Firefighters Must be Protected from RF Radiation at Wireless Sites
January 5, 2018
In times of emergency, firefighters in their line-of-duty protect all of us as they battle residential and commercial structure fires. Commercial structures in highly populated urban areas host much of the nation’s wireless cell sites. This dynamic creates an additional and rarely mentioned hazard to these brave men and women: RF radiation injuries from transmitting antennas.
Firefighters unknowingly work in close proximity to antennas as they routinely cut through the roof of a structure to better control a fire.
Firefighters routinely work in close proximity to RF antennas on the rooftop of commercial structures. Often their duties involve cutting through the roof to reduce the impact of fire gases and heat on trapped persons inside and prevent explosions.
Firefighters are trained and equipped to protect themselves from the harmful effects of a fire. However, nothing is provided to protect them from brain injuries caused by RF radiation. These injuries can manifest as depression, anxiety, memory loss, uncontrolled mood swings, sleep disorders, and diminished cognitive function. Since RF radiation is tasteless, odorless, and invisible, a firefighter may be injured from RF radiation and never be able to connect the dots from the RF radiation exposure to exhibiting a difference in personality.
Firefighters have already raised a red flag when it comes to RF emitting antennas. In 2015, a conflict arose in Los Angeles regarding placement of wireless antennas on LA Fire Department buildings. The United Firefighters of Los Angeles City (UFLAC) objected to the placement due to the close proximity to firefighter living quarters.
Yet, while UFLAC held concerns over the station-mounted antennas, the hidden danger of RF radiation from antennas in the field is far greater to firefighters. We owe it to our firefighters to protect their health from RF radiation as they are protecting us all from hazardous fires.
Currently, firefighters do not have the ability to determine if an engaged structure hosts cell antennas or how to modify access routes to work safely. However, NA&TSC offers this critical information. NA&TSC provides detailed RF safety information to allow firefighters to act efficiently and safely while performing their duties. Carriers are notified through the NA&TSC proprietary software of a fire at their cell site and if necessary, antennas can be powered down/off for firefighter safety.
Protecting our nation’s firefighters is essential. By adopting the NA&TSC gold-standard RF safety solution, firefighters will be equipped with the knowledge and patented protocol necessary to keep themselves safe while working near RF transmitting antennas.
American firefighters and their families support the National Antenna & Tower Safety Center’s RF radiation safety solution.