Thread: Help!!!

  1. #1
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    Angry Help!!!

    I'm trying to get suggestions from people on how to sell the idea that a thermal camera would be a good idea to purchase. My department, so it seems right now, believes in the idea that the next town over has that piece of equipment so we don't need one. That's all fine and well for some pieces of equipment. Yet my department can't grasp the concept that a $20,000 piece of equipment could reduce the time we spend looking for the "seat" of the fire and other things. (ie. electrical investigations, hidden flames in walls, people, and not to mention we might get a better rep than just saving the basement.) I don't mean to bash my department, I just wish they could get with the times. It took many years to get a computer in the department. I think if a camera could knock down the time we have to search a house from approx. 17 min to about 5 with the camera, I think it might be worth while to look into a camera. And the other fact is the town next to us, that has the thermal imager, is approx. 20 minutes away so what good does it do me, to call for the imager if its gonna be 20 mins. away and we can do a search in 15 mins. or so without one. Any suggestion on the subject would greatly help, I'm out of ideas.

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    Thumbs up

    My Dept. just purchased two cameras we were also going head to head with the fire district because of the $20,000 dollar price tag after researching many cameras we finally picked the Bullard T3 it is a plain camera with one button easy to use and it is compact.The best part was the price we got the camera for $9,000 and due to the price the Fire District allocated the money for two cameras which still came in under the $20,000 mark and with the two truck mounts you can't beat it.
    AJM108
    Captain Ridge Fire Dept.
    Company One

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    It's hard for some fire departments to see the advantage until they have used the camera. Our department wanted one for some time but couldn't afford one. We started a fund drive for the new TIC approx. one year ago and we were about 1/2 way there. Our thought is that we will continue to work until our goal is reached. Some TIC makers will offer you better pricing if you can get other depts. to go in on a mass buy. Don't give up. You have the right idea.

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    Its not only used for trying to find a fire, but looking for a person inside, or even a fellow firefighter. When a person or a fireman is inside, there is no time to wait for the camera to get there from another town. We have used it alot to find hotspots and to check for fire extension. Although it takes traning to get used to. When we got a demo for our camera, we also did a field search type demonstration. A person went in the woods, in complete darkness, and you could see some of there footprints from the heat it left behind, and the person would show up also.
    Last edited by HF&R_H28; 10-13-2002 at 02:33 PM.

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    Not to push one manufacturer, we have a Scott, but Bullard has a really great web site with press releases and everything you need to start a purchase campaign. They've given me permission to use their items in my Public Relations class.

    Their web site is http://www.thermalimager.com

    We also use ours for finding hot spots and hidden fires just like a hear detector. There's another reason for you to buy one.

    Good luck.
    Steve Dragon
    FFII, Fire Instructor II, Fire Officer I, Fire Appartus Driver Operator Certified
    Volunteers are never "off duty".
    http://www.bufd7.org

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    You do the convincing.Borrow a camera from anybody,sales rep.,another town,wherever.Find a jet black room somewhere with no windows,perfectly dark.Put two or three of your firefighters in there.Now invite the public(and of course the naysayers) to go into the room without a light and find your "downed"firefighters.Oh,and tell them the building's under heavy fire,they have four minutes to effect the rescue.Then let them see the room thru the camera with a firefighters support.A few taxpayers who take part in this Demo will usually go a long way in helping you aquire the tool.Then you get to the fun part of trying to choose one.Involving the taxpayers has always been a win-win for us,probably will work for you also.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 10-13-2002 at 08:47 PM.

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    The reality is that you can only LEAD a horse to water. You should continue your search to find all the POSITIVE reasons why you need TI's. Faster search times is definitely one...both for taxpaying citizens/customers and for the possible firefighter injured. RIT teams really should have a TI immediately available. A midwestern city a few years ago had a 20+ year veteran get lost. 20 minutes was spent trying to find him; after he was out of air, mutual aid arrived with a TI and found him in under 5 minutes. Too late, though.

    Using the logic that you can always mutual aid the equipment, you probably don't need extrication tools, vent saws, a ladder truck or even an engine! Where do you draw the line?

    Also...what is the first word in 'mutual aid'? It means it has to go both ways...

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    I have been urging the department heads to push for one of these too. Last night we did a class on search and rescue. I brought up the Thermal Imager for this and all I got was a bunch of negative responses. Too expensive for that. Won't find dead bodies. etc. Where can I find some good, comprehensive info on this?

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    Too expensive? What is the life of one citizen worth? What is the life of one firefighter worth? There are FD's that spend $700,000 buying a truck company they will use 6 times a year. They spend thousands of dollars on airpacks, but only because OSHA mandates it. For every argument against buying an imager, I can give one for why you need one on EVERY FIRE APPARATUS. For real stories of success and saves, try www.thermalimager.com

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    I understand the value of the new tool. It would be nice if we could get a loaner for a few weeks to show how effective they are. I think once a few folks realize the value and the versatility of the tool it would gain greater acceptance.

    You have to defeat the ingrained attitude of we got by without it before, why do we need it now.

