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  1. #1
    FireFLIRMgr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question Regulating the manufacture & use of TIC's

    I have a lot of experience with NFPA regulations covering SCBA and other safety equipment. Over the years, such regulations have been good in that they have forced improvements in equipment. However, the need for some changes is questionable; and NFPA requirements often put a bugetary strain on departments trying to comply.

    Would you as fire fighters like to see NFPA requirements and certification of thermal imaging cameras? Do you think that this would help weed out bad equipment? Would you also like to see the use of TIC's mandated by NFPA?

    Those on the forum, who represent manufacturers, let's here your opinions as well. Would you prefer to have standards that your cameras would have to meet? Would this reduce the amount of false claims and specsmanship that fire fighters have to weed through when selecting a camera?

    Greg Hall
    Product Manager
    FireFLIR


  2. #2
    FF McDonald
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Just wanted to mention--

    NFPA standards are consensus standards, and they are not law. Yes, as you mentioned- they do at times force improvements in equipment.

    There is one thing that concerns me about NFPA standards -- if you take a look at Standards that are written for protective clothing, you will notice that there are a host of clothing manufacturers who are on the committie. Is this right?? Should we let the manufacturers of the clothing - write the standards that the clothing is to meet??

    If a standard is developed on Thermal Imaging equipment, who will be writing it -- the manufacturers -- or the fire service?

    I would like to see more guidance given, by the thermal imaging industry. Something could be done; similar to the website ' turn-out.com' -- here several manufacturers of protective clothing have gotten together, to educate firefigthers on the dangers of the contaminants, and other aspects of their turnout gear.

    Why couldn't the thermal imaging "industry" do a similar web site to educate the fire service about the technology that the thermal imaging cameras use-- thus educating the consumer, and allowing them to make an educated choice when making this purchase??

    NFPA can mandate all it wants, they can even mandate that a fire department "should" have a thermal imaging camera -- but when that fire chief gets on the stand-- All he has to say is," Who's going to put the money in my budget for it, YOU?"

    I can't think of many volunteer Departments that can afford the cost of a TIC.

    Marc

    [This message has been edited by FF McDonald (edited April 16, 2000).]

  3. #3
    HHoffman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    You can bet your bottom dollar that a standard is already in the works for TIC. I think it is a good idea for one reason. It sets the bar at a good level for all to work from. Most TIC makers will work to build better units to beat the standards.

    We have a Vision 3 at the volunteer station and an Argus + at work. I would rather use the Vision 3 any day.

    ------------------
    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

  4. #4
    FireFLIRMgr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Both FF McDonald and H Hoffman make some great points here, and you can bet that this subject will be heavily debated over the next few years. There has yet to be a whole lot of disscussion or movement towards NFPA Standards for TIC's.

    NFPA Standards are not law,but as far as manufacturers are concerned, they might as well be law. Additionally, it is unfortunate, but when that chief on the stand says "Who's going to put the money for it in my budget?" The The lawyer will ask, "Just how much is a life worth?" It isn't fair that the system allows standards that are supposed to help, to be used in this manner. However, it happens all the time.

    The most current discussion regarding any type of regulations or third party certification seems to be within SEI, which I believe stands for Safety Equipment Institute.

    It is my personal opinion that such standards are needed and will help the industry. Why? An NFPA comittee should be made up of fire fighters, both officers & guys off the line. It should also include manufacturers, and other stake holders. The manufacturers definately should not control the group, but their participation is extremely important, specially with respect to a new industry involving technical equipment. Their input is needed to explain how the technology works, and what is possible and what is not. Participation from VARIOUS manufacturers insures checks and balances on each other. None of them should be able to implment their own agenda, or to give the fire fighters a "snow job". Ultimately, it should be the fire fighters that drive the standard. For example, many fire fighters, who are annoyed by the Redundant Alarm Standard for SCBA, do not realize that it was fire fighters that expressed serious concern over several incidences in which low pressure warning devices failed to perform properly. It was pressure from the fire service that drove that standard, and manufacturers had to scramble to develop products to meet the standard.

