TIC for water rescue?
An incident took place a few weeks ago near us wear a fire company was dispatched for a water rescue. The time was about 5:30 am, an individual attemted to swim across a small lake (Approx. 150 yards). The indivdual never made it to the other side. I wasn't at the call, but as I listened I wondered if they could use their TIC to possible locate the victim in the water. Has anyone tried this before? the water temp. was 69°F, and the air temp. was 48°F. they were on scene within 20 minutes of the victim going missing.
If their victim was still on the surface, It could work. Especially if they could get a look from an elevated point such as the top of an engine or aerial device.
Below the water I doubt it would do you any good because of the reflectivity of the surface. It would prob act just like a pool of water inside a fire building and reflect objects nearby.
A TI will work for surface water rescue with some limitations.
First, the victim MUST be on the surface (at least partially above). Second, as you already have indicated, there needs to be a relative difference in temperature of the victim and the water. The closer the temp of both, the less "bold" the victim will show up. The air temperature isnt as important as the difference in temperature of the victim and the water.
Water will show up in various shades of color, as the different currents, areas of varying depth etc will be slightly different temperatures. There is also reflectivity of other objects off the water. Reflectivity is usually less of an issue although, because the water surface will most often be choppy from wind or currents.
This is a good drill to practice in the firehouse. Take several objects of different temperatures, some that float and some that sink and put them into a big bucket or trough of water (or even a folding dump tank or swimming pool) and see what you observe.
Its a good tool to have, but it has limitations.
I can't take credit for the picture, but I believe it's from a guy that used to post on here a lot, I think from down in Texas area.
Very good example of what a "body" in water looks like to a TIC.
Kentucky, not Texas.
Originally Posted by Bones42
Thermal imagers do not see through water. Period. Once the person goes under, the TI is useless.
Ya, ya, that's it. Kentucky.
Figured YOU would know. ;)