1. #1
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    Question Thermal Imaging Cameras

    We are getting ready to purchess a IRIS Camera.. and well some of the guys are hooked on buying a Bullard and I have heard nothing good about the Bullard Cameras At All just to put it simple. I want us to get a MSA EV4000. I have seen one of them work and have heard nothing but Good things about it. Can anyone HELP!!!!! Please E-Mail me and let me know valley_capt@yahoo.com
    Thanks!!!!

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    No matter how many different cameras you demo, you'll always get different people with different prefrences. I've never worked with the MSA but I have worked with the Bullard. The Bullard is very popular in this area and generally well liked. Don't get me wrong, problems do arise but that will happen no matter who the manufacturer.

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    Default TIC

    Howdy:

    We ran a manufacturers demo at our station and invited all TIC manufacturers to demonstrate their product to ourselves as well as Chief's from throughout the province.

    In most of the attendees opinion, the MSA EV4000 won hand's down.

    Murray

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    how about the MSA EV 5000. If you havent seen it-it may solve the problem-it is small like the bullard and a lot like the 4000 and better yet-cheaper than the 4000.

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    Our department just purchased a thermal imager. We compared an MSA and a Scott (sorry - don't know the model numbers off the top of my head).

    We went with the Scott. The two main reasons were the screen resolution and the carrying design. What I mean is, the Scott is built with the lens, display, and handle so that it is easily viewed while crawling on our hands and knees - the way we do most rescues. The camera has two feet that rest on the floor as you move through the structure. In this position, the lens is pointing straight in front of you, parallel to the floor. The display is angled so that the rescuer can easily see it from this position. It's much less awkward to use than other cameras.

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    My dept. has recently purchased two bullard T3's. I know that they are one of the least expensive cameras on the market, I think about $9900.00 and so far we are very pleased. I have also recently taken a weekend TIC class at the PA State Fire Accadmy. This class gave me the opertunity to use nearly every camera on the market. From what I saw the MSA 4000 is certenly one of the best out thair. Also the 5000 is a very nice camera. The T3 that my dept. ownes also performed well. It is by no means the top of the line, and it dose not have all the bells and wisels that many of the other cameras have but it dose do the job. Also another thing that I liked about Bullard is their service. They gave us a camera to use for nearly two months before we made our decision.
    The bottem line is that you should explore all your options. Some cameras do a lot of things that the cheaper cameras can't do but they can all help your dept. save lives and that is the most important thing to look into, what is going to be the best tool to help you do the job.
    Try to get your hands on as many cameras as you can befor you buy. Explore every posobility. I hope this helps.

    Dennis Miller
    WWW.station45.org

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    Default TICS

    This question will get as many responses as "what type of pick up truck do you like and why" . . .The truth of the matter in my opinion, is that you have to determine what is BEST for your department needs. I have had the privilege of working with several different companies in different settings and specific demos . . .but the cameras that I've seen that consistently function the best in the most extreme conditions are the ISI and the ISG . . . both of which were made by the same company until just recently. Both cameras function VERY well in high heat, have great options available at a very reasonable cost. Both are no-nonsense type cameras that allow a firefighter to perfrom the job at hand "SEE WHAT'S HOT AND WHAT IS NOT". . . without fancy gizmos or selling points like "color screens" that honestly . . .are cool to look at but not very practical in the field . . . they are also easy to handle and easy to change from search-member to search member, unlike the helmet monted cams. Any are good if they are what YOU want . . .just don't SETTLE for a camera, just because it LOOKS GOOD!

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    Question thermal imaging camera as a tool

    Dear Firefighters and Officers
    I am still a rookie after ten years and the new thing I am studying is the T.I.C. as a tool. too many guys on my fire dept are trying to use it as a way to fight fire and find victims which is the mission of the t i c Thats great but at the same time they are relying on it too much i think. The cam isnt going to tell you the condition of the roof or the floor or even the structural integrity of the building which the fire is located hey fellas im not trying to put a damper on any spirits here the iris is a good TOOL! You guys have more experience than i do so e-mail me please with your thoughts and give me a heads up please. I am a team leader on my interior attack team and the camera man is at the rear of the line watching our backs as we put the fire out and watch for signs of collapse. the "cam team" tells me i dont know what im talking about so if you please again give me a heads up i would appreciate it
    thanks guys and god bless you all
    stay safe
    traynorlfdlamo
    traynor-542@rescueteam.com

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    Default Limitations

    We teach our students that the only limitations of the camera is the battery and your imagination.As you become more experienced in image interpretation you will find that the camera WILL help you determine certain structural weaknesses,fire spread,possible vent spots,and a million other details which will allow you to gain the edge in tactical decision making.But to get there you need to use the tool,EVERY time out.Our rule is if the crew comes off the rig,the camera comes off the rig.And document it on the run card, that way if you wear the tool out you can justify the replacement by showing the otherwise lost causes the camera helped you save.T.C.