    I do want to thank Marc for pointing out that the infrared community needs to give a lot more guidance to the fire service. It is our responsibility to the fire service to help educate. Unfortunately, out of the 9 or so manufacturers of cameras for the fire service, only a couple have in depth knowledge and expertise in infrared technology. (I am sure that that comment will be real popular). In any case, I am interested in forming a coalition of TIC manufacturers & trainers, with the goal being to educate the fire service. Any takers?

    Greg Hall
    FireFLIR

  5. #5
    FireOptic
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Greg:

    ICC would be very interested in participating as a vendor in what you have proposed. Since the early days of our participation in thermal imaging for firefighters, I have been dissatisfied with some of the competitive specifications and claims I have seen in the field. I am sure that the myriad of conflicting claims and boasts are a major point of confusion for most firefighters. Check my post on "Beware of Specs" for a classic bad spec regarding misuse of an NFPA spec for clothing being applied to a TIC.

    I have to believe this task of specs will be a considerable one, since the variety of technologies and configurations is significantly varied as one goes from manufacturer to manufacturer.

    At any rate, I think the issue is worth considering and an effort should be made to see what can develop.

    Anyone else?



    ------------------
    Tom Clynne
    President - ICC

  6. #6
    Dalmatian90
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    It isn't fair that the system allows standards that are supposed to help, to be used in this manner.
    Wholehearted Agreement! It makes you wonder whether we can ever create "gold standards" of this is how things should be done in an ideal world...when those in the real world are then held liable against those standards. How can we push the state of the art ahead if our standards have to be grounded in today for legal liability reasons?

    Yes, I believe TICs for the fire service should fall under an NFPA Standard. It's kinda nice that you can walk up to any fire pump, and there is a standard rating panel on the side -- At such and such RPM, the pump puts out x GPM at y Pressure. Tell's you what you need to know.

    I think between the manufacturers forming a group like turnout-info.com and a seperate but closely allied NFPA Committee similiar apples to apples standard information could be available for TICs.

    Matt

  7. #7
    TIMan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hello All,

    Welcome Mr. Hall, glad to see someone else is trying to take some initiative to get the ball rolling with thermal imaging. A couple of very good issues have been brought up here.

    #1 - NFPA & Thermal Imaging
    First there are actually 2 issues or potential standards, one for training and one for equipment. The training standard is long overdue. At a minimum there should be a change made to the 1001 Firefighter standard. The majority of all other types of equipment and operations are included, and there is no question large numbers of thermal imagers are being used daily in all types of operations. There may even be the potential for an independent standard similar to the ones developed for Haz Mat response. The bottom line is thermal imaging is a very involved subject matter and firefighters really need a guideline as to what information and training they need to safely and efficiently use a thermal imager. I also think IFSTA should follow (or lead) by updating the Essentials of Firefighting manual to include thermal imaging, and also do a stand-alone manual on thermal imaging. Both NFPA and IFSTA have been setting the standards and supplying the information for firefighting operations for many years now, why they have not addressed the issue of thermal imaging training, I do not understand. Contrary to what some people are preaching, you don’t just pick up a thermal imager turn it on, and expect to use it safely and efficiently without some extensive training. We all need to come together (manufacturers and end users) whether as a NFPA committee, IFTSA authors, or both. I am putting together a 2 tiered training standard (operations & technician) and hope to start employing it with our personnel and the training agencies we work with by this summer. I have said it before, I will say it again, an untrained firefighter is in more danger trying to use a thermal imager, than a firefighter not using one at all. Of course I went through 2 different firefighter training programs in NY, one based on the NY State program, and one based on the NFPA 1001 Firefighter standard. We have a long way to go about getting universally accepted training standards, but NFPA or IFTSA materials are at least a good starting point.

