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  • #16
    I try to avoid this but I feel Firefighter safety may be at stake so here goes.
    First, dropping cameras to show how "tough" they are is a stupid practice. Take any of these imagers apart and you will find the same electronic components inside the different packaging. How many times do you think you'll be able to drop, throw, kick, burn or drown these things before you get five cents worth of plastic circuit board and solder to fail? This in turn with the normal punishment the tool recieves on the fireground has a residual effect on when the camera fails. If it's your butt the guy with the camera is coming to look for during a "mayday", I hope you've taken good care of that unit up to that point.
    Next, I hope bones and 101 are talking about using the camera 99% of the time in good visibility no-smoke conditions! Here is a good rule with and without a TIC. If you can't see your feet, you don't belong on them! I've actually heard salesman that think they're qualified instructors tell people they can use the camera to walk around quicker in zero visibility conditions because the camera "gives you back your vision"! That is dangerous advice folks! I hope that's not the "same page" you guy's are on.
    Last, the camera referenced for the lense dragging is not a T3 but a Tix or Commander. You really need to understand the importance of training on and with the camera or cameras you will be using. Many things can be learned from experienced instructors that are end users. These things include moving "point to point" when necessary and learning to use the cameras viewscreen when advancing while staying oriented when that is a practical tactic. Helmet mounted cameras (at least 4 different makes and models in use or available in the fire service) can be as effective as handhelds when the user is trained on it's specific limitations and capabilities. The point is, every camera has advantages and disadvantages, learn how to safely train on and use yours! Stay Safe JF
    Last edited by JForristall; 11-09-2004, 05:12 PM.

    Comment


    • #17
      JF,I think we've butted heads long enough you should know the only place I walk with the camera is to the entry point.But I don't crawl with it glued to my face either,which is the point I was trying to make.Scan the room high,middle,low and pick your next point;Reality check;do this without the camera and you aren't as apt to lose your bearings.Do your scan again,pick a point,get there.I use the camera to make the job faster and pick out anything "odd"as a "must check".But the camera is an electronic tool,subject to failure so make sure to use your basics to keep you out of trouble.Like walls,shelter points,egress points,odd noises etc.Often in training if someone is becoming careless with the camera we turn it off and see if they can regain their bearings.Gets interesting sometimes.But I've seen the results of personnel being "glued"to the tool and not doing reality checks and it's not pretty.But hey,I'm also glad we got you to shake off the cobwebs,you and JB always make this an interesting forum.I do what I can,T.C.

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      • #18
        I never had any doubt about you knowing what your method was or why you use it. I don't want to see others mis-interpret information they gather here or elsewhere. As far as the salesman goes I don't want anyone thinking I was talking about you. In fact it was a retired guy who went south to FLA. His advice should go south as well. I'm sure your program is good and I'm sure of your experience even more so. I've spoken with people who have gone through your program. As far as "point to point" and "reality checks" I think you'll find we wrote the book on that stuff, if you weren't aware already. I know your about as passionate with this topic as I am. Knowing what we know, isn't it amazing how little emphasis is put on training though? For example, the original post on this topic. Has anyone heard about a purchase decision or more importantly, have they recieved any formal training? I'm not butting heads, though I stand by my comments. Stay Safe JF

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        • #19
          Originally posted by JForristall
          I try to avoid this but I feel Firefighter safety may be at stake so here goes.
          First, dropping cameras to show how "tough" they are is a stupid practice. Take any of these imagers apart and you will find the same electronic components inside the different packaging. How many times do you think you'll be able to drop, throw, kick, burn or drown these things before you get five cents worth of plastic circuit board and solder to fail?
          JF, I respectfully disagree. There is NO independent testing of manufacturers' claims on durability or performance. As a result, fire departments must take on the verification process themselves. They cannot look for the "Certified to NFPA 19XX" label because there isn't one.

          You and I both know that certain models are more reliable and more durable than others; yet they all claim "X foot drop test and 48 hour turnaround." Firefighters need proof. Dropping the salesperson's TI is the best way to get proof. If the salesperson dances or refusees, then what is he saying about his confidence in the TI?

