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Photos courtesy of Bullard
Photo 3. Firefighters review the objectives for a drill prior to entry. Note that even though the drill may not be TI specific, they have their TI in the ready position.
Drill 3: Building Evaluation
This drill is designed to improve members’ image interpretation and size-up capabilities with the imager. This can also be done at the firehouse or while out testing hydrants or buying groceries. Have members use the TI to examine several buildings (photos 2A and 2B). Discuss how the building construction may be evident on the TI. Discuss why various buildings show certain heat signatures. Ensure all members keep in mind the effects of the sun, especially during the day or shortly after sunset. Discuss how rain, snow or building construction could be hiding heat from your imager. Try to determine why certain items appear hotter than others on the building.
While training in fire environments is important in your TI education, few fire departments get extensive time in practice burns. These “firehouse drill” tips, which don’t require a burn tower, should help firefighters get more opportunities to improve their image interpretation skills (photo 3).
Jonathan Bastian is the thermal imaging training manager at Bullard. He leads the training team, whose primary effort is to educate the fire service on the safe and proper use of thermal imagers. Bastian is certified as a thermal imaging instructor by the Law Enforcement Thermographers’ Association (LETA), the international public safety organization specializing in thermal imager certification and training. He is also a member of the NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Service Training. Educated at Brown University and licensed as a high school teacher in Illinois, Bastian served 12 years on the North Park, IL, Fire Department, including the last three as a captain. As health and safety officer, he led the development and implementation of the department’s rapid intervention team SOG. Bastian is a certified Fire Instructor I and Firefighter III, and he spent 12 years as an EMT-I/D. He has taught classes on thermal imaging, rapid intervention teams, and search and rescue operations. Bastian is happy to answer any questions about thermal imaging; contact him at email@example.com.