    Where I think the training standard is a must, I think the equipment standard will be a losing cause. I think there are a number of issues involved here that would make an equipment standard impossible to get on the books or impossible to keep up to date. As with all NFPA equipment standards the committee would be made up of both manufacturer reps and end users. Of course as anyone knows who has been part of the process, getting this group of people to work together can be a very monumental and time consuming task. It goes without saying the impact a standard like this would have on a manufacturer means their reps are going to pull out all the stops to keep out an issue their unit can’t meet or include an issue only their unit can meet. This of course can make the rest of the committee referees and can drag the process out for months. That’s not to say certain end users may not also partner up with a manufacturer, further making the process more complicated. My guess is any TI committee would take 9-12 months to come up with any kind of an equipment standard, if they can even agree at all. This lengthy process, even if it was only for 6 months, creates the next problem, keeping up with changing technology. Think about how much has changed in thermal imaging technology in the last 6 months, and those changes are just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t think you are going to see many other types of technology in the Fire Service changing and evolving as quickly as thermal imaging, as such I think it would be almost impossible to keep an equipment standard from becoming outdated. Where I do not think a NFPA equipment standard would work, I do think there are certain standards or criteria that a “users group” could identify and recommend. This users group could come from a “users group” web site, state organization, or a National Fire Service organization. It amazes me how so many departments take the word of a manufacturer on which criteria are important and how well their unit will perform. Put a bunch of firefighters together from across the country who have been using thermal imagers on a daily basis and ask them what they think the important criteria or features are in a thermal imager. Conduct an evaluation on your own to verify if these things are found in a unit or demand data from the manufacturer that came from a reputable 3rd party testing facility.

    # 2 - TI Training
    I think my actions here and elsewhere speak about the commitment myself and Bullard have to training. Web site, video, sponsored training events, loaner units, training facility partnerships, SAFE-IR partnership, just to name a few. I also think Bullard is the only manufacturer with a full-time employee dedicated to training. No this is not a sales pitch, it is a point, actions speak louder than words and actions are what are needed. I have made numerous posts here on training and so far the response has been poor at best. I do not know what it is going to take to get the ball rolling, but count me in. If anybody out there has any ideas, including Tom or Greg, let’s get together on the web here or at an event such as Firehouse Expo. and discuss them. Firehouse did a forum last year on imagers, how about a forum this year on issues related to training ? Also do not forget as end users and the people who sign the checks you ultimately decide what you get in return for your money. If you want 1 or 2 days of hands-on training, and you should, make it a mandatory part of your bid spec. Unfortunately, if you do not force the issue, the manufacturers are not going to throw it in out of the goodness of their hearts. Training on the basics, training on thermal imaging, putting it all together, that is a big part of what it is going to take to come home at the end of the shift.

    “Knowledge is power”, “Ignorance is bliss, or maybe injury, or even death”

    Good Luck, Be Safe,
    “TIman”


  8. #8
    no_name_FF
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    I have a fair number of concerns when people begin suggesting "standards" for TICs and other new equipment.

    First, the NFPA standards are often slow to be adopted and are somewhat "dated" at the adoption time. The technology in the fire service has changed dramatically in the last ten years. Soon, electronics will be an integral part of every firefighting application. Look at engines, now there are digital guages, electronic opening valves, guidance computers, laptops in cabs, the engines have all kinds of computer sensors and print outs. At some point, the operator will never leave the cab, the "pump panel" will be a series of buttons and readouts or perhaps a laptop computer mounted next to the steering wheel. Pull up, press a button and charge lines. (How long until the suppression operation is a robot???) In light of this, can the NFPA develop a TIC standard that will keep up with the technology? Last year there were two units with microbolometers, now everyone has them. What will be the technology next year. And, the bolometers are software upgradable.

    What really concerns me though, is that OSHA likes to jump on the regulatory bandwagon. How far behind an NFPA standard would the OSHA "TIC in/TIC out" regulation be? How about the OSHA requirement for a termometer in all TIC units and regulations requiring exit from building by all personnel when the temp exceeds 300 degrees? The sky is the limit when it comes to OSHA regs.

    Unfortunately, the above post about the fire chief on the stand also strikes home (since I am "familiar" with the legal business). Every NFPA standard is another weapon for the plaintiff's attorney to crucify the IC. Deviate from your SOP's and you are hung, deviate from or don't know about NFPA standards and you are going to be painted as "incompetent" and with "reckless disregard for the safety of the FF." Then OSHA can criminalize the conduct. (Here in New Jersey, our fantastic government has mandated a "State Police" incident management system for FF only -- police, EMS, etc. not required to know or follow. Our government has made a $7500 or so fine for the chief who has someone on a truck without the training....)