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    We currently have a Bullard in service and have had no real problems with it. I "played" with a MSA just this Friday (Model # unknown) and it did seem to be more sensitive. (In the truck bay)

    Our Bullard is about 3 yrs old so would be unfair to compare our Model T to the new Corvette.

    Wish I could be more help

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Limitations

    Originally posted by Rescue101
    We teach our students that the only limitations of the camera is the battery and your imagination.
    TC: I am sure you didn't mean this literally, but just so those less familiar with the technology are clear that there are limitations to the technology. For example, infrared does not pass through glass or water. As a result, the thermal imager will not "see" through those materials. Additionally, it is important that all firefighters realize that the TI generally does not "see" through anything. It is not like an x-ray machine. It sends out nothing; it only receives heat and turns it into a visible image for us to interpret.

    Jonathan Bastian
    TI Training Manager, Bullard

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    Wink Ah comeon JB cut me a little

    JB,Right on again as usual.My reply was to the comment that you couldn't see structural "happenings"with the camera when,as you well know,you actually can once you become used to image interpretation.The students are well educated about shinies,mirrors,water,etc. in the presentation.However I don't want to give all that up here or I'll be out of a job.Just recently one of our graduates was on a crew entering a well involved structure.After scanning the room he backed the crew out over some rather heated debate.Just after they had cleared the door the room collapsed into the basement.This was a commercial so there were no basement windows.A GOOD officer well trained on interpretation who without ANY DOUBT saved the lives of his crew.A powerful tool when used correctly.T.C.

  13. #13
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    Interesting discussion.

    There has always been point and counter point discussion on hand held Vs. helmet mont. When comparing a Cairns Iris to a hand unit, IMO the hand unit is more practical. But, there seems to be some inovation in the helmet mount TICs which make them look more promising.

    I have been reserching TICs for a while. My VFD is hopeing to soon have the funding for the purchase of our first TIC, maybe even 2 of them if we go for the econo models.

    I have been looking into two different helmet mounted units. The Helmetvue and the SOLOvision. I dont care for the SOLO very much, but the Helmetvue seems like a good approach. If anybody has and experiences/reviews with these please share.

    http://www.gosage.com/helmetvue.htm

    http://www.fireresearch.com/pdf/solovision-rev0603.pdf

    Just imagine how great it would be if every firefighter on the firegroud had a Helmetvue TIC. This will probly be reality someday down the line when the price of the technology drops to <3000. What a revolution that will be.

    But for now, it may be a better approach to use the palm sized hand held units. Especialy in low buget departments which can only afford a single TIC. At least that is our gameplan.

    The other units I am intersted in are the ISG firecams.

    http://www.isgfire.com/firecam.htm

    Any experiences/reviews for those would be greatly appreciated. They seem more affordable then most.

    Is image quality realy an issue. Any image is better then pitch black. I can see worrying about pixels for a TV or computer monitor, but on a TIC? If you can make out most objects, even if they are a bit fuzzy, is that not good enough for most fireground applicatoins? Personaly I would take the trade off of affordability over picture quality.

    Also, if anybody would like to share some personal fireground experinces with TICs in general, I would be very intersted. As yet my underfunded and overworked VFD has not been able to purchase a TIC. We hope to with grant funding, someday, hopefully soon. But so far my only experiences with a TIC are from a joint training session with our closest neighboring VFD. They had a Bullard unit. Nice, but very bulky and a bit pricy, 16,000.

    Thanks

    Sam

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    Originally posted by SamsonFCDES
    I dont care for the SOLO very much, but the Helmetvue seems like a good approach. If anybody has and experiences/reviews with these please share.

    The HelmetVue has been in prototype stages for about two years now. To my knowledge, it is not in full scale production. They are apparently still beta-testing the unit.

    Is image quality realy an issue. Any image is better then pitch black. I can see worrying about pixels for a TV or computer monitor, but on a TIC? If you can make out most objects, even if they are a bit fuzzy, is that not good enough for most fireground applicatoins? Personaly I would take the trade off of affordability over picture quality.

