First Responders Should Be All Ears During Better Hearing Month
Research Finds Law Enforcement and Fire Fighters Have Higher Rates of Hearing Loss, Yet Too Few Get the Treatment They Need
POMONA, Calif., May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Whether face-to-face in the field, or over the telephone or radio, hearing is an important part of communication for first-responders – keeping them informed, safe and connected. Unfortunately, these front-line professionals are also at higher risk for hearing loss, and less likely to get the treatment they need to hear their best today and protect from future damage.
A recent survey of 1,500 full-time employees including 100 law enforcement personnel by EPIC Hearing Healthcare (EPIC) found that 52 percent of law enforcement personnel have a diagnosed hearing problem, versus 12 percent of workers overall. An additional 28 percent of law enforcement personnel suspect they have hearing loss, but have not sought treatment.
“While most law enforcement agencies require the use of hearing protection on the range, unprotected exposure to loud equipment, road noise, sirens and other high-intensity sounds still exists,” said Brad Volkmer, president and CEO, EPIC Hearing Healthcare. “It’s alarming – but not entirely surprising – that potentially eight out of 10 law enforcement personnel may have hearing loss.”