Couple of TIC Questions
I am a member of a small town volunteer fire dept. and I am in the early stages of compairing TIC's. I have a couple of quick questions to get me started........
1. Could someone please reply with a quick list of prices for some of the popular models??? Thanks in advance!!!
2. Why would a department choose a hand held model when "HANDS FREE" models are available?
(If I had to guess, I would say $$$)
3. Cost may not be an issue because of the possibility of a substantial donation to the department, so with this in mind.....what model/models would you "experts" recommend.
(User friendly (K.I.S.S.) prefered)?
***Reps need not respond....I want to here from the guys on the "front lines"
Thanks.......and most of all,
In my dept we bought the ISG camera. The reason we bought a hand-held instead of a helmet mount was the price (at the time) and it was easier to hand off. I believe we payed somewhere around $18,000 for the camera. I myself like the hands free cameras but this is what the other guys wanted. Also with being on a small dept we don't have alot of structure fires with people inside. The camera is mostly used for overhaul. The Cairns IRIS is a nice camera but you also have to wear belt with a battery pak. The FIREFLIR is a nice hands-free camera also. You just clip it to your helmet and the tighten the strap across the back and your ready to go. I guess the only way to find out what kind of camera your dept need is look at your calls and get some info from your members.the companies that have cameras are SCOTT,MSA,ISI,ISG,CAIRNS,FIREF LIR,ICC. to name a few!
Scott - this older thread listed all the known manufacturers at the time. You'll probably have to contact them direct or their reps to get actual pricing.
Train often, train hard!
Captain, Metuchen FD
President, Jersey Fire & Rescue
1. Prices range around $14,000 last I checked. You can back in one someone elses deal and get a better price.
2. Evaluate the handheld and the helmet mounts and get whats best for you. If you are interested in a personal opinion on this you'll find that once you try the helmet mounts you'll wonder why folks buy them. But again try both and get whats best for you.
3. The model I recommend is the one that you evaluated and found best suits you needs. I know I'm repeating myself (if you've read my other posts) but do your own eval and get the one that suits you. Do not buy one off of someone elses recomendations. Someone might say Bullard, someone might say Scott - in the BST version they're the same camera except for the way they are housed. So whats the diference right? Try and see, you'll find one is more comfortable to hold than the other, one has a rotating screen and so on...
I agree with FFFOREVER and part of S.Cook. I am pro hands free and fell that handhelds have their place, but not in the interior. You need to evaluate the cameras in live burn situation and use them the way they are going to be used. That's when you'll see what works best for you. Regardless of what TIC you buy it's better than nothing.
You have been given good advise on picking a TI. TRY THEM! And try them under actual use conditions. A TI the looks good walking around the station may not look so good in a fire.
As for choosing a hand held over a hands free. Again try both and see which fits your department's needs. This is an area I have been back and forth on in my own department. Both have their strenghts and weaknesses.
I have been looking at TI's for about 3 years now. I have seen a lot of changes. No matter which unit you buy today, there will be a better one out tomorrow. So re-evualate the changes for each new purchase.
On the question of hands free or not....
It really depends on how you plan to use the TIC. Our department decided on hands free because:
1. It could be easily adapted to anyone and quickly handed off between crews.
2. Hands free tended to make a person rely too much on the camera and thus making them vulnerable if it failed.
3. The camera vision on hands free are too small and require making some adjustments. With some the screen is off centered.
4. Some hands free cameras interfere with normal vision when not in an environment where it is required.
5. Some hands free cameras add weight to the helmet. We use leather helmets and that just wasnt acceptable.
6. The handheld unit we chose has a large view screen which allows multiple team members to see.
I do believe that a combination of cameras for specific purposes will be the way to go. The key is to try it, try it, try it. Make sure that its what you want not what anyone else tells you. For example, I believe that a RIT would be better suited with a hands free unit while others use hand held units.
Through our training experience, we did see where people quickly become dependent on the camera which requires strict training to reinforce the basics. That is why we teach our personnel to look through the camera periodically, then do their normal travel maintaining contact with either hose line, rope or feeling the wall to maintain their orientation. One important note, train your personnel and let them become comfortable with the cameras and then make sure you let them have the experience (under strict safe training environment) of having the camera go off unexpectedly.
Good luck and whatever you do, get a TIC! We have already saved one person with it.
We also have our SOP's online at:
I believe you meant hand held on your opening statement and item 1!
Be aware of this little slick sales trick I had shown to me by a rep yesterday.
ME - Nice camera, balances well, feels comfortable in the hands (first time I got to see this model).
REP - Thanks, and our imager maintains the proper image orientation even when you turn it upside down. The others, the BST ones, will have the image upside down. Only the microbolometers will show it right.
ME - Really?
REP - Yep, if you hold a BST camera upside down, the image will be upside down.
ME - Really?
REP - Yep.
ME - The BST based Bullards images stay oriented properly.
REP - Really?
ME - Yep. There's one over in that booth, wanna go see?
To be fair to the rep he truly didn't seem to know this and he really did have a nice $20,000 camera.
[This message has been edited by S. Cook (edited June 11, 2000).]
Now if the sales rep only knew his product... I have heard from several that at least one of the TRANSMITTERS does not correct orientation for the remote monitor. So, if you turn the camera upside down, the image is transmitted upside down (although the camera image is fine as you look at it).
My favorite sales rep:
REP: Yes, if you and the other two companies buy this camera, you can use a security monitor to display all three cameras on one monitor.
ME: Don't you need a three receivers or a special receiver?
REP: No, our receiver has four channels.
ME: Yes, but it only displays one at a time.
REP: Look it has four channels.....
This went on for a while until his tech guy told him I was right....
This rep then packed up his camera when a neighboring company showed up with their Argus II.
The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!