Thermal Imaging in 2009 - A List of Resolutions

Ideas to Improve Firefighter Safety and Operational Efficiency  Happy New Year! Hopefully you have made your resolutions for 2009 and are well on your way toward making them a reality. Lose weight, get out of debt, quit smoking, exercise more or seek a...


Ideas to Improve Firefighter Safety and Operational Efficiency   Happy New Year! Hopefully you have made your resolutions for 2009 and are well on your way toward making them a reality. Lose weight, get out of debt, quit smoking, exercise more or seek a promotion. Whatever your goal, I wish you...


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Use your thermal imager to evaluate buildings during pre-plans or fire inspections. Investigate thermal impressions you do not understand. Develop an extensive understanding of what the imager is doing and how it is doing it. A thermal imager is just a tool. It is not magic. It simply shows temperature differences in order to reveal a displayed image. That image must then be interpreted by a firefighter. The imager is never wrong in what it displays, but image interpretation can be way off. The only way to avoid these misinterpretations is to train and practice. If you are a company officer or training officer, it is incumbent upon you to adopt and implement this resolution.

So there they are. Four simple resolutions to make sure you and your thermal imager have a successful 2009. Get one if you don't already have one and seek outside funding such as grants, private donations, and fundraisers if you need to. Use it on every call. Your TI is not valuable sitting in the charger in your apparatus. It is valuable when it's working and contributing to a successful outcome. Inspect it every day to make sure that it enjoys a long life. Train with it once a month to maintain proficiency and help avoid errors. It's as simple as that.

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 brad_harvey@bullard.com.