    Last, at what point will the fire service be so overburdened by standards and regulations that 3/4 of the on duty time of paid FF (there will be no vollies due to the 6,000 training hours requirement) will be in service training.

    Anyway, enough soapbox for today.

    ------------------
    The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

  9. #9
    LHS'
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Exclamation

    If we really believe our job is to save lives, save exposures and fight fire, then NFPA 1901 should in fact make the thermal imager part of ever engine, ladder and rescue's basic equipment package.

    It is akin to leaving the TI with the RIT team and not with the attack or rescue crew. Ii is pretty much a goal in that scenaio to make a last ditch effort locate folks who wouldn't be lost or down if they had the camera.

    Do we have the same kinds of discussions over extrication or medics? Let me see, every third rig that goes on an extrication will carry yhe JAWS. Go send a cop first to check out the medical emergency.

    Stupidity of going in fully involved unoccupied buildings with the imager still on the truck and not providing the attack crew with a radio all have a way of coming back and killing firefighters.

    Most accountability systems simply give you a list of who died not who is down, who has a chance to be revived or where they are.

    Basedupon using imagers on the first out rig since 1988, I'd much rather put the best tools in the hands of the first in crews and broadcast back to command what is being seen than have the gadget out in the street incase something happens. NFPA should make a line in the sand and require the device.

  10. #10
    HHoffman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    I think it is a great idea to have a national training standard for TIC operations. I know in this area the departments that have TIC's are trained by the salesman. Any other training they do in station. We need firefighters that have time with the units under real conditions teaching the people what they need to look for and the best ways to operate.

    I think the idea of making a TIC standard equipment on new vehicles is also a good idea. Whats $25,000 in the price of a $250,000 engine. One thing that bothers me at this stage of the game is salesman selling first generation TIC's or departments getting first generation TIC's just to have a TIC. If you have $10,000 to spend on a TIC, put it back and look for grants or other money to buy the best equipment out there. Put old next to new and you will see what I mean. Sorry if this steps on some feelings.

    ------------------
    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

  11. #11
    FF McDonald
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Smile

    Gentlemen --

    I would like to address some points that have been made to date....

    TI MAN --
    "At a minimum, there should be a change made to the 1001 Standard."

    If you desire -- the calls for proposals take place twice a year. This is when the NFPA accepts proposals from the public to amend existing standards, or develop new content.
    I reccomend contacting the NFPA.

    http//www.nfpa.org

    In regard to your comment that Bullard is the only manufacturer that has a full-time employee dedicated to training. -- I do believe that Cairns has a four day training program that is part of the purchase of their thermal imaging equipment.
    Not exactly sure -- but I do believe this is true -- can you get back to the forum on this??

    In reply to other postings, made by many different people- about the fact that you shouldn't buy a Thermal Imager -- unless it is made by a company that solely manufactures Thermal Imagers....

    1. It was said --you shouldn't buy a thermal imager from a helmet company, just because they make good fire service helmets ( an obvious attack on Cairns) -----

    I am thinking that this company has experience making equipment that is able to survive the rigors of the fireground. I (we -- the fire service) know that they aren't the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) of the thermal imaging equipment -- but rather, that they adapted it to use on the fireground.

    The same for Scott, and MSA. Both are proven leaders in fire service equipment -- and I trust that they make rugged equipment that can survive the rigors of the fireground. Scott started making oxygen equipment for aircraft, and MSA(Mine Safety Appliances) -- equipment for the mining industry..... Pierce didn't start making fire trucks--- yet they are a leader in the field today...

    Please don't patronize the fire service......


    no_name_FF -- I won't tell you the law cause I know you know it better BUT, It takes OSHA considerably longer to get a standard passed than the NFPA. They have been trying to get the ergonomic standard passed for almost 9 years now ----- and, unless members of the fire service community petition OSHA, they can't regulate it unless it directly effects the working conditions of the FF.(....a safe and healthful workplace -- excerpt from OSHA's mandate)

    2 in -2 out -- exists to make the dangers of an IDLH (Inherently Dangerous to Life or Health) atmosphere... safer. For the two people inside, there is a rescue crew outside.... Gee, it looks safer on paper. (doesn't always work..... Worcester)

    And 2 in - 2 out -- has a provision that it will not prohibit a Fire Department from effecting the rescue of a person in grave danger.


