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  • I got the cash

    Now i want a TIC!!!!! What did you guys look for when you purchased your TIC? What are the limitations? Where won't it work? Can you look in the water and find a warm body? Somebody told me they don't work when looking through glass. Any help would be appreciated, did anybody set up a check list?
    BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
    Fire Fighter/Driver
    TLVFD, NY

  • #2
    First of all,Breath!!! We use a Bullard TIC, it does have it's limitations,No you can not look through water or glass, what you are viewing when you use the TIC you see the thermal energy coming off objects, We looked at many different makes and models and felt that the Bullard was the right choice to fit our needs, there are many sites out there and many companies out there, so my best advice would be to do lots of research, buy what suits your needs and don't ever forget that the TIC canNOT replace firefighting knowledge and experience...STAY SAFE!
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

    Comment


    • #3
      First off...

      ...RescueHoppy...My condolences to OFD and Mr. Gavin's family. OK, Congrats on getting the cash. Both MSA and ISG have some very good general information on TIC's at their web sites. Study it well and make sure you ask a lot of questions of the salespeople when they show off their product. One thing I've noticed a lot regarding salespeople in the fire service product field is usually they either know their stuff or they're full of it. If you get more "I'll have to check on that" than real answers, be careful. If you get mostly answers, they probably know what they're talking about and you just happened to come up with a couple questions no one's thought to ask before. My FD just formed a committee to begin fundraising efforts to purchase one. We have one on our "wish list" for our FIRE Act grant request, but you never know. The same committee will also decide which one to buy when/if we get the money. A couple things we've already decided are necessary for whatever we buy are:

      -A loaner program, either with the dealer or the manufacturer, one with the dealer is better, no waiting for the loaner to come from the factory. After a little research I noticed a couple of companies really play up a 48 hour turnaround time on repairs and if they can't get it fixed in that time THEN they give you a loaner. The thing they don't mention is it's 48 hours once THEY have it. Who know's how long it will take between a dealer rep picking it up and getting it to where it needs to get repaired, and then once he gets it back getting it back to you. I've noticed they seem to make a more concerted effort when they're "on the hook" for that loaner they left with you than when they have to drop it off when their in the neighborhood.

      -Capable of transmitting the picture. Whether you jump in with both feet and get all these bells and whistles at once or just get the camera to start and get the rest later, it's a good idea to have this option. You never know, the guy outside watching the picture might catch something when you take your eyes off the picture to make sure you don't fall through the floor or something.

      You also want to know a company's track record on repairs, etc. What are other FD's in your area using and are they happy with what they have. Talk the their purchasing committees and ask them what they would do differently if they had it to do over.

      Just a few things to keep in mind.
      Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

      Anything found in my posts is soley my opinion and not representative of any other individual or entity.

      You know that thing inside your helmet? Use it wisely and you'll be just fine.

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank You

        tripperff,Thank you for your condolences, It's been a long week, but It has defentialy been a boost having the support of all our brothers, I was amazed to see the amount of people and trucks that came to the funeral it was defenitaly a morale booster for our department
        NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
        IAEP Local 152
        "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: I got the cash

          Originally posted by TLFD40
          Now i want a TIC!!!!! What did you guys look for when you purchased your TIC? What are the limitations? Where won't it work? Can you look in the water and find a warm body? Somebody told me they don't work when looking through glass. Any help would be appreciated, did anybody set up a check list?
          In general, thermal imagers see through nothing. They do not see through water, nor through glass. A few sales people out there will try to trick FDs into thinking that video overlay allows a TI to see through glass. It does not. It uses a video camera to see through the glass...pay $1000 for the video camera or use the eyes God gave you for free.

          For additional guidance on choosing a TI:
          http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...Eval/index.cfm

          If you have specific questions on different types of technology or features, contact me at [email protected]
          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).