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    FFstano17 - you say the department nearby has one already? They must have thought it made sense. Setup a mutual aid drill with them and let them sell it. Articles and stories and sales reps are all outsiders. Your own mutual aid company is people you know and trust. Who better to use for convincing? Go to their Chief, tell him what you are trying to do, he will probably help you set it up and help with the convincing. Plain and simple, use it in some real situations and they sell themselves.

    Too expensive for that. Won't find dead bodies.
    cdevoe - your area continues to amaze me. Too expensive for what? Saving a life and/or property damage. Isn't that why we are doing what we are doing? Won't find dead bodies. Obviously, someone who has never used a camera made that "factual" statement. Take that same person, put them lying down in a blacked out room, have him hold his breath. Let someone go find him without the camera. See if he can hold his breath that long. Now do the same thing with someone using a camera. They still say it's not worth it, quit, these guys will get you hurt/killed.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    100% accurate, you get the most bizarre and inaccurate comments from those who have either never used one or those who just don't understand it.

    The opinion here is that we can get one as a mutual aid. Real good, I have a FF down in a burning building and I have to call in mutual aid for the camera to try to find the guy. I'm sure that once we get one and use it the opinions will change and we will get more of them. I did put in for one with the Grant request. Hopefully we get our Grant, then we can get our camera.

    It's sometimes really difficult to overcome ignorance and stubborness

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    cdevoe- I sent you an e-mail with some info that might help. Let me know if you need more.

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    cdevoe:

    If you want a 'loaner' camera, talk to local distributors. They may not just leave you one for a few weeks, but they can certainly make arrangements to come in and help you present the imager to the officers/decision makers.

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    Yes, got the email. Also, I have set through demos before, everything looks great. It is much better to actually get hands on to see the benefit. It is also helpful to actually use the device to discover all of the capability.

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    We have received funding from the US EPA for Hazmat related training. If I can explain to the EPA the benifits of using a thermal camera in HazMat incidents, they may approve the expenditure. I have heard that the cameras can show the fluid level in containers due to the thermal differences. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to justify the purchase of a thermal camera for HazMat? Of course, we primarily want to use it for fire situations but we need to get the approval of EPA for the the purchase.

    Tad Williams
    Walker River Paiute Tribe, NV
    Schurz VFD
    tadwms@gbis.com

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    Thumbs down not such a good IDEA

    we had a sitution on last shift it was a basement fire and the FF had a Thermal Imaging Camera in his had and he got disoriented his low air alarm went off. The Thermal Imaging Camera was no help the only thing that we saw was all black in the camera and the fire was white that was all we could see in any of the Thermal Imaging Cameras that we had the FF got out just in time he had 10psi in his bottle. I personally love the cameras to death and use it all the time but you cant relay on the cameras I didnt relise that we depend on the cameras so mutch and when it is gone you are gone and we also had one of the cameras that was bumped by a hose and went out so all went well after we got the FF out of the basement.

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    The conditions you describe and the problems you had,we address in our basic training program.We put our students in a basement fire,a first floor scenerio,a above ground floor scenerio,etc, so that they can learn image interpretation in different heat levels and situations.We also shut the cameras off on them so they learn proper emergency tactics without the use of their "eyes".I don't know how big your basement was,but a town near us will put the crews on rope on a large area fire/rescue so they have a way out.I've been working and teaching cameras for quite a while now,and I've never had one white out to where you couldn't pan over and regain use of the tool.Certainly wouldn't say it couldn't happen,but to date it hasn't. The brand of camera you use can also have a rather large impact on usability in high heat situations.There are several cameras that work better in these enviorments than others.Glad you got your guy out OK.T.C.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 10-31-2002 at 08:49 AM.

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    Rezfire: You are correct that you can use TI's to read liquid levels in containers. The only assumption is that the liquid and vapor space temperatures are different, and that the container is not insulated. The TI can also help find a leak from a pressurized vessel, locate materials on water (if their density is less than 1.0), and aid in placing dykes. Very concentrated gas clouds, if they are very cold or very hot, may also show up on the imager. It is a very flexible tool that can assist any hazmat team.

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    Default Re: not such a good IDEA

    Originally posted by opfdchief
    we had a sitution on last shift it was a basement fire and the FF had a Thermal Imaging Camera in his had and he got disoriented his low air alarm went off. The Thermal Imaging Camera was no help the only thing that we saw was all black in the camera and the fire was white that was all we could see in any of the Thermal Imaging Cameras that we had the FF got out just in time he had 10psi in his bottle. I personally love the cameras to death and use it all the time but you cant relay on the cameras I didnt relise that we depend on the cameras so mutch and when it is gone you are gone and we also had one of the cameras that was bumped by a hose and went out so all went well after we got the FF out of the basement.
    Chief...Rescue101 is 100% correct. The key to safe usage of a TI is making sure that all members still know how to operate at any given time in an incident without the TI. As for the problems you had with the TI, depending on the brand it could have been one of the following: (1) video overlay was on; (2) the shoulder strap fell in front of the lens; (3) if it is a microbolometer, the camera looked at the fire, shifted to EI mode, and then was not as 'sensitive' when looking for the escape route (it could take up to 30 seconds to reset...which I know is a lifetime when you are in trouble). Glad you got him out safetly.

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