    LHS' -- as mentioned earlier, NFPA standards are not law, merely consensus standards -- but I know you know this. SOOO...merely adding a thermal imager to the equipment list of NFPA 1901, isn't going to mean that "every apparatus will have one".


    Gentlemen -- I feel that thermal imagers are going to be a vital part of the future of the fire service. They are a invaluable tool. They can be incorporated into many diffent aspects of response that are tasked to the fire service of the United States.
    As well as seeing that the technology evolves, and is used by the fire service-- the manufacturers of that equipment need to make the technology more affordable, and put it reach of more Fire Departments.



    [This message has been edited by FF McDonald (edited April 18, 2000).]

  12. #12
    IRalltheway
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    All this stuff is great!! I do have one question for TIMAN and for the record I don't want to start a war, it's a simple question. If your the training specialist and the only full time paid trainer for a TIC manufactuer, than why is training not included with the purchase of a Bullard and the on-site training that Bullard offers as an option is through Safe-IR which was started by Cairnes. So, where do you lie in the training scheme of things?

  13. #13
    FireFLIRMgr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Wink

    This kind of discussion is very healthy for our industry, and will ultimately lead to products that better serve and protect fire fighters . I would like to respond to a couple of people who replied to this topic:

    TIMAN
    #1-NFPA.....Thank you for continuing to wave the flag for training. I totally agree with you that a training standard would have much benefit for this industry. Indeed, regardless of technology, training for TIC's could easily be somewhat generic. However, a distinction between hand-held systems and hand's free systems would be needed. There are enough variences between the abilities and disabilities offered by the 2 categories, to demand distinction. With that said, I definately support a training standard for IR cameras.

    I do not agree that an equipment standard is a losing cause. If people thought like that years ago, we would not have an SCBA standard right now. Be assured that the same types of debates took place back then. You can bet your bottom dollar that every manufacturer, and otherwise, would try to drive his own agenda. Standards development is an ugly process, but with diligence, committees do get through it. Such an effort would take time. In fact, your guess of 9-12 months probably under estimates such an undertaking. Once the first standard is complete, revisions would be a lot easier.

    Can a standard be effective for a product with rapidly changing technology? Absolutely! The standard would be a performance standard. It would set minimum performance levels. It would not say what type of technology had to be used to satisfy the requirements, no more than the PASS Device standard spells out what type of motion sensor technology must be used. Improving technology would give manufacturers the ability to exceed the standard. At the same time, fire fighters will be protected by the knowledge that an approved product satisfies certain basic requirements, and that there is third party certification that verifies that it does.

    #2-TI TRAINING.....I was pleased to read about your (TIMAN's) actions, and Bullard's commitment to training, but after 12 years of sales in the fire service, I do know a sales pitch when I here one. Nevertheless, I am compelled to at least clarify a couple of inaccuracies here. Bullard has demonstrated a genuine concern for training, but they were not the first to embrace IR training for the fire service, nor to employ a full-time IR trainer. Cairns was indeed the first to embrace training. And if you trace the origins of your self-admitted partner, SAFE-IR, you will find connections to Cairns. George Batchelor subsequently left Cairnes, and brought a deep dedication to training to FireFLIR. Indeed, until recently, we actually REQUIRED training when we sold cameras. We now include a standard multi-media training pkg., and offer on-site training as an option. FLIR owns ITC (Infrared Training Center), has a dedicated IR training facility, and has been conducting IR training for years. Our fire service trainers combine the IR expertise of FLIR/ITC with the knowledge & experience of real fire fighters - an unbeatable combination. Again, I applaud your obvious passion for training, but customers should get the straight scoop; and credit should be given where it is due. In this case credit should go to fire service TIC pioneers such as George Batchelor and Cairns.