          Comment


          • #6
            Thermal imagers

            For (triperff)and any others that may be advising commitees on TIC purchases. While there may be several good reasons to purchase the picture transmit option for TICS, the reason you mention specificaly is not a good one. It could be possible that your scenario may occur however, the wise choice is to provide the inside user with the proper training to recognize hazards and navigate safely while using the camera while inside. Any user with extensive experience and/or proper imager training would back me up on this. This is one of those things that "sounds good" or "looks good on paper" so to speak, in practical use though, your safety and survivability odds when using a TIC are directly related to your training and your good or bad habits when your the one "inside", using the camera in the hazardous environment. So, along with JB's accurate advice on video overlay, consider this advice and don't be fooled by promises of unlikely possibilities. Stay safe and good luck with your decision process. JF

            Comment


            • #7
              How many types?

              Bullard
              ISG-firecam
              Argus
              MSA

              any other brands out there????????
              BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
              Fire Fighter/Driver
              TLVFD, NY

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How many types?

                Originally posted by TLFD40
                Bullard
                ISG-firecam
                Argus
                MSA

                any other brands out there????????
                The four largest brands are Bullard, Scott, MSA, and ISG. There are others as well. Links to all the websites are available on:
                http://thermalimager.bullard.com/links/index.cfm
                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).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello All,

                  First let me apologize for my disappearance, I believe it has been over a year since my last post on the Forums as “TIman”. To catch everyone up I made one of those life altering decisions and decided to leave Bullard as their TI Training Manager and get back to the “Streets” as the Training Officer for the St Matthews FD. My compliments to Jonathan and Gary who picked up the ball at Bullard and have been running with it since my departure. Needless to say the last couple of months have been real crazy, but things have settled a little and I made the decision that it is time to “get back into things”.

                  In reference to TLFD40’s question of Which One?
                  That is the million dollar question (literally for the manufacturers) and every time you ask that question you will most likely get a different answer to it.

                  I have been in over 30 different States and 6 different Countries doing training on thermal imaging and every time I asked someone why they bought a particular thermal imager I pretty much got a different answer. Some of the more common responses included:
                  It was what another Dept had purchased or recommended.
                  It was the cheapest or the lowest bid price.
                  It was sold by the rep who sold the Dept all of the other equip they buy.
                  And my 2 favorite responses of all time,
                  “It was the BEST!” or
                  “We have absolutely no idea why!”

                  If you look at the material that I put together on the Bullard website:
                  http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...Eval/index.cfm
                  http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...jun01art08.cfm[/url]
                  you will see that I believe that there are some key areas that you need to look at.

                  Durability - you need to have a TI that will work under some of the harshest conditions that can exist. I have seen thermal imagers dropped down 3-4 flights of stairs, caught in heat conditions that melted trim off of gear, dropped into standing water, and used to break out windows. While you should NEVER intentionally abuse a TI, in the Fire Service abuse is going to happen, and some units can take the abuse while others will stop working the first time they see any adverse condition.

                  Design That Works – if you have seen and used different thermal imagers, then you know some of them were designed by engineers who wear white coats and live in labs, while others were designed by people who wear turn out gear and crawl through hell. You need to make sure you can use the unit in zero visibility, with gloves on, wearing an SCBA, to include activating the unit, changing batteries, and using any other features. Also remember the “KISS” (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle, take the one firefighter than can never do anything right and make sure they can use the unit. If it takes reading from an instruction manual, having a degree in engineering, or the perfect conditions to make it work then its not going to work at 3:00 AM in a burning building. Also make sure any feature you add on a unit is truly worth something and it is not just a “Bell or Whistle”. I would estimate that 70-80% of the thermal imagers that have transmitters are never used, 70-80% of people who use a temperature measurement feature do not truly understand how it works, and about 50% of firefighters do not use a TI because the unit is to complicated for them to figure out. Remember the chrome on the fire truck may look great during the parade, but it doesn’t make the fire go out any faster.

                  Service & Support - there is no question sooner or later the unit is going to need service, the question is how will it be handled. Get any “promises” on service, such as a turn around time and a loaner in writing. Also make sure you understand what is REALLY covered under the warranty. You also need to find out what other forms of support you will get in areas such as fund raising or training.