    Image quality is an issue, but only a little bit. The bigger issue is that each technology shows heat, thermal layers, thermal columns, etc. in a different manner. Recognize that every technology has its pros and cons. Remember that EVERY thermal imager is "tuned" to operate best at a certain temperature. Some look nicer in conference rooms, others look better when they heat up (like at in a fire). Evaluate the TI in the environment where you plan to use it most. Also, pixels can be counted in 2 ways: pixels on the FPA (detector) and pixels in the video display. Pixels on the FPA affect image quality the most. However, on such small video screens, it really doesn't matter. Even our people who use TIs on an almost-daily basis can barely tell the difference between 320x240 and 160x120 pixels on the FPA.

    They had a Bullard unit. Nice, but very bulky and a bit pricy, 16,000.

    Probably a few years old...almost NO TI sells for that much anymore. And if you want true success stories on TI use, I recommend http://thermalimager.bullard.com/index07.cfm

    Jonathan Bastian
    TI Training Manager
    Bullard

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    Sam,It would be easier to share information with you if you provided a pm or E-mail address.As you begin evaluating cameras you will find that picture definition/clarity is quite important to image interpretation along with the tips JB has given you.I'm not big on any current helmet mount but I'm sure as they develop we'll be using them more and more.We "road"tested the MSA 5000,sent it back to the factory with a fix it list and they did.A lot of nice offerings currently available, choosing is becoming more difficult.Do your homework,do EXTENSIVE field trials under working conditions,and choose WISELY,you'll be living with your decision for some time.T.C.

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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    As you begin evaluating cameras you will find that picture definition/clarity is quite important to image interpretation along with the tips JB has given you.
    TC, I am going to disagree with you for once

    Image quality, from an emergency incident perspective, is effectively equal among almost all TIs on the market. There are certain TIs that present cleaner, crisper pictures. There are some that pick up individual details, such as a buckle on an SCBA. However, to the firefighter in the street, these differences are unimportant . They count only in the "classroom setting" where a lot of TI decisions are made.

    A firefighter does not need to be able to count how many pallets are in the fire; he needs to be able to find the fire and apply water. A firefighter does not need to determine if a victim is wearing tennis shoes or slippers; he needs to be able to identify he has a victim and where the victim is. A firefighter does not need to count the rivets and seams in a container; he needs to be able to see if it is changing temperature or if it has product in it.

    That said, combined with the extensive real life trials you recommend, I also suggest that every FD doing a TI evaluation make the salesperson prove any statement he makes, whether it be about accuracy, performance, durability, uses, etc. FDs should also ask themselves how the feature the salesperson is pushing will actually help in an emergency incident.

    Don't pay extra for bells and whistles that add nothing to the safety and ability of your firefighters to do their job properly.
    Last edited by firemanjb; 08-08-2003 at 01:23 PM.

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    95% of our TIC use is finding hot spots during overhaul, electrical shorts, bad light ballasts, and checking buildings during alarm calls. The other 5% is during structure fires. Yes, our camera comes off and goes in on every call. We just have a lot more calls that are not structure fires as I bet most people do. Think about what you will use the camera most often for and make sure it can handle those tasks well.

    Just my two cents.

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    My email is

    fcdes@midrivers.com

    I should redo my profile to make it available, I think I can trust most of you folks...

    Thanks for the input, and please keep on sharing information, it is a great help.

    Especialy as you have pointed out, when you buy a TIC, you are going to have it until it is broke or until the next grant.

    Thanks

    Sam Thielen
    Fallon County, MT
    DES Coordinator/Fire Warden

  19. #19
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    Just testing, I changed my options so that my email is available.

    Thanks again
    -Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
    -Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.

    -Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

    -Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.

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    Question For once

    JB, for once?Oh no, you don't get off that easily.We share different perspectives on this issue but I won't hold it against you(G).As an end user as well as educator I prefer a clear screen to a not so clear one.This is my PERSONAL preference and it is well grounded with experience.The beauty of our occasional "fencing"only benefits those with less time than we have.I've used your products along with those of many of your competitors and a year ago I was pretty much a one camera man.My opinions recently have been swayed but I still have two favorites for instructing.I like the T3 for down and dirty Firefighting but it has an few issue I don't really like,I'll e-mail it to you.Go ahead keep on badgering me,I get smarter but I'll send you home with a project too.Gawd I love this place!T.C.

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