When I am looking for column ideas, among the places that I like to turn to are the multitude of firefighter forums on various websites and read what people are posting. If a topic shows up more than once or spans multiple sites, then I assume it to be relevant. This month, I located a topic...
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If you simply turn your thermal imager on and walk around the firehouse while staring at the screen, at some point in any five-minute window of operation, the picture will momentarily freeze. If you turn on the burner on your kitchen stove, let it get hot and then look at it with your thermal imager, you should again notice the image momentarily freeze as the imager changes gains. The point is this: NUC is a normal part of the operation of your thermal imager and is something that every firefighter should be aware of. Most firefighters do not even notice that this phenomenon occurs. It is subtle, quick and generally infrequent; however, there are times when an NUC leads the firefighter to false assumptions of technology failure, operator failure or worse. Get your imager out and try this. Show this to the other firefighters you are working with. The easiest way to avoid misunderstandings is to train for them.
BRAD HARVEY is the Thermal Imaging Product Manager at Bullard. He is a veteran of public safety as a firefighter, police officer and paramedic and is certified through the Law Enforcement Thermographers' Association (LETA) as a thermal imaging instructor. Harvey has worked as a high-angle rescue instructor and is a certified rescue technician and fire instructor. If you have questions about thermal imaging, you may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.