The International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) opposes cell towers being built near and atop their firehouses, put in place by the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) to improve communication among emergency responders. Firefighters believe the structures represent radiation and other health safety hazards and have they’ve voiced their concerns with the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, reports KABC-TV.
LA-RICS plans 177 towers in total. As of 2016, eight were completed and another 51 were under construction before the project stopped because of the concerns.
Firefighters and residents said they were not alerted of the cell tower construction and oppose the project, which they believe was pushed through before federal funding expired, reports KABC-TV. The board decided to investigate alternatives and ask for an extension on funding from the federal government.
Several veteran firefighters spoke on behalf of their colleagues and area residents during a board meeting, including Lewis Currier, Fire Captain, Los Angeles County Fire Fighters Local 1014 member, and a 29-year veteran. He noted, “I’m speaking out for the health and safety of the firefighters and residents who live there.” Firefighters spend one-third of their lives at the station, and exposure to additional radiation is worrisome, he said, since firefighters are “already exposed to a lot of RF radiation, EMFs and chemicals so much so that cancer is presumptive.”
David Gillotte, President of Local 1014, commented that firefighters who live at the fire station were not made aware of these towers – some as high as 200-feet – before construction, according to the account.
The IAFF Official Position Against Cell Towers on Fire Stations was passed in 2004 and states, “The IAFF opposes the use of fire stations as base stations for towers and/or antennas for the conduction of cell phone transmissions until a study with the highest scientific merit and integrity on health effects of exposure to low-intensity RF radiation is conducted and it is proven that such sitings are not hazardous to the health of our members.”
Watch the video here.
July 7, 2017