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  • Thermal Imaging Cameras

    Just curious to know what departments out there utilize thermal imaging cameras. Also looking for policies, procedures, SOPs, etc. What are the most common Fire and Non-Fire uses of this technology? Any success stories? Horror stories? What standards are used for the training? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Originally posted by FireMedAS
    Just curious to know what departments out there utilize thermal imaging cameras. Also looking for policies, procedures, SOPs, etc. What are the most common Fire and Non-Fire uses of this technology? Any success stories? Horror stories? What standards are used for the training? Thanks in advance.
    As far as uses and training, check the Technology section here online as well as the past few years of Firehouse magazine. There are a number of articles on it.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    • #3
      War story:We had a wreck that turned out to be across the county line but were asked to mutual aid them anyway.
      Two people in the car,one deceased and concerns about a third due to an unoccupied child seat in the back.
      The site was just past an overpass and a bunch of vultures had gathered to watch the proceedings when a Captain took the Bullard(I forget the model number now)TIC up onto the overpass to see if any warm spots could be found.
      Of course,someone asked him what he was doing with it and since this guy wasn't too big on spectators,especially ones with "NewsChannel 8"on the cameras,he replied that we had a small chemical spill that could be detected by the device he was using and "If you have any on you,your face glows brightly on the screen."
      The people behind him saw what he could see on the screen and informed their friends that their faces were glowing like he said.
      Everyone cleared out and the Cap finished his sweep of the area and confirmed that it was just the two occupants that we had to worry about.
      Seriously,it came in handy that we were able to find out how many occupants were needing treatment that night.
      Other night searches can be aided if someone on your department hunts and has a IR light used to detect blood trails at night when searching for game that didn't go down immediately when hit just before close of hunting hours.
      Obviously,it gets the most use in finding the hot spots in a fire and to verify that all occupants have left the building.
      I am told that they can detect holes in the floor but the one my old department had couldn't so it behooves the user to not rely totally on it and to keep using the feel around method of staying safe.
      Like any other device,it can fail when you need it the most which means that you should do like President Reagan told Gorbachev and "Trust but verify"what it is showing you.

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      • #4
        Every type I engine in our department is required to have at least 1 TIC. We use the newer version of the MSA handheld (unsure of the model number.) Its policy on all ringing alarms, structure/commerical fires, and Gas leaks to have a firefighter using the TIC.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by RivCo71
          Every type I engine in our department is required to have at least 1 TIC. We use the newer version of the MSA handheld (unsure of the model number.) Its policy on all ringing alarms, structure/commerical fires, and Gas leaks to have a firefighter using the TIC.
          Pretty close to our SOG. The CO is required to step off the rig with the TIC on all incidents you mentioned plus smoke odor invests. The exception is gas leaks. For that we take the gas meter.

          Keep in mind a good use for a TIC is outside search. From searching woods for a lost child to looking for victims in the water.
          Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

          IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

          "No his mind is not for rent, to any god or government"
          RUSH-Tom Sawyer

          Success is when skill meets opportunity
          Failure is when fantasy meets reality

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