1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post Transmitter feature with TIC, who is getting and why?

    Who is getting the transmitter on the TIC and why?

    We opted not to. Largely because added expense didn't provide enough benefits.

    Personally, I see the benefit for training purposes or for PR, but not for actual firefighting.

    What IC has the time or resources to sit and monitor every move of the interior crew? Also, is the IC going to second guess the interior crew? Won't this make the interior crew less likely to use TIC?

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

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our next due crew checks to see what the crew is doing. ie. what rooms have been checked and what conditions are. It also gives Command a clear picture of what is going on in the structure. It first we thought it would only be used for training and it has been good for that. Now we set it up everytime we get the chance.

    Henry C. Hoffman Jr.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    The eye in the sky method of fire attack is the ultimate way to command an incident. The IC does not have to be the one doing the viewing. Not having a transmitter in the unit greatly limits the units abilities. Imagine if you will almost any firefighter fatality incident with a imager and a transmitter in use. The outcome would have been different. Recording all broadcasts allows incident review, search from the last point of contact, training after the call, etc.

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    It gives you a second set of eyes that may catch something that the interior crew missed. A local department has that feature and the outside crew was able to spot a hole in the floor during a quick scan.
    Stay Safe...

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I get the concept of FF fatality investigation, but I'm not sure if the investment ($3,000 to $5,000) is worth it for this (knock on wood) unlikely occurence alone.

    As far as someone on the outside monitoring, who does it? Around my area, I don't know of one paid or volunteer department who doesn't scream they are shorthanded and need more help. I guess someone from the RIT (or OSHA 2in/2out) team could do the monitoring.

    How about interference though. The manufacturers at our live burn agreed that 80% of the cameras operate on the same 2 frequencies. Therefore, if three cameras are in operation, you will most likely get interference. (Remember, I favor a TIC for each crew inside). Also, the switch from channel A to B is usually inside the unit requiring removal of the battery or case to change. So if two crews pull up with channel A, one will lose valuable time. Now one manufacturer (I won't name names) has a 4 channel unit. Their salesman told me that one receiver could pick up and show all 4 channels at once on a "security split screen" monitor. This is incorrect though....

    What about safety? I understand that the transmission is done on the same frequency as your microwave oven. Although the output is significantly lower, what is the effect?

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

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We did not purchase the transmitter with our cameras, but, do plan to in the future as a training tool.

    Some of the city departments in the area have the same camera as we do, and, in meeting w/ them to do research on the cameras, they urged us not to get the remote transmitter. Their reasoning was that a TV station crew could show up w/ a receiver they bought from the same manufacturer and would broadcast images from within the fire.

    Nothing like having images of everything you did on the nightly news. What if you missed someone inside? A TV crew has the ability to rewind and play the scenes in slow motion. Imagine them showing on the nightly news the person you could have saved, but didn't.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    TIs & Transmitters

    I find this topic interesting for a number of reasons.
    One, all of the potential uses are primarily related to firefighting. Please do not forget, firefighting is only one small use for a TI.
    Two, the infamous “TV crew interception” story. There are thousands of TIs in use with transmitters and I have yet to ever hear of one story where a signal has been intercepted. Yes it could potentially happen, but I would hope the benefits a transmitter can provide would outweigh the very remote possibility this would happen. If you are really that worried about it do not use it if you see the media on scene.
    Three, the worry of micro management by the IC. I have really never heard of this happening, though the potential does exist. Of course if your IC is more interested in trying to run the fire from a video display, you are more than likely going to have some real big problems outside of the TI with a transmitter.

    A TI with a transmitter can be a big benefit on the fireground, here are some examples :
    If a crew goes through the floor or is caught in a collapse this can be identified very quickly if not immediately. In many cases they may not have the chance to radio a “mayday”, so this may be the only way the IC or RIT can get this information.

    As mentioned in an earlier post the RIT team can monitor the activities and conditions taking place. This additional information can help them determine where crews are located in the structure and how bad the conditions have become. They can also get this information without tying up radios. This has been practiced in a number of training scenarios and real fireground operations and has paid off big time.

    In an actual incident in a large commercial structure where a fire and explosion had occurred personnel from the facility monitored the crews inside and provided them with real time information over the radio. This included directions so the crews could take the safest and quickest route to the seat of the fire, at what points they needed to take actions to cut of power to process equipment and Haz. Mat. product flow, and locations where potential victims may be located. The crews estimated this real time assistance cut the overall operating time by at least 50 percent, and increased their safety tremendously.

    Here are also some uses for a TI with a transmitter outside of firefighting :

    The TI can be set up on a tripod or the end of an aerial at the Haz Mat scene and the IC can remotely monitor the conditions from a safe distance away.

    In a real incident, a small child was lost inside of a long section of storm sewer. The crews started at the opening and then worked their way back lowering the TI through manhole and drain openings (with a rope) and monitoring the transmitted image until they were able to locate the child. At that point they made an entry and recovered the child. By doing this the crews did not have to crawl through over 200 feet of drain and they were able to get to the child much quicker. A TI could be lowered into any type of space to identify conditions or the presence of a victim without having to send personnel into the space.

    I think one of the other uses mentioned, training, can also justify the cost of putting a transmitter in a unit. As someone who has tried for years to conduct training in zero visibility having a TI has been a God send, having one with a transmitter is even better. Transmitters allow personnel outside, both safeties and students, to monitor exactly what is going on. This increases safety and allows students to learn from every evolution even if they are not inside. The signal can also be recorded and used later allowing even more benefit to be realized from every training evolution.

    I know there are others out there who have used a TI with a transmitter, let us know what your experience has been.

    Also, please do not think of a TI as only a firefighting tool, there is so much more that you can do with them. Let us here about those “off the wall” uses as well.

    Good Luck, Be Safe,

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