          The components are similar; the packaging is not. Brothers need to evaluate the packaging. Now, once I buy one, I wouldn't beat it up unnecessarily...but prior to purchase? You bet.

          Stay safe.
          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


          • #20
            My point is this, for every salesman that is willing to punish their camera to prove a point, there are a dozen firefighters who are willing to repeat the demonstration over and over again. If you don't think this type of experiment is dangerous and sending the wrong message to an under-informed fire service, you are definately mistaking. I don't argue that customer service is a very important consideration, it is a huge factor. But let's talk about real world here, I've witnessed camera failure on the fireground as a direct result of the kind of abuse I refer to. If you'd like I can be brand and incident specific. I don't think you would appreciate it and I don't feel it's necessary because I think it was a result of the abuse and not the make, model or manufacturer. As long as you disagree with my opinion, perhaps you would like to mention the one way your salespeople are encouraged not to "drop test" the camera. If that doesn't ring a bell with you, let me know and I'll send you a picture of the unit assigned to my Ladder Company, It clearly shows a crack in the case by the handle. I can tell you it didn't get there from crawling around on the fireground. Someone decided to demonstrate how tuff it was after the sale. I'll say it again "Stupid practice". I'll agree to disagree for now. Stay Safe or should I say "be careful out there"! JF
            Last edited by JForristall; 11-09-2004, 10:16 PM.

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            • #21
              JF,We have a gentleman in this State that has made it his life mission to make sure every FD in the State has a camera.Thru his private donations hundreds of cameras have been issued to depts that otherwise couldn't afford one.THERE IS ONE STIPULATION.In order to recieve your camera you MUST attend the Maine Tic camera class(16 hrs).We take the new cameras and they are issued out at the first day of class.Students use them extensively over the 16 hr period in all kinds of situations.We're currently putting together an Advanced class for those who think they know cameras.Still a work in progress but well worth the time we're investing.Now neither class will make you a "camera"expert but at least it will give you enough of the good and bad so you won't hurt yourself.The rest is up to you,and how much time you care to invest to be the "best"in the business.Everyday is a learning day and if you're not learning perhaps it's time to think that thru.Applies to all firefighters and was not directed toward you,I know your track record.I've got a couple spies,Hehe T.C.

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              • #22
                Tic camera class(16 hrs).
                mmmmm, wish we had one of those. NJ, years ago, started a program for every fd in the state to get a camera or the cash equivalent. Their stipulation, instead of training, was to use the state NFIRS program.
                "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?

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                • #23
                  TC, I have my resources also, so right back at you! I'm aware of the program in Maine and have heard (mostly) positive feedback. So keep up the good work! Bones, that program was available in the form of Safe-IR training but I guess at least 1 manufacturer thought it wasn't necessary and convinced the decision makers so. Now you have quite a few departments who are learning about TICs on a trial by fire basis. I just returned from FDIC east in AC, where most students that went through the 4 hour program admitted to learning more in that 4 hours than they have in 2 to 5 years of using on the job. That is outrageous and as far as I'm concerned, extremely dangerous. Unfortunately most firefighters who haven't experienced formal training such as Maine's program or Safe-IR, are in the same boat. That is the norm not only in NJ but the rest of the country and Canada. Stay safe guys, JF