                  MOST IMPORTANTLY! - If you want to know how good a unit is don’t ask the sales rep, if you want the real answer see for yourself firsthand, and remember you can’t evaluate a unit standing up in an air-conditioned office wearing pants and a t-shirt. Also you need to talk to a number of current users, but also make sure they are using the units frequently under realistic conditions and not just letting them set on a truck. Also make sure you talk to at least 1 or 2 users who have had a problem that needed service or support and see how it was handled. Any good rep with a quality unit will provide you with a list of current users for you to contact.

                  Buying a unit is major step that does not always go the way it should. I know some Depts. that have units that they use successfully on a daily basis, and other Depts. that can’t get a firefighter to pick a unit up because they don’t value them or can’t keep them on the trucks because they are always out for service.

                  Good Luck, If anyone has any specific questions drop me an email.

                  Mike Richardson
                  [email protected]
                  Last edited by torichardson; 09-18-2003, 04:09 PM.
                  Mike Richardson
                  Captain, Training Officer
                  St Matthews FD, Louisville KY
                  "aka TIman"
                  [email protected]

                  TI Training = www.safe-ir.com

                  The information and views above are in no way associated with my employer, and are strictly my own.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Helmet mounted have some disadvantages:

                    1- Anywhere from 2-4+ inches from what your eyes would normally see
                    2- Since it is attached to your helmet, tendency to leave it down and rely on it to see
                    3. Cannot show it to fellow firefighters as you can with handheld
                    ------------------------------------
                    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
                    ------------------------------------

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Okay sorry about this but I need to contradict what I said in the above post. I was just thinking about the Cairns Helmet Mounted, I totally forgot about the new Morning Pride Helmet Mounted TIC. It is very small and light. But you still might have problems with using it full time to see. But this camera doesn't have that big screen apparatus in front of you.
                      ------------------------------------
                      These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
                      ------------------------------------

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        We demo'd the Scott and the Bullard TICs and IMO, found the Scott to be a better TIC. Scott is easier to use when crawling and has a little bit better imager. After demo'ing them for about a month, we purchased the Scott. On an interesting side note. The Scott rep was so confident the resiliency that he held the thing out to his side and dropped it on the concrete. Picked it up and the thing worked like a champ.


                        ] Print this out when demo’ing/researching TICs for your Department

                        I have used the Scott in combat and it works great!
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by bolivas203; 11-08-2004, 01:46 AM.
                        Stay alert and be safe.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          We also bought a Scott, they are very good when crawling to do a search. Also with the big screen and the nice and bright display helps. They are very durable as stated above, our salesman wasn't quite confident enough to drop it like that though.

                          This is a little off why you would buy a certain brand and has very little to do with it, but our station is on the edge of town and we get alot of deer coming into town. So one night I felt it was important to see how far away you can see a Whitetail deer with it, the farthest one i could see was apprx 550 feet out, and showed up as just a dot on the screen. I was impressed that it showed up as well as it did, could still tell movement didn't quite have a shape though. Still can't get the chief to let me take it deer hunting though. lol

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can only say this about the Scott "crawling" camera, 99% of the time, when actually using the TIC, I am not crawling...I am walking. Other question on it, how easy is it to pan around a room and up to the ceiling and keep the correct orientation? I haven't tried one of them so I'm just a little curious.
                            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Bones,again we're on the same page.I'm a player on the "traveling circus" in the Maine TI training program.You don't look at the camera when you're crawling(or at least you shouldn't).Scan the area,pick a point and move to it.Rescan,pick a point and move to it.I've used them all in the program,never once has the T3's lense "dragged"when crawling and there is no perfect camera.Service is a major consideration when purchasing.Proper training is a must,otherwise you WILL develop "tunnel vision"IE having the camera constantly to your face.The mfgs have good links to information but one needs to evaluate several offerings with people familiar with ALL TI's to make a truly educated choice. T.C.

                              Comment

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