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Thread: I got the cash

  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber TLFD40's Avatar
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    Default I got the cash

    Now i want a TIC!!!!! What did you guys look for when you purchased your TIC? What are the limitations? Where won't it work? Can you look in the water and find a warm body? Somebody told me they don't work when looking through glass. Any help would be appreciated, did anybody set up a check list?
    BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
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    Forum Member RescuHoppy7's Avatar
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    First of all,Breath!!! We use a Bullard TIC, it does have it's limitations,No you can not look through water or glass, what you are viewing when you use the TIC you see the thermal energy coming off objects, We looked at many different makes and models and felt that the Bullard was the right choice to fit our needs, there are many sites out there and many companies out there, so my best advice would be to do lots of research, buy what suits your needs and don't ever forget that the TIC canNOT replace firefighting knowledge and experience...STAY SAFE!
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  3. #3
    Forum Member tripperff's Avatar
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    Default First off...

    ...RescueHoppy...My condolences to OFD and Mr. Gavin's family. OK, Congrats on getting the cash. Both MSA and ISG have some very good general information on TIC's at their web sites. Study it well and make sure you ask a lot of questions of the salespeople when they show off their product. One thing I've noticed a lot regarding salespeople in the fire service product field is usually they either know their stuff or they're full of it. If you get more "I'll have to check on that" than real answers, be careful. If you get mostly answers, they probably know what they're talking about and you just happened to come up with a couple questions no one's thought to ask before. My FD just formed a committee to begin fundraising efforts to purchase one. We have one on our "wish list" for our FIRE Act grant request, but you never know. The same committee will also decide which one to buy when/if we get the money. A couple things we've already decided are necessary for whatever we buy are:

    -A loaner program, either with the dealer or the manufacturer, one with the dealer is better, no waiting for the loaner to come from the factory. After a little research I noticed a couple of companies really play up a 48 hour turnaround time on repairs and if they can't get it fixed in that time THEN they give you a loaner. The thing they don't mention is it's 48 hours once THEY have it. Who know's how long it will take between a dealer rep picking it up and getting it to where it needs to get repaired, and then once he gets it back getting it back to you. I've noticed they seem to make a more concerted effort when they're "on the hook" for that loaner they left with you than when they have to drop it off when their in the neighborhood.

    -Capable of transmitting the picture. Whether you jump in with both feet and get all these bells and whistles at once or just get the camera to start and get the rest later, it's a good idea to have this option. You never know, the guy outside watching the picture might catch something when you take your eyes off the picture to make sure you don't fall through the floor or something.

    You also want to know a company's track record on repairs, etc. What are other FD's in your area using and are they happy with what they have. Talk the their purchasing committees and ask them what they would do differently if they had it to do over.

    Just a few things to keep in mind.
    Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

    Anything found in my posts is soley my opinion and not representative of any other individual or entity.

    You know that thing inside your helmet? Use it wisely and you'll be just fine.

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    Forum Member RescuHoppy7's Avatar
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    Default Thank You

    tripperff,Thank you for your condolences, It's been a long week, but It has defentialy been a boost having the support of all our brothers, I was amazed to see the amount of people and trucks that came to the funeral it was defenitaly a morale booster for our department
    NYS FF1/AEMT-CC
    IAEP Local 152
    "You stopped being in charge when I showed up"

  5. #5
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: I got the cash

    Originally posted by TLFD40
    Now i want a TIC!!!!! What did you guys look for when you purchased your TIC? What are the limitations? Where won't it work? Can you look in the water and find a warm body? Somebody told me they don't work when looking through glass. Any help would be appreciated, did anybody set up a check list?
    In general, thermal imagers see through nothing. They do not see through water, nor through glass. A few sales people out there will try to trick FDs into thinking that video overlay allows a TI to see through glass. It does not. It uses a video camera to see through the glass...pay $1000 for the video camera or use the eyes God gave you for free.

    For additional guidance on choosing a TI:
    http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...Eval/index.cfm

    If you have specific questions on different types of technology or features, contact me at jonathan_bastian@bullard.com

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    Default Thermal imagers

    For (triperff)and any others that may be advising commitees on TIC purchases. While there may be several good reasons to purchase the picture transmit option for TICS, the reason you mention specificaly is not a good one. It could be possible that your scenario may occur however, the wise choice is to provide the inside user with the proper training to recognize hazards and navigate safely while using the camera while inside. Any user with extensive experience and/or proper imager training would back me up on this. This is one of those things that "sounds good" or "looks good on paper" so to speak, in practical use though, your safety and survivability odds when using a TIC are directly related to your training and your good or bad habits when your the one "inside", using the camera in the hazardous environment. So, along with JB's accurate advice on video overlay, consider this advice and don't be fooled by promises of unlikely possibilities. Stay safe and good luck with your decision process. JF

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    MembersZone Subscriber TLFD40's Avatar
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    Default How many types?