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Morning Pride's camera was designed by the US military and has a proven record with them. It is probably the most user friendly when it comes to crawling as you can keep moving and not need your hands to play with it. Also it is really simple to remove from the helmet and attach to the next guys helmet. You should ask for a demonstration.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Maybe I've missed something in life but I have yet to see what the ability to see thru a camera when "crawling"is.Being a "recycled"dinosaur I have learned to use a camera to do a job I did for twenty plus years without,but I DON'T use the camera when advancing(crawling).I scan the room,pick my next "working" point and advance to it.I then rescan where I've been and where I'm going next and advance to it.In doing extensive training with imagers,I find that those who advance constantly watching the camera are DOOMED if the device stops working.That is to say because they can "see",they advance rapidly without taking landmarks and sometimes off(away)from the walls so when the camera fails they can't find their way out.By using the scan,drop,advance and repeat method,you are constantly doing"reality" checks with your surroundings.As far as helmet mounts,I've used the Cairns unit but I personally prefer a hand held on a sling.This is my preference based on my equipment and the job I have to do.I'm sure this wouldn't fit others ideas of a good time but it has worked very well for us.Oh and for what it's worth,every camera out there has "military roots".We're using second/third generation technology and the military is now on something in the area of nine or tenth generation technology,Jb can correct me if I'm mistaken. T.C.
                      Last edited by Rescue101; 11-13-2004, 01:20 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by JForristall
                        TC, I have my resources also, so right back at you! I'm aware of the program in Maine and have heard (mostly) positive feedback. So keep up the good work! Bones, that program was available in the form of Safe-IR training but I guess at least 1 manufacturer thought it wasn't necessary and convinced the decision makers so. Now you have quite a few departments who are learning about TICs on a trial by fire basis. I just returned from FDIC east in AC, where most students that went through the 4 hour program admitted to learning more in that 4 hours than they have in 2 to 5 years of using on the job. That is outrageous and as far as I'm concerned, extremely dangerous. Unfortunately most firefighters who haven't experienced formal training such as Maine's program or Safe-IR, are in the same boat. That is the norm not only in NJ but the rest of the country and Canada. Stay safe guys, JF
                        The NJ program did have training as a component; I wasn't involved, but I believe that Safe-IR was the primary provider. The reality is most manufacturers do not emphasize training and most firefighters think they don't need it. Afterall, you just push a button to turn on the TI and then look, right? WRONG. Unfortunately, that is a common perception. JF is right: training beyond "here's how you turn it on" should be required with every TI placed into service. The problem exists around the world, not just in North America. Last year, I helped teach three classes in Europe. In 8 hours, they learned more about what TIs can and cannot do, plus safe usage rules, than they did in the years they owned the TIs themselves.

                        Firefighters wouldn't accept new SCBA into service without adequate training; why do we place TIs into service without adequate training? FFs should demand quality training.

                        FYI, another state program is available through the Illinois Fire Service Institute. IFSI has a 12-hour TI program.
                        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


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Rescue101
                          As far as helmet mounts,I've used the Cairns unit but I personally prefer a hand held on a sling.This is my preference based on my equipment and the job I have to do.I'm sure this wouldn't fit others ideas of a good time but it has worked very well for us.Oh and for what it's worth,every camera out there has "military roots".We're using second/third generation technology and the military is now on something in the area of nine or tenth generation technology,Jb can correct me if I'm mistaken. T.C.
                          I don't like to think of the current technology as "generations" because it implies one is better than another. I like to think of them as "families," each with its positives and negatives. That said, firefighters have access to 2nd/3rd families. The military does have some better equipment, but I believe the uncooled handheld stuff is basically of the same composition as firefighters see today. There may be some classified stuff that I obviously don't know about, but the sensitivity and performance of the technology today is pretty top-notch. If you get into cooled/vehicle-mounted units, the military may have a significant leap over what's commercially available. But again, that would be classified and I wouldn't know the details.

                          The Morning Pride TI was designed by a company called Sage (www.gosage.com). MP does the marketing (and perhaps the manufacturing). Sage designs mostly military equipment, but I don't think the design was specifically for the military. It does copy the NVG philosophy of the military, including the use of the green monocular display instead of the LCD system common on other TIs.
                          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


