The 70 retired and active firefighters from Scranton, Dunmore and Wilkes-Barre are claiming that Federal Signal made and sold siren models Q-Siren and e-Q2B that exposed them to “loud, excessive and harmful noise levels,” including “high intensity sounds within a narrow frequency range,” pitch and decibel levels that can cause permanent hearing loss.
The allegations include claims of negligence because the firefighters assert Federal Siren failed to inform consumers about a “shroud” device the company had under development that, when fitted to sirens, reduced rear-ward noise and brought them into compliance with acceptable sounds levels for firefighters traveling on fire apparatus.
The complaints, each of which is seeking at least $50K in damages, are not the first Federal Signal has faced. In the past several years, firefighters from across the country have filed similar lawsuits.
The cases were filed after tests of the 70 firefighters displayed a characteristic hearing loss of certain high frequencies. “We had all of them tested and all came back with same high frequency hearing loss,” an attorney for the firefighters said. “In the trade, they call it a firefighter’s notch.”