    Bullard
    ISG-firecam
    Argus
    MSA

    any other brands out there????????
    BE ALERT AND STAY ALIVE
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    TLVFD, NY

  8. #8
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many types?

    Originally posted by TLFD40
    Bullard
    ISG-firecam
    Argus
    MSA

    any other brands out there????????
    The four largest brands are Bullard, Scott, MSA, and ISG. There are others as well. Links to all the websites are available on:
    http://thermalimager.bullard.com/links/index.cfm

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    Default

    Hello All,

    First let me apologize for my disappearance, I believe it has been over a year since my last post on the Forums as “TIman”. To catch everyone up I made one of those life altering decisions and decided to leave Bullard as their TI Training Manager and get back to the “Streets” as the Training Officer for the St Matthews FD. My compliments to Jonathan and Gary who picked up the ball at Bullard and have been running with it since my departure. Needless to say the last couple of months have been real crazy, but things have settled a little and I made the decision that it is time to “get back into things”.

    In reference to TLFD40’s question of Which One?
    That is the million dollar question (literally for the manufacturers) and every time you ask that question you will most likely get a different answer to it.

    I have been in over 30 different States and 6 different Countries doing training on thermal imaging and every time I asked someone why they bought a particular thermal imager I pretty much got a different answer. Some of the more common responses included:
    It was what another Dept had purchased or recommended.
    It was the cheapest or the lowest bid price.
    It was sold by the rep who sold the Dept all of the other equip they buy.
    And my 2 favorite responses of all time,
    “It was the BEST!” or
    “We have absolutely no idea why!”

    If you look at the material that I put together on the Bullard website:
    http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...Eval/index.cfm
    http://thermalimager.bullard.com/tec...jun01art08.cfm[/url]
    you will see that I believe that there are some key areas that you need to look at.

    Durability - you need to have a TI that will work under some of the harshest conditions that can exist. I have seen thermal imagers dropped down 3-4 flights of stairs, caught in heat conditions that melted trim off of gear, dropped into standing water, and used to break out windows. While you should NEVER intentionally abuse a TI, in the Fire Service abuse is going to happen, and some units can take the abuse while others will stop working the first time they see any adverse condition.

    Design That Works – if you have seen and used different thermal imagers, then you know some of them were designed by engineers who wear white coats and live in labs, while others were designed by people who wear turn out gear and crawl through hell. You need to make sure you can use the unit in zero visibility, with gloves on, wearing an SCBA, to include activating the unit, changing batteries, and using any other features. Also remember the “KISS” (Keep it Simple Stupid) principle, take the one firefighter than can never do anything right and make sure they can use the unit. If it takes reading from an instruction manual, having a degree in engineering, or the perfect conditions to make it work then its not going to work at 3:00 AM in a burning building. Also make sure any feature you add on a unit is truly worth something and it is not just a “Bell or Whistle”. I would estimate that 70-80% of the thermal imagers that have transmitters are never used, 70-80% of people who use a temperature measurement feature do not truly understand how it works, and about 50% of firefighters do not use a TI because the unit is to complicated for them to figure out. Remember the chrome on the fire truck may look great during the parade, but it doesn’t make the fire go out any faster.

    Service & Support - there is no question sooner or later the unit is going to need service, the question is how will it be handled. Get any “promises” on service, such as a turn around time and a loaner in writing. Also make sure you understand what is REALLY covered under the warranty. You also need to find out what other forms of support you will get in areas such as fund raising or training.

    MOST IMPORTANTLY! - If you want to know how good a unit is don’t ask the sales rep, if you want the real answer see for yourself firsthand, and remember you can’t evaluate a unit standing up in an air-conditioned office wearing pants and a t-shirt. Also you need to talk to a number of current users, but also make sure they are using the units frequently under realistic conditions and not just letting them set on a truck. Also make sure you talk to at least 1 or 2 users who have had a problem that needed service or support and see how it was handled. Any good rep with a quality unit will provide you with a list of current users for you to contact.

