Of course, this is not a realistic means of equipment acquisition. With the changes we have seen in 2009 and the way things are shaping up for 2010, you are as likely to receive a thermal imager (or other critical equipment) from the North Pole as you are from other sources. The continuing...
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There are, of course, no easy answers. The economic challenges facing the U.S. fire service are unprecedented in recent history. We have seen the perfect storm of funding issues in 2009. Tax-base erosion, declining revenues, less charitable giving and massive reductions in traditional grant sources leave most departments to fend for themselves. The safety net has been removed. While not in the habit of simply pointing out problems (I much prefer providing solutions), when it comes to the issue of budgetary support of equipment purchases, there are no easy answers.
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.