1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Training - whos doing it and where ?

    The Good Stuff,

    I know fire schools will be picking back up as the weather improves, hopefully that will mean there will be some more training going on that includes thermal imaging. If you know of a location and date please post it.

    If you know of a school, but there are no plans to include thermal imaging let me know about it. I have contacts with a number of qualified instructors across the country who would be happy to work with the staff to get a class together.

    Here are some dates to start things off :

    FDIC West
    Sacramento, CA
    March 27- April 2
    Hands on Training “HOT”
    Live Fire
    Large Area Search
    Classroom Sessions
    Thermal Imaging for the Fire Service

    Vision 2000
    Seattle, WA
    March 28-31
    Thermal Imaging for Fire & Rescue

    Fire-Rescue West
    San Jose, CA
    April 3-6

    Also there is a group of fireifghters who have a company called SAFE-IR that do an outstanding job of training on a number of TI related subjects. You can check out the web site at www.safe-ir.com

    Lets generate as much activity on training as we have on the less productive topics !

    Based on my experiances at FDIC some depts are doing an outstanding job, others can use some help. Lets make sure there are plenty of opportunities for everyone to learn all they need to know about thermal imaging.

    "There is more to thermal imaging training than changing the battery"

    Good Luck, Be Safe,

    [This message has been edited by TIMan (edited March 10, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by TIMan (edited March 10, 2000).]

    [This message has been edited by TIMan (edited March 10, 2000).]

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Do any of you current users of TIC’s have any drill suggestions or lesson plans to share. These could be invaluable to others. Why reinvent the wheel. Lets share the wealth! Email me.

    Unfortunately we can’t all get to the burn building as often as we’d like. Any good innovative ideas for in house cold training?

    One idea we’ve played with is using an electric blanket to heat a section of floor to simulate a fire below. Works good on stairs also!

    Rob Donnan
    Captain, Metuchen FD
    President, Jersey Fire & Rescue

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello all,

    Would anyone like to explain why we can get over 25 posts when the topic relates to which thermal imager is better, but we can only get one when the topic is related to TI training ?

    Good Luck, Be Safe,

    A very disapointed "TIman"

  4. #4
    Lieutenant Gonzo
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The company that sold us our Bullard thermal imagers provided training to each group, and then we went out on a search and rescue drill using the TI's in a house that was slated to be torn down. Using a Roscoe smoke machine, we filled the place up with the smoke then went in to search for a "victim" without the TIC then with it.

    I like the idea for using the electric blanket. Another possibility is heat an area using an electric heater to simulate finding a fire hidden in a wall.

    Take care and stay safe...Lt. Gonzo

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello All,

    Thanks for the input Lt Gonzo.

    Some ideas for doing training in the fire house :

    You are obviously going to want to look at a number of things they can include :

    Hidden fire/heat conditions in a wall – Look at the walls in your station and try to identify things like hot water pipes or heating ducts (turn the heat up on high). It is important to know what these friendly things look like so you have a reference point. Also take note of how different types of building construction are affecting what you are seeing. Next you can build a wall prop to look at the non friendly conditions. Build a frame out of 2 x 4 s, build it just like a standard wall, except make it only about 4 feet tall and 6 or 8 feet long. Also, cover the front with sheet rock but plan on removing and replacing the back piece (or pieces) numerous times. You may want to use multiple plywood sections on the back. Set up each channel in the wall differently, put in different types of insulation, leave some uninsulated, put in pipes, ducting, and wiring. You can make some of the stuff active by actually hooking up the wiring, blowing heated air through the duct work (heat gun or blow torch), or filling the pipes with boiling or ice water. Finally build some fires inside the channels or use a strong heat source like a torch or industrial heat gun. BE CAREFULL, and don’t do this in the station if you have an alarm system ! This is a great way to make sure everyone is familiar with what different conditions inside a wall can look like. Also record everything, so you can use it in the future.

    Identify victims and downed firefighters – It is important to recognize that a victim will vary in appearance greatly based on the amount of clothing they have on and the ambient conditions around them. Set up a number of different scenarios to include a victim in shorts and t-shirt, a victim under a blanket, a firefighter in full protective clothing. Also vary the background conditions, use a heater to really raise the temperature in a room, turn the air conditioning down as low as you can get it in the building. Place a victim in front of a strong heater and then behind the heater. If you lack willing victims you can use dummies with heating blankets or hot water bottles. Also vary how exposed the victims are. Bury them under blankets, cushions, debris, etc. You should also look at a wet victim versus a dry victim.