    Buying a unit is major step that does not always go the way it should. I know some Depts. that have units that they use successfully on a daily basis, and other Depts. that can’t get a firefighter to pick a unit up because they don’t value them or can’t keep them on the trucks because they are always out for service.

    Good Luck, If anyone has any specific questions drop me an email.

    Mike Richardson
    TORichardson@hotmail.com
    Last edited by torichardson; 09-18-2003 at 04:09 PM.

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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Default

    Helmet mounted have some disadvantages:

    1- Anywhere from 2-4+ inches from what your eyes would normally see
    2- Since it is attached to your helmet, tendency to leave it down and rely on it to see
    3. Cannot show it to fellow firefighters as you can with handheld
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    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    Forum Member backsteprescue123's Avatar
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    Okay sorry about this but I need to contradict what I said in the above post. I was just thinking about the Cairns Helmet Mounted, I totally forgot about the new Morning Pride Helmet Mounted TIC. It is very small and light. But you still might have problems with using it full time to see. But this camera doesn't have that big screen apparatus in front of you.
    ------------------------------------
    These opinions are mine and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations I am affiliated with.
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    MembersZone Subscriber bolivas203's Avatar
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    Default

    We demo'd the Scott and the Bullard TICs and IMO, found the Scott to be a better TIC. Scott is easier to use when crawling and has a little bit better imager. After demo'ing them for about a month, we purchased the Scott. On an interesting side note. The Scott rep was so confident the resiliency that he held the thing out to his side and dropped it on the concrete. Picked it up and the thing worked like a champ.


    ] Print this out when demo’ing/researching TICs for your Department

    I have used the Scott in combat and it works great!
    Attached Images Attached Images  
    Last edited by bolivas203; 11-08-2004 at 01:46 AM.
    Stay alert and be safe.

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    MembersZone Subscriber firefighterbeau's Avatar
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    Default

    We also bought a Scott, they are very good when crawling to do a search. Also with the big screen and the nice and bright display helps. They are very durable as stated above, our salesman wasn't quite confident enough to drop it like that though.

    This is a little off why you would buy a certain brand and has very little to do with it, but our station is on the edge of town and we get alot of deer coming into town. So one night I felt it was important to see how far away you can see a Whitetail deer with it, the farthest one i could see was apprx 550 feet out, and showed up as just a dot on the screen. I was impressed that it showed up as well as it did, could still tell movement didn't quite have a shape though. Still can't get the chief to let me take it deer hunting though. lol

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    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    I can only say this about the Scott "crawling" camera, 99% of the time, when actually using the TIC, I am not crawling...I am walking. Other question on it, how easy is it to pan around a room and up to the ceiling and keep the correct orientation? I haven't tried one of them so I'm just a little curious.
    "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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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Bones,again we're on the same page.I'm a player on the "traveling circus" in the Maine TI training program.You don't look at the camera when you're crawling(or at least you shouldn't).Scan the area,pick a point and move to it.Rescan,pick a point and move to it.I've used them all in the program,never once has the T3's lense "dragged"when crawling and there is no perfect camera.Service is a major consideration when purchasing.Proper training is a must,otherwise you WILL develop "tunnel vision"IE having the camera constantly to your face.The mfgs have good links to information but one needs to evaluate several offerings with people familiar with ALL TI's to make a truly educated choice. T.C.

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    I try to avoid this but I feel Firefighter safety may be at stake so here goes.
    First, dropping cameras to show how "tough" they are is a stupid practice. Take any of these imagers apart and you will find the same electronic components inside the different packaging. How many times do you think you'll be able to drop, throw, kick, burn or drown these things before you get five cents worth of plastic circuit board and solder to fail? This in turn with the normal punishment the tool recieves on the fireground has a residual effect on when the camera fails. If it's your butt the guy with the camera is coming to look for during a "mayday", I hope you've taken good care of that unit up to that point.
    Next, I hope bones and 101 are talking about using the camera 99% of the time in good visibility no-smoke conditions! Here is a good rule with and without a TIC. If you can't see your feet, you don't belong on them! I've actually heard salesman that think they're qualified instructors tell people they can use the camera to walk around quicker in zero visibility conditions because the camera "gives you back your vision"! That is dangerous advice folks! I hope that's not the "same page" you guy's are on.
    Last, the camera referenced for the lense dragging is not a T3 but a Tix or Commander. You really need to understand the importance of training on and with the camera or cameras you will be using. Many things can be learned from experienced instructors that are end users. These things include moving "point to point" when necessary and learning to use the cameras viewscreen when advancing while staying oriented when that is a practical tactic. Helmet mounted cameras (at least 4 different makes and models in use or available in the fire service) can be as effective as handhelds when the user is trained on it's specific limitations and capabilities. The point is, every camera has advantages and disadvantages, learn how to safely train on and use yours! Stay Safe JF
    Last edited by JForristall; 11-09-2004 at 05:12 PM.