    NO_NAME_FF
    Many people share your concerns about standards, and their impact on the fire service. In particular, the legal ramifications of standards can be dissapointing. We should all lobby to change how standards are used by plantiffs' attorneys. The purpose of standards should be to set levels and requirements that help protect fire fighters, not create a liability nightmare.

    As I addressed TIMAN's concern, changing technology does not have to hinder the effectiveness of a performance standard. That standard would set minimum expectations. It would also force honesty from manufacturers, due to third party certification.

    FF McDONALD
    Belive me, those of us deeply involved in IR technology are striving to find a breakthrough that will significantly reduce the price of cameras. Unfortunately, one component, the detector, is responsible for half to three quarters of the cost to build a camera. The breakthrough that significantly reduces prices will come in that area. Volumes are also critical. You will see a gradual decrease of the price of cameras, because as more departments buy them, detectors will become less expensive. Unfortunately, this will be a slow process. Do not be fooled by the recent NJ pricing. There were political and marketing strategies that led to that price. It is my personal belief that any company that consistantly sells at those prices will not be in business long.

    IRALTHEWAY
    Good question for TIMAN. It deserves an answer. My fear is that it may take us off the subject of my original post, and we will lose the current focus on the need for, and effectiveness of NFPA standards in the TIC market.

    Keep the thoughts coming.


  14. #14
    TIMan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Good discussion, the kind of stuff that needs to go on.

    Issue #1 - TI Manufacturers & Training
    I totally agree that Cairns started the ball rolling with TI training, but you also have to give credit to Bob Athanas, Steve Woodworth and the other guys at SAFE-IR. If anyone may deserve the title of being the fathers of Fire Service TI Training it could be these guys. Of course Cairns may have started the ball rolling, but by their own previous standard they have dropped it now, they no longer include the 2 day hands-on SAFE-IR course with the sale of their Viper units (correct me if I am wrong). To the best of my knowledge no one does, including Bullard, so shame on all of the TI manufacturers ! Other Manufacturers are taking steps toward some type of training assistance with ICC & FLIR being 2 of the front runners. I know FLIR has a facility in Mass and ICC has a facility in NY. There are also a number of manufacturers who partner with SAFE-IR but NO ONE includes the real hands-on training that should be a basic part of every sale. Why not ? As we have discussed in earlier posts, prices are to cut throat now for anyone to afford it. Cairns used to charge $25,000 for their IRIS unit so it was easy to bury the training cost in the list price, with units going below $15,000 today no manufacturer is going to include it today, UNLESS YOU REFUSE TO SIGN OVER THE CHECK UNTIL THEY PROVIDE IT !

    I hear a lot of talk from manufactures on training but I see very little of it in the field, that is why I tried to make a point that Bullard does not just talk but we also take action. That is not a sales pitch, it is a challenge to the other manufacturers to do the same ! If you are doing something, great, keep it up because we all need it.

    Please if you are going to buy a thermal imager investigate fully what type of training you are going to receive with it. Do not just listen to the promises the rep makes, but talk to current users and see what they actually received in the way of training. “Talk is cheap, and actions speak louder than words”

    Issue #2 - Bullard, Myself, and TI Training
    Since I graduated from High School (15 years ago) I have done 3 things: US Military, Fire Service, and Instructor. If you notice unlike the other TI reps here, I never mentioned sales or marketing. So why then am I now working for a TI manufacturer? Bullard approached me about filling a position they titled “TI Training Specialist” and my response was great, glad to see someone is finally going to give TI training the attention it needs. I took the position with the absolute understanding that 99 percent of my time would be spent on training and not on sales. They agreed stating “the value of an educated sales force and end user is priceless”. So the adventure began. Almost a year later a number of things have been accomplished to include :
    production of a 30 minute “orientation video” that ships with all units
    development of a web site with numerous materials supporting TI training
    production of numerous training materials in hard copy & CD-ROM
    numerous partnerships with training facilities where TIs & materials are provided
    numerous generic thermal imaging presentations at conferences and seminars
    one-on-one training with all Bullard TI employees

    I could fill many more pages but I think the point is made that a number of things have been done to see that Bullard’s employees and end users are receiving what they need in the way of TI training. Of course I have never refused assistance to anyone who has asked, regardless if they have a Bullard TI or not. Don’t believe me, I know there are a number of people on this forum who can back that up.

