Are Brookfield First Responders at Risk Without Cell Tower? Chief Says Yes
Is a proposed 5G Cell tower a danger to the residents of Brookfield?
That question has been a matter of serious debate in town. Concerned citizens and town officials like Tara Carr are against the proposal to put a 5G cell tower at 60 Vail Road. While they've raised reasonable questions about safety and oversight, there is another side to the story.
Brookfield's communications infrastructure is long overdue for an upgrade and our first responders say, not installing the tower could be putting residents in danger. Andy Ellis is the Chief of the Brookfield Fire Department and he told us the F.D. and other local organizations need this tower. Ellis joined us on the I-95 Morning Show, Friday (2/20/23) and had this to say:
"The Fire Department's stance is strictly about communications. It's two things, number one is our radio communications. We're counting on that tower for our new radio upgrade that was approved last year. The bottom line is, the south end of town is a radio dead zone for us. A police officer pulling over a car in the middle of the night or a firefighter in a building in that part of town, there is a dead spot. Actually, we've had the ambulance crews in the Bagelman getting breakfast and the radios did not work in there, we had to call them on the phone."
Mr. Ellis' point was an eye-opening one, it does not take an overactive imagination to envision a number of scenarios where this kind of communication blackout could become deadly. You have the one side saying the tower itself could be a danger to the community and the other says its absence puts us in peril. It begs the question, could there be a communications upgrade without installing a 5G tower? Mr. Ellis addressed that, saying:
"Without that, it is going to be a much bigger cost and a further delay to our communications system."
Additional delays could prove problematic as Mr. Ellis told us there is still an estimated 18 months, to 2 years before the 5G tower is installed.
We are going to follow this story as it develops and provide further information as it is made available. Next week, we'll be speaking with the Chairman of Brookfield’s Democratic Town Committee Aaron Zimmer who is in favor of the 5G tower. If you want to read more about the tower, you can read our earlier articles. We spoke with Tara Carr in December of 2022 and Austin Monteiro in early Feb ('23).
The Brookfield Fire Department's main communications transmitter is on the I-95 broadcast tower and has been there for many years.
FUN FACT #2:
The Brookfield Fire Department once contacted us (I-95) and asked that their name be removed from a bit we did on the Ethan and Lou Morning Show. We did not oblige.
You can listen to our full interview with Brookfield Fire Chief Andy Ellis below. In it, Ellis elaborates on the dangers of a communications blackout and talks about what measures first responders use to get around the dead zone.
Want more Brookfield news? Check out the Ethan, Lou & Large Dave Podcast. The show is available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple and Spotify. The program is the same one we do on the radio but with limited commercials and no music. You can also listen live by streaming the show on the I-95 Rock Mobile app, or tune into I-95 (95.1FM).
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