.

Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, wrote the bill after the Federal Communications Commission repealed Obama-era net neutrality rules late last year, saying it favored fewer regulations. The repeal went into effect in June.

“The firefighters are now supporting our #NetNeutrality bill, #SB822,” Wiener tweeted Friday. “According to California Professional Firefighters: ‘CPF has come to conclude that if net neutrality is not restored, the effect could be disastrous to the public’s safety.’ Thank you firefighters!”

Wiener’s tweet included an image of a memo of support the California Professional Firefighters, a council representing more than 30,000 firefighters and emergency personnel, has submitted to the Assembly.

“By implementing net neutrality, SB 822 will help prevent internet service providers from throttling, thereby preventing data speeds to be manipulated and, in turn, avoid crippling, or worse, deadly outcomes,” CPF said.

Net neutrality is the principle that all internet traffic should be treated equally. Federal regulations passed in 2015 — after years of legal and political battles — prohibited internet service providers from discriminating for or against certain types of traffic. The rules banned throttling.

In an addendum to a Monday court filing seeking to overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality rules, Santa Clara County Fire Department Chief Anthony Bowden said Verizon slowed internet speeds for firefighters who needed to access information that showed crucial information as they fought the fire. Verizon said the firefighters’ data plan calls for a reduction in internet speed after a certain threshold is reached, but that it makes exceptions for emergencies. That exception was mistakenly not applied in this case, the company said.

Because of that rationale — that the firefighters simply had the wrong type of data plan — some of the lawmakers who are holding a hearing on the matter have been quoted as saying this is not a net neutrality issue.

Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who wrote the 2015 net neutrality rules that were repealed by the Trump administration’s FCC, disputed that in an interview with this news organization Friday.

“What we did was specifically put in the rule the ability to review activities,” Wheeler said. “We called it the general conduct rule. It was based on the concept that you never really know what technology is going to do next, what the marketplace is going to do next. In this era of rapid change, you want to have flexibility to respond to new situations.”

Wheeler also has thrown his support behind SB 822.

“Who would’ve thought that fighting fires requires digital wireless connectivity at high speeds? But clearly it does,” he said.

He added that “the bigger issue here is: Is there oversight over the most important networks of the 21st century? The Trump FCC has washed their hands of any responsibility for this.”