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  1. #1
    11BrynAthyn355
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down Lost Our Thermal Camera When Most Needed

    A few months ago we had a fatal house fire in our local coverage area. A two story single family dwelling was struck by lightning. The room that got hit immediately caught fire, and all the consumables went up with it. We hit the hydrant (I was a JR when this happened and put on hydrant duty :-) and extinguished the fire quickly. We learned later that the victim had died even before our tones dropped. Anyway, our thermal camera from ISI for some reason didn't work at the scene, and we had to go to the old fashion way of finding the victim. I just wanted to share that with all of you.

    ------------------
    -Rick R.
    -Bryn Athyn Fire Company and Ambulance
    -Station 11 and Squad 355 in Montgomery County, Pa
    -http://mov.to/BAFC


  2. #2
    Jim M.
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Question

    You really need to post more details if you're going to post this at all. What failed? The camera, the battery, the operator? Had the victim assumed room temperature? Dig out the details and let us know so we can learn from your experience please.

  3. #3
    cwerner
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Yes more details please. There are many reasons why the TIC might not have worked.

    Was it the battery?

    Had it been charged properly?

    Did the user know how to use it?

    Was it investigated further? Did it work later?

    Was it sent back to the manufacturer?

    In all fairness, please explain more about what happened to identify the problem and correct it.



    ------------------
    Charles L. Werner, Firehouse.com Webteam
    Technology Editor, Forum Moderator

  4. #4
    11BrynAthyn355
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Was it the battery?
    No, the battery was full.

    Had it been charged properly?
    Yes it was always charged properly every time after use.

    Did the user know how to use it?
    Yes, we use it a whole lot, for training and actual events. The f/f did know how to operate it.

    Was it investigated further? Did it work later?
    It was investigated later, but still could not be coaxed into working.

    Was it sent back to the manufacturer?
    We did ship it back to ISI a few months ago. They are still currently working on the problem, in the mean time, we are using another TIC.

    ------------------
    -Rick R.
    -Bryn Athyn Fire Company and Ambulance
    -Station 11 and Squad 355 in Montgomery County, Pa
    -http://mov.to/BAFC

  5. #5
    ADSN/WFLD
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    The TIC is just a tool, while a very good tool it is a mechanical device. When Murphy comes a knocken your basic firefighter skills had better be sharp.

    I witnessed a career fire officer with 20 yrs in get disoriented when a TIC stopped working durring a burn down. It made a big impression, I like the cameras but overreliance will eventually lead to a firefighters death. Always stay up on the basics and let the tool help us, not do the work for us.

    Stay Safe and good luck with your future tools.

  6. #6
    Chief1701
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs down

    Just wanted to pass a little more info on our ISI camera. It was purchased in Sept of 1999 and it had just came back from the manufacturer for the second time. The camera has not really been exposed to any fires of substance. Each time the picture is out of focus. The first time is was dropped from a height of about 2.5 ft during a training session. The second and most recent event was discovered when it was taken out of the case and turned on as part of our PM program and it was discovered that the picture was out of focus. The unit was sent back for repairs, waiting about a month, just got it back and it is no better than when I sent it out.

    I can "hardly" wait to see how this unit acts in a fire situation. I beleive that the technology is available, but ISI has to "firefighter proof" the unit. The camera should be able to withstand the rigors of the job.

    Dave Klitsch - Chief
    Lake Harmony Fire Co (PA) www.lakeharmonyfire.com

  7. #7
    Eng 48
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Although we haven't had to use our camera for a rescue, we still make sure our crews search with the appropriate search method for the situation. The night we got our camera and did some smoke house training, everyone was going right out into the middle of the room. Any one who didn't stay on the wall got the camera yanked out of their hands. "Now what are you going to do?" This technology is great and we can do many things with it..but it can break down (and I don't care what camera you have..they can all break). So good luck to you in getting your problem fixed.

    ------------------
    Be safe everyone!

    [This message has been edited by Eng 48 (edited September 05, 2000).]

  8. #8
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    Chief1701,
    As a previous distributor for ISI, I can sympathise with you. The only advise I can offer is to contact ISIG in Albaq. New Mexico.(they actually build the camera) and let them know of your dissatisfation with the recent repair. Or you can contact MSA (who owns ISIG) regarding the same.
    Some of the things you have discussed in your post are the same problems we had (along with a few more) with ISI. I also would hold the local dealer somewhat responsible for the whole fiasco.

    FRD

    NJ,PA,NY ISG Dealer

  9. #9
    FireTIC
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Cool

    Chief1701 & 11BrynAthyn355,
    Just looking for follow-up info on the results of your recent TIC problems. Please keep us all informed of these results.

    Thanks,

    FRD
    NJ,PA,NY ISG Dealer

  10. #10
    firelouie
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post

    We have 3 ISI thermal imagers and have had some serious problems. One of the cameras would occasionally show only a black screen when turned on. This was usually corrected by removing and reinstalling the battery. It also reportedly stopped operating during at least two fires. This camera was sent in for replacement and we received a loaner. The loaner behaved the same way. Instead of a replacement, our original was repaired. When it again began to fail, it was replaced.

    Another of our TIC failed in the middle of a training exercise using artificial smoke.

    I am as concerned with the service from our vendor as I am with the quality of the TIC.

    The bottom line is this. Learn and remember your basic search rules. Train your people by allowing the use of a TIC during drills and shutting it off after reaching a certain point. Technology is wonderful, but it's not a substitute for knowledge.

  11. #11
    ffnbs
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Unhappy

    We recieved our ISI TIC in spring of '99. Same problem with ours in regards to blurry picture and the temperature reading we purchased as an option never really worked right from the onset, to the best of my knowledge.
    I agree with one of the posters, it doesn't seem like this TIC is very firefighter proof. You just have to bump it with your hand and the image cuts out momentarily. It would be interesting to see if everyone who bought one of these is having same problems.

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