1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Post TI Issues, What do you think ?

    Hello All,

    I had my doubts that it was going to happen, but there is no question that thermal imaging has finally gone "prime time". The sales numbers are through the roof, more States are working on legislated funding, its in every magazine and conference.

    While there should be no doubt that everyone getting their hands on a thermal imager is a great thing, I think there are some issues that really need to be addressed.

    No Direction - even though thermal imaging has been out in force for over 5 years, with numbers now exceeding 10,000 units in the field, there is still no NFPA standard that addresses thermal imaging. As such there is also no supporting materials from IFSTA or anyone else.

    Lack of Available Training - while some departments have made their best effort and a few training agencies are trying to do something with thermal imaging most people still cant find the training they need.

    "False Prophets" - while I would applaud anyone for trying to put together training or a presentation on thermal imaging there are many who are stepping up but falling short. I have first hand knowledge of many instances where a trainer or presenter has provided information on thermal imaging that was wrong, but more importantly could get someone killed if they follow it the field.

    "Superman Syndrome" - while there is no question that thermal imaging can do a lot, it can not guarantee that its users will be free from injury or death. If we are not careful someone is going to be standing up, moveing to deep to fast, or operateing without a reference point and they are going to pay for it with their life.

    I think I am not alone in these observations. What do you think ?

    I hate to raise a stink without offering a solution so here are my thoughts:

    I know both the NFPA and many training agencies are "thinking about thermal imaging" but the bottom line is time is not on our side. Without some action soon, someone is going to die. I am sure if we all write letters, send emails, make phone calls things might end up moving a little bit faster.

    If you get the opportunity to attend a training session or presentation by all means go. Just make sure you check the credentials of the individual claiming to be the expert. Or make sure that you verify what was said from another independent source.

    Without training and SOPs there is no question someone is going to do something real stupid because they are using a thermal imager with no direction. Training and help putting together an SOP are both out there, it will take some work to make it happen, but someone's life is well worth it.

    I believe we are moving in the right direction, but there are dangers all around us, and if we are not very careful a life saving tool may end up being a life taking tool.

    What issues do you think we need to be addressing and what do you think we need to be doing about them?

    Good Luck, Be Safe,

    Mike Richardson
    Bullard TI Training Specialist

    For TI Training : www.safe-ir.com www.thermalimager.com

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Thumbs up

    Mike, for a change I would have to agree with you. For the longest, I have been preaching to departments here in KY that are considering TI is to be aware without the "understanding" of what TI is and a lack of "proper" training it can and will eventually take a life. I would very much like to see departments with new hires not to let them use TI for an extended period as to let them learn the basics of firefighting first and not be dependent on a tool, as with any tool it can fail and without the basics to fall back on tradgedy is un avoidable.

    As for the false prophet aspect, in the field I see many departments across KY and they are told things that "this is the latest and greatest" kind of pitch with out allowing them to evaluate a camera in it's environment of use. I know of one department that actually purchased a camera and the only evaluation done was in the totally dark room in the station, not in a burn building or a actual house fire. Cameras need to be evaluated together at the same demonstration as to get a good comparison. I would really like to see a NFPA standard on TI as it will be straighten up some of the false claims of different manufacturers. There was an Navy comparison done a few years back (it has to be the initial one, the latest one was flawed)that tested several of the units out. I say the initial one was flawed due to one of the manufacturers was hit on certain aspects such as size and weight of the unit and low and behold, in the new test they "now meet all requirements". Kinda strange that first they were too big and heavy and now they aren't and it is the same camera, it makes you wonder doesn't it. The NFPA was good for the rescue tool industry as it cleared up the false claims as some of those "squaking" the loudest couldn't pass the UL test.

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Although we have had our differences in the past, I must agree with you. If I can be of any assistance, please let me know.

    The Navy report was done with the intent to replace the NAVY'S thermal imagers. So, size and weight, water resistance etc..., were factors in thier test and results. Many depts. used the report for background info, since thier was no precedent for todays firefighting thermal imagers.

    As far as the Navy's concerned, I do not believe the so-called updated report on thermal imaging is the Navy's. Its Qua-Delta's report, who did the original eval. for the Navy.

    If thier is such a report for others who "now meet all requirements", prove it.

    I have been asking/searching for the updated report for over a year and it's been a ghost.

    If you have a copy I would like to see it.

    NJ,PA,NY ISG Dealer

    [This message has been edited by FireTIC (edited 06-23-2001).]

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Hello All,

    Welcome back FRD.

    If you want the proof you really don't have to look to far. ISG seemed to have no problem finding the data when they passed which of course was all legitimate data, but now that someone else has passed, everything is some kind of mysterious shady operation.

    Here is the press release:

    If that is not good enough give me your mailing address and I will be happy to send you a copy of the letter we received from the NAVY, not Qua-Delta.

    I am sick and tired of all of this smoke and mirrors sales and marketing garbage. Given the number of land based fire depts who have evaluated thermal imagers no one should have to be turning to the Navy report for guidance on evaluating a thermal imager. No question we could learn something about thermal imaging from the Navy given their years of experience, but it is way past time to let the Navy worry about their evaluation and let the rest of us get on with or with out it.

    If you need guidance on evaluating a thermal imager, here you go: http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...Eval/index.cfm

    FRD, give the the NAVY stuff a break.

    Good Luck, Be Safe,
    Mike "TIman" Richardson
    Bullard TI Training Specialist

    [This message has been edited by TIman (edited 06-24-2001).]

  5. #5
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    P.G. County


    i personnally feel that a TIC is a great peice of equipment, i think that every fire dept. should have atleast one, firefighting has made many advances in technology and this is by far the best advancement. everybody is saying "well what if they fail" you can "what if" all day on many different topics, but has anyone got any stories of one failing and causing an injury ? i know that they have been credited for saving many lives though.

    [ 07-07-2001: Message edited by: jeg532 ]

  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Ewing, NJ


    TIMan, FRD, glad to see you are both still around.

    I agree with you both on the training issue. It is necessary. There are some good outfits putting on programs and I would recommend that anyone purchasing a TIC explore professional training.

    The New Jersey training was good, although I forget their name. The only downside was the number of Bullard logos they had to put in the program. LOL (Mike, that's a JOKE).

    What was their name? SafeIR?

    Bullard used to (haven't checked in a while) have some downloads, a power point presentation and other materials. I'm sure that the other manufacturers have similar.

    More than just hands on training, firefighters need to UNDERSTAND IR. It's not all black and white. Just because something is white doesn't mean its fire. Just because something is black, doesn't mean it is cool. TICs only pick up heat/cool and express them in relative terms.

    The "hottest" item in the picture is white. The "coolest" is black. The TIC scales everything in between to shades of grey. So, that being said, white items are not necessarily hot and black are not cool. Keep that in mind when using the TIC.

    The most, very, totally, etc. important thing to remember, the TIC IS ONLY A TOOL. The same as an axe, haligan, pike's pole, PPV, etc. ITS ONLY A TOOL. It will not put out the fire. It will not protect you. Like every tool, it takes practice and experience. Don't rely on the TIC too much, you could get hurt.

    Some things to do. Use the TIC everytime you can. Electric smell in a car, check it out. Drill at fire academy, sit behind crew and watch with TIC, see what it looks like.
    The above is MY OPINION only and not that of anyone else. I am not representing any organization in making a post here!!!!

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