First responders at train derailment utilizing elevated equipment for a strategic aerial perspective in crisis management.

Enhance First Responder Efficiency with Rapid Deployment Telescopic Masts

In the US, 240 million 9-1-1 calls are made every year. What would become of the world without the brave first responders who respond to these calls?

A portable tower or telescopic mast is one of their most important tools in the field. It helps provide a clear line of communication and a real-time picture of what’s happening in an emergency. The best masts don’t require specialized training and are easy enough for one person to deploy in minutes. 

Read on to learn how first responders can use a portable tower to make their jobs easier and safer.

Portable Antenna Tower

Antennas pick up radio waves, a form of light that travels at 186,000 miles per second. They appear as both electric and magnetic fields and create charged particles that move in a current. 

The radio waves oscillate between positive and negative values, and the time it takes them to go from one complete set of values to the other is called a cycle. The number of cycles they complete per second is their frequency in hertz.

This number determines what kind of wave you’re dealing with. The different types include:

  • Medium frequency or MF waves with frequencies of 300 kHz-30MHz

  • Shortwave or high-frequency waves of 3-30MHz

  • VHF or very high-frequency waves of frequencies from 30-300MHz

  • UHF or ultra-high frequency waves of frequencies from 300MHz-1GHz

  • Microwaves with frequencies above 1GHZ

There are 2 types of antennas. Receivers transmit signals into telephone, radio, or TV signals. Transmitters turn the signals they receive into radio waves.

An antenna tower is a structure full of radio or RF antennas. It’s used to transmit and receive voice and data signals for P25, DMR, LTE, wireless broadband & more. It can also have other devices such as cameras attached to it so they can be shot up into the sky to get a better field of view.

Types of Antenna Towers

A telescopic antenna tower works like a telescope by bringing far-away objects or sounds into clearer focus. This larger category can also be broken down into other types; lattice, mast, pole, and portable towers.

Lattice towers are vertical with a triangular or extended box shape. A criss-cross structure of horizontal ladders makes them one of the tallest types.

Mast towers are often referred to just as masts or towers. They’re vertical with a square or circular structure. They increase the height of communication equipment to provide a clear line of sight between transmission sites. They also tend to be extremely tall structures.

Pole towers are made from metal or concrete and elevate components up to 100 feet. They’re flexible and strong enough not to need supporting materials. They typically only reach up to medium height.

A portable tower is the smallest type. They’re easy enough for one person to put up in minutes to use with cameras, two-way radio antennas, outdoor Wi-Fi, LTE signal boosters, and even wireless broadband networks. They may not always reach as high as the other types but still provide many of the same benefits in a rapidly deployable footprint under 100 lbs.

How First Responders Can Use a Telescoping Mast

The list of uses for telescoping masts extends to all types of first responders. They’re important in any situation where command and control is required. The specific end uses for first responders will differ for law enforcement, fire departments and emergency management agencies.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement can use a portable telescoping mast for a broad range of security purposes, including crowd control, special event and tactical surveillance and to improve two-way radio or cellular coverage. The mere presence of a portable tower in an area can also deter criminal activity.


Fire departments can deploy a thermal camera to locate personnel, identify hot spots on the fireground or help map the spread of wildfires. They can even turn the tower itself into an elevated spotlight for improved visibility.

Emergency Management

Emergency management agencies can use a portable tower during natural disasters to gain situational awareness on scene or back in the EOC, to safely zoom in from a distance on a hazmat incident or to stand up mission-critical voice & data communications in minutes. 

A portable tower helps all first responders by providing rapid aerial platform to support their various missions. 

How to Find the Right Telescopic Mast

There are several factors you must consider if you want to choose the right telescoping mast. They include:

  • Ease of deployment

  • Efficiency

  • Durability

  • Mobility

  • Maintenance

  • Total Cost of Ownership

One portable tower balances all of these requirements better than any other to create a high-quality, durable, long-lasting solution that anyone can use just about anywhere.

The RATT, or Rapid All-Terrain Tower, is a portable tower that’s simply powered by the 12v DC accessory port in most vehicles or even a portable power station. All you have to do to deploy it is attach it to a vehicle’s 2″ hitch receiver. It can be used on almost any vehicle, and its adaptability makes it the perfect fit for any team or critical situation.

The RATT works with a wide range of devices such as cameras, antennas, signal boosters, and lights. All of the footage can be live-streamed while securely stored locally in the camera and/or in the Cloud.

The RATT can be set up in 5 minutes, which is half the time it takes for other portable towers. It can be deployed by a single person and requires no special training, which increases its efficiency even further. 

Where to Buy Your Own RATT

A portable mast provides the eye-in-the-sky that first responders need and helps them communicate better. It’s essential when fighting fires, controlling crowds, critical incidents, dealing with special event security concerns, and more.

Making this unique rapid deployment tool portable ensures it’s always available when needed. 

The RATT is the best portable tower because it provides a flexible mission-critical aerial platform to support all first responders. Request a quote today to get your own.

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