                          • #28
                            JB,You're a "generation"or family whichever you prefer.In my humble opinion 12 hrs is not enough time for a good camera class.Nor is ours at 16.Much better than nothing but you can't really get the total nuts and bolts package into this time frame particularly with 24+ students.That's why we're looking at an "advanced"class to further the lessons once the students get some "hands on" time.I'm guessing in the not too far distant future you'll see these built into the helmets themselves and they will be smaller than anything currently offered.As far as "classified"equipment goes,it wasn't so long ago that what we're using was classified.And I'll bet the Gov. has some neat stuff hidden under that veil.And the Fire service is a "funny"place;about every twenty years or so we seem to switch gears.What was old and "wrong"becomes new and "right".Like smooth bore vs fog.You got to hang around a bit to truly enjoy this.I just hang around to see what's gonna happen next. T.C.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Rescue101
                              JB,You're a "generation"or family whichever you prefer.In my humble opinion 12 hrs is not enough time for a good camera class.Nor is ours at 16.Much better than nothing but you can't really get the total nuts and bolts package into this time frame particularly with 24+ students.That's why we're looking at an "advanced"class to further the lessons once the students get some "hands on" time.
                              I agree that 12 isn't the best...but it gives the students enough knowledge to understand the basics, to recognize what they don't know and to realize they need to practice regularly and develop reasonable SOGs for proper use and training.
                              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


                              • #30
                                Hello All,

                                I will jump in on this one on the “training side”, because I think it is more important than the “which one do I buy side”.

                                I think what went down in NJ when Bullard got the State Contract was a good example of what is going on in a large percentage of the Fire Service when it comes to “Thermal Imaging Training”.

                                At the time I was in charge of Training at Bullard and was tasked with taking care of the training side of the contract. The first question I asked was what “level” of training would be provided to the users in NJ. I won’t get into all of the details of how the answer came about but, but it was agreed on that a 3-4 hour “Basic / Awareness Level / Orientation” class would be provided free of charge. This class would cover the “Basics of Thermal Imaging”, TI Operating Procedures, and Basic TI Applications. I went out to a number of training facilities in NJ and did the first 5 of these “Orientation Classes”. After those initial classes Bullard contracted with the Brothers at SAFE-IR (www.safe-ir.com) to come in and finish up the remaining “Orientation” classes.

                                My hope was that after SAFE-IR did the “Basic Orientation” classes that Depts would opt to bring them back in to do their “Advanced” Hands-On Live Fire Training. I am not sure of the exact number but I believe there were initially less than 5 Depts that actually had them come back in and do the advanced training.

                                Why were there so few Depts that had them come back in? I would guess:
                                They felt like the 3-4 hours of training was all they really needed.
                                They felt like they did not need an outside agency to do the training.

                                I know the Depts decision not to bring SAFE-IR back had nothing to do with the quality of their training because I followed up on all of the training and it got nothing but rave reviews.

                                As SAFE-IR has said for years, “There is more to thermal imaging than knowing how to change a battery”, unfortunately I think a lot of the Fire Service believes that knowing “white is hot and black is cold” is all they really need to know about thermal imaging.

                                How much training do you need? First off I don’t just like sticking a number on it because some people will get it in 4 hours and it will take others 16 hours to get it. I have preached for years that there needs to be “Basic & Advanced” or “Awareness, Operations, Technician” level of training. This training must come from a competent instructor, be TI specific, and include both classroom and hands-on components. I had actually worked up a draft of a potential NFPA Standard along these lines but for a number of reasons I was never successful in getting it brought about during my time on the NFPA Training Committee.

                                Fortunately some folks have been on the same wavelength as me and as a result there has been progress like the programs in Maine and Illinois. Unfortunately I believe there are still thousands of Firefighters out there who have had no formal TI Training and as a result they are not using the life saving technology when they should or are actually misusing the technology and putting themselves in harms way.

                                I hope we can continue to make progress and I am still working on it in a number of fronts.

                                What are your thoughts on the issue of “TI Training”?

                                Do you fell like you have had adequate training?
                                What type of training have you had?
                                How do think this issue can be best addressed?
                                Is this really a legit issue in the Fire Service, or am I just out in left field?

                                Any comments and questions will be greatly appreciated!

                                Good Luck, Stay Safe,
                                Last edited by torichardson; 11-23-2004, 12:37 AM.
                                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.

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