    Identify floor hazards, openings and fire conditions – Look around the station, identify what existing conditions look like, such as a floor drain. Place a heat source in the drain to simulate a fire below grade. As mentioned earlier you can also use a heating blanket on the floor. Also make sure you look at how water looks on different types of floor surfaces. You can also place a strong heat source under a set of stairs, and cover or wet a couple of stairs to black them out to simulate missing stairs. Make sure everyone practices using a tool to judge the distance in front of them and verify what they are seeing. You can also build a floor prop similar to the wall prop to simulate these conditions, use 2 x 10s or 2 x 12s with different types of floor coverings and openings.

    A good drill is to just simply walk through the station or some buildings in your district and identify the different things you are looking at. Note how normal things such as heating appliances look. Note how the different types of building construction affect what you can see and how things appear. Just looking at and thinking about what you are seeing can be a huge part of understanding thermal imaging. It is not as exciting as a live fire burn but it will make a huge difference.

    These are just a couple of ideas, I am sure anyone out there can come up with many more, please share them with the rest of us !

    Good Luck, Be Safe,

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I GIVE UP !!!!!

    I am very glad to see that firefighters are using this forum to gain information on thermal imaging, but

    I find it amusing and intriguing that firefighters are still purchasing a piece of equipment they basically know nothing about. Short of a few magazine articles and one video series there still is very little information being used or available in the Fire Service. I find it even more interesting that many people are still relying almost 100 percent on the information the thermal imaging sales force is providing. Talk about the fox guarding the hen house!

    Of course there have been countless posts here on how to evaluate a thermal imager, it is actually the number one topic of discussion. So is it having any affect and are departments doing better ? In some cases yes, in many others people are obviously still completely without a clue. That may sound arrogant and may upset some people but like it or not it is the truth. I say that because :

    I have been asked numerous times if our unit has an auto focus feature like the Cairns Viper, no fire service unit has an auto focus feature. Is this because the Cairns sales force is spreading non truths or because firefighters don’t understand enough to ask just what really is “super focus”, or both ?

    I have been asked why we put a sliding scale on the MX temperature read out instead of a number, was it because our unit was not accurate to +/- 1 degree like the other units ? No one’s unit is accurate to +/- 1 degree Fahrenheit especially on the fire ground, in a lab under very controlled circumstances maybe, but not in the real world of firefighting.

    I could go on with examples for the next 10 pages.

    So what am I trying to get at ?

    So much of what has been put out here and so much of what is still being put out by the sales force is 100 % crap. If the other manufacturers are so willing to educate and not just sale, why are their web sites full of product literature but have nothing on good solid thermal imaging information ? Why are the sales reps still flat out telling lies ? I average an evaluation burn every other week, and I can give dates, names, and places along with a page of bad information for each one. Why are the manufacturers not including any substantial training with the units ?

    I expect this crap from someone who is doing whatever they need to sale a thermal imager. I don’t expect the Fire Service to fall for this or put up with this crap, but it seems that in many cases we are.

    Why have there been 30 posts put up recently on evaluating thermal imagers, yet only 2 on this topic of training ? Do we not need training ? Are we listening to the sales reps who say not ?

    Why do we fight amongst one another over which unit is better and take sides with a particular manufacturer or sales rep ? Is the manufacturer or sales rep going to show up and pull you out if your unit goes down, or is it the mutual aid department with the imager you thought was a piece of crap ?

    You can’t correctly buy a piece of equipment if you do not fully understand it.

    You can’t read about thermal imaging in IFSTA’s Essentials of Firefighting, thermal imaging is not mentioned in NFPA’s 1001 Firefighter standard.

    You can’t run down to your local training facility and take a class on thermal imaging. (not according to the activity here)

    We can’t expect fire departments to end up with a quality unit and use it efficiently and safely on the fireground with all of the bad information out there.

    So what are we going to do about it ? I am open for suggestions, because right now I feel like many of us are spitting in the wind.

    Just take a look at the recent firefighter fatalities to see how just how badly things are screwed up. Any day now I expect a firefighter to go down with a thermal imager because it was a piece of crap that failed or the firefighter lacked the knowledge to use the unit. That is going to be a real sad day, because it does not have to be that way.

    Wishing we could all come together on thermal imaging to make sure we all go home at the end of the shift,


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