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    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    JF,I think we've butted heads long enough you should know the only place I walk with the camera is to the entry point.But I don't crawl with it glued to my face either,which is the point I was trying to make.Scan the room high,middle,low and pick your next point;Reality check;do this without the camera and you aren't as apt to lose your bearings.Do your scan again,pick a point,get there.I use the camera to make the job faster and pick out anything "odd"as a "must check".But the camera is an electronic tool,subject to failure so make sure to use your basics to keep you out of trouble.Like walls,shelter points,egress points,odd noises etc.Often in training if someone is becoming careless with the camera we turn it off and see if they can regain their bearings.Gets interesting sometimes.But I've seen the results of personnel being "glued"to the tool and not doing reality checks and it's not pretty.But hey,I'm also glad we got you to shake off the cobwebs,you and JB always make this an interesting forum.I do what I can,T.C.

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    I never had any doubt about you knowing what your method was or why you use it. I don't want to see others mis-interpret information they gather here or elsewhere. As far as the salesman goes I don't want anyone thinking I was talking about you. In fact it was a retired guy who went south to FLA. His advice should go south as well. I'm sure your program is good and I'm sure of your experience even more so. I've spoken with people who have gone through your program. As far as "point to point" and "reality checks" I think you'll find we wrote the book on that stuff, if you weren't aware already. I know your about as passionate with this topic as I am. Knowing what we know, isn't it amazing how little emphasis is put on training though? For example, the original post on this topic. Has anyone heard about a purchase decision or more importantly, have they recieved any formal training? I'm not butting heads, though I stand by my comments. Stay Safe JF

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    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JForristall
    I try to avoid this but I feel Firefighter safety may be at stake so here goes.
    First, dropping cameras to show how "tough" they are is a stupid practice. Take any of these imagers apart and you will find the same electronic components inside the different packaging. How many times do you think you'll be able to drop, throw, kick, burn or drown these things before you get five cents worth of plastic circuit board and solder to fail?
    JF, I respectfully disagree. There is NO independent testing of manufacturers' claims on durability or performance. As a result, fire departments must take on the verification process themselves. They cannot look for the "Certified to NFPA 19XX" label because there isn't one.

    You and I both know that certain models are more reliable and more durable than others; yet they all claim "X foot drop test and 48 hour turnaround." Firefighters need proof. Dropping the salesperson's TI is the best way to get proof. If the salesperson dances or refusees, then what is he saying about his confidence in the TI?

    The components are similar; the packaging is not. Brothers need to evaluate the packaging. Now, once I buy one, I wouldn't beat it up unnecessarily...but prior to purchase? You bet.

    Stay safe.
    My comments are sometimes educated, sometimes informed and sometimes just blowing smoke...but they are always mine and mine alone and do not reflect upon anyone else (especially my employer).

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    My point is this, for every salesman that is willing to punish their camera to prove a point, there are a dozen firefighters who are willing to repeat the demonstration over and over again. If you don't think this type of experiment is dangerous and sending the wrong message to an under-informed fire service, you are definately mistaking. I don't argue that customer service is a very important consideration, it is a huge factor. But let's talk about real world here, I've witnessed camera failure on the fireground as a direct result of the kind of abuse I refer to. If you'd like I can be brand and incident specific. I don't think you would appreciate it and I don't feel it's necessary because I think it was a result of the abuse and not the make, model or manufacturer. As long as you disagree with my opinion, perhaps you would like to mention the one way your salespeople are encouraged not to "drop test" the camera. If that doesn't ring a bell with you, let me know and I'll send you a picture of the unit assigned to my Ladder Company, It clearly shows a crack in the case by the handle. I can tell you it didn't get there from crawling around on the fireground. Someone decided to demonstrate how tuff it was after the sale. I'll say it again "Stupid practice". I'll agree to disagree for now. Stay Safe or should I say "be careful out there"! JF
    Last edited by JForristall; 11-09-2004 at 10:16 PM.

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