    As far as why do I not provide hands-on training to all Bullard end users ? First of all it would be logistically impossible for less than 8 –10 people to accomplish this task. Secondly, no need for me to try and do something SAFE-IR and some local training facilities are already doing an outstanding job with. My first effort at Bullard was to try and have SAFE-IR’s 2 day training program included with all sales, of course the business people quickly educated me on the economic unlikelyhood of this. So I did the next best thing I could, make sure every end user had materials to cover the basics (video, web site, CD-ROMs) and the next level of hands-on training would be available through a partnership with SAFE-IR or a partnership with a Fire Training Facility. May not be perfect but it is a whole lot more than many other manufacturers have done ! I have yet to see any other manufacturer with one bit of TI training materials on their web site, FLIR probably comes closest, but still not anything close to what we have done. Don’t get me wrong we are not perfect and I am frustrated daily because I can not do everything that should be done to get good solid TI info out to the Fire Service.

    I am sure there are number of people who will take this as a sales pitch, I hope the majority of people will see it as an eye opener so they can demand a higher level of training support from whatever manufacturer they may choose. I also hope Greg, Tom, and any other TI manufacturer will see this as a challenge and try to outdo Bullard, because if they do, the Fire Service can only benefit from this competition. By the way it does not have to be a hostile competition. Believe it or not I can actually be pretty civilized and I am willing to work with anyone, including another TI manufacturer to promote TI training !

    I hope the next time that a topic is started on training it will get this much feed back, the last one got 2 replies outside of mine.

    Good Luck, Be Safe,
    “TIman”

    PS : I use “TIman” and not “Mike Richardson, Bullard TI Training Specialist” because I am about promoting thermal imaging in general not just Bullard. I only refer to Bullard to make a point or set a mark. I hope by doing so the other manufactures will be forced to improve, benefiting everyone in the long run. Bullard has over 14 sales employees and 30 distributors selling thermal imagers, obviously with zero sales experience anything I am going to do as far as sales goes is going to be a drop in the bucket compared to what these guys can do, so why would I bother to waste my time ?

  15. #15
    TIMan
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Hello All,

    Almost forgot, we have been doing all of this talking about SAFE-IR, so I think it is only appropriate to put the info out on how you can contact them, especially because they are the best thing going for Fire Service TI training.
    www.safe-ir.com

    Good Luck, Be Safe,
    "TIman"


  16. #16
    FireFLIRMgr
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Red face

    I will be brief here. First of all, this subject has taken a well orchestrated turn towards training. The topic was intended to be an open discussion on the need for, and feasability of NFPA equipment/training standards for thermal imaging cameras. However, there seems to be a lot more text on how good and proactive some of us are. Well, I am going to resist the temptation to fire back with a lengthy message with my resume and validation of FLIR's commitment to training. Let me just say this:

    1. Until about a month ago,FLIR actually
    required customers to agree to training
    before we sold them a camera.
    2. Our on-site training includes BOTH class
    room, and hand's-on, live fire training.
    3. A month ago the training requirement was
    replaced by a standard training pkg that
    includes a video, CD, and training manual.
    4. We continue to provide, live, on-site
    training to many of our customers. With
    several trainers, it is still difficult
    to meet the demand.

    Lastly, I am not so sure how cool it is to keep talking about we were the first to do this, or we are the best at that, etc. We do have sales people for that. As much as I like the work of SAFE-IR, I am not ready to say that they are the "best thing going".
    And, I think that I will decline to throw in a link to my web site. It isn't that hard to find.

    Greg Hall
    FireFLIR

  17. #17
    Russ Chapman
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Greg,
    Thanks for bringing us back to the original topic. I believe standards for training are a must. This should be a priority. As for an equipment standard, it would be of value but would require an ongoing committee to try to keep it up to date. This industry as with other electronic industries produce changes almost daily.
    As for everyone who has already said it, I agree, NO ONE should go into a fire with a TI without proper training. It takes some actual experience with a TI to destinguish what you are "seeing".
    If we, the fire service, want these standards than we should ask NFPA for them.

    Russ

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