Thread: Fire Warior TIC

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    Default Fire Warior TIC

    Just When I thought I had the TIC issue all firgured out, I get a call from a rep from the Total Fire Group.

    The Fire Warrior TIC.

    http://www.totalfiregroup.com/whatsnew.asp

    I have always liked the concept behind this, very ergonomical, very compact and always out of your way.

    Also, the biggest department in MT (Billings) has evidently decided to go with these units as their TICs. They will be purchasing multiple Fire Warrior TICs this year.

    So, has anybody used these yet, either in evaluation or better yet in the field.

    This TIC issue is getting to realy be a agonizing decision.
    -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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    Here is what is looks like.





    It is supposed to be about 16 Oz.

    If you have a lighter helmet, say a Phenix or some sort of Bullard LT, then the overall package should be cofortable.

    If you have a leather that is already on the hefty side, this may be a pain in the neck.

    Sure is compact though, and well protected with a face sheild strategicly placed.
    -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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    Myself and the other instructors have had the opportunity to use the Fire warrior at training venues like firehouse world, FDIC and the Worcester safety seminar, among others. This unit has conveniences as well as drawbacks that are so far on the unique side in the industry. This makes the unit as capable and promising as any unit in the field,it also makes it sucseptible to any of the problems you may run into with any of the other units.As has been said on these forums, "all the manufacturers have had problems with units in the field" Do you think because a Rolls Royce is built by hand, its not sucseptible to breaking down because a ten cent part failed? This is true with most electronic equipment and is true with Tic's.As far as comparisons go, for every reason you can show me why I should buy camera "B" ,I can show you why camera "J" is better. This usually boils down to 1 or 2 things, familiarity and training. This is why Safe-IR's only recommendation is to get CAMERA SPECIFIC TRAINING, get trained by someone familiar with a cameras capabilities as well as its drawbacks. If you're having trouble with reps coming in at your convenience now, imagine what may happen after the sale? Perhaps this should be a major deciding factor before any purchase. Regardless of which camera you decide on, instruction is available to help you overcome any inherant or unique problems your unit may possess. Most reputable manufacturers and factory reps are aware of this and will reccomend the people capable of delivering this training. To realize any tools full potential the user should be thoroughly trained in its operation and application. Good Luck John F.
    Last edited by JForristall; 12-19-2003 at 02:34 PM.

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    [QUOTE]This is why Safe-IR's only recommendation is to get CAMERA SPECIFIC TRAINING, get trained by someone familiar with a cameras capabilities as well as its drawbacks./quote]

    Not Likely in our area. One reason is that we cant affored to hire a trainer to come to our remote area to conduct training. Second reason is that there is basicly nobody that that familiar with TICs in general for our area. We have been on the trailing edge of technology for a very very long time. There are no departments that we have access to that have had a TIC for more then a year.

    If you're having trouble with reps coming in at your convenience now, imagine what may happen after the sale?


    I would imagine that we are left high and dry like always. Money talks, BS walks. We dont have money, and it is a hell of a long walk to anywhere with a fire service vendor or training center.

    This is the reality of our situation.

    [quote]Perhaps this should be a major deciding factor before any purchase.[/qutoe]

    LOL, it is a factor all right.

    Should we pick vendor A that will never show up, or should we pick vendo B that will never show up???

    We are on our own, the only service support we can expect is by pony express at our own expense with a likely turn around of months.

    Again, not our choice or realy any way to remidy it, just the reality of living in the great wide open that is Montana.

    Regardless of which camera you decide on, instruction is available to help you overcome any inherant or unique problems your unit may possess. Most reputable manufacturers and factory reps are aware of this and will reccomend the people capable of delivering this training. To realize any tools full potential the user should be thoroughly trained in its operation and application. Good Luck John F.
    Thanks for the luck, we are going to need it.

    We are limited greatly by cost when it comes to bringing in trainers to our area.

    Like with most of our training issues, we will have to solve our own problems when it comes to TICs. It is going to take a lot of research, a trip by a few of us to a training center that can help out (likely a week long trip at our own expense in wadges and only partial refunded for travel and lodgeing), and a lot of trial and error.

    But, we like that sort of thing, so we are going to be grinning the entire time!
    -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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    Samson, you sound determined yet it sounds like you're about to give up at the same time.That would be the frustration, right? You are doing the right thing with all the research, keep asking questions. If they want to sell you a unit they will respond. If they sell you a unit soup to nuts, they may not have you or your men's safety in mind. For what some departments pay for bells and whistles they may seldom use, they find out later that the money would have been better spent on training their guys how to use the tool safely and to it's and your full potential. Don't give up on the idea of being properly trained so easily. First you'd be surprised at some of the more "desolate" places we've done trainings around the U.S., from Alaska and northern Maine, Alabama to Oregon, Big cities and one horse towns. Second, manufacturers will bid their units with Safe-IR training included,at your request. Most will not mark-up the cost, that is, profit from the training. Some may even help sponsor a regional training. Third, many departments find,like you,training to be cost prohibitive. This is why a regional, cost shared training may be your answer.This is not a tool you want to learn about by trial and error, the cost could be unspeakable.Many of the people on this forum are well educated on the subject, any of them would be hard pressed to argue about the importance of thorough training, as well as argue as to who is best qualified and capable of delivering that training, as I said, continue asking questions and you may not end up relying only on the luck I wished on you.Stay safe JF

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    The only thing I see that makes me go hmm, is the eye peice. It seems to me that it would be hard to see that little screen, with one eye, and through the lens of your mask. Anybody use these that could tell me how it works.

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    lGood observation! The eye piece does show a decent quality image that is closer to your choice of one eye.Because it's close you can easily see it, while still having some periferal/ambient vision.This is not allways,necessary,usefull or desireable, on the other hand it could keep a user more aware of their surroundings.The key is the comparitive size of the screen and learning to overcome any drawbacks this may present, again it's not a question of better or worse than any other unit,it's just different than most.When I had the opportunity to use them,some positive features were size-weight-battery type-hands free ability-ease to pass on-hand held ability are among some of the things that come to mind.To answer your question, the units seem to have worked just fine at the venues we used them at, FDIC,Firehouse etc.The particular technology was developed for the seret service, and for civilian purposes was packaged to be fire hardened for lightweight helmet mounted use.JF
    Last edited by JForristall; 12-19-2003 at 10:57 PM.

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    First, My 2 Cents On the Fire Warrior TIC:
    Pros - Great concept, this may well be the future of Hands-Free Thermal Imaging for the immediate time frame until someone can integrate a TIC with SCBA and have a display inside the SCBA Facepiece. Based on my limited experience this is not a bad unit. Compared to its Hands-Free predecessors the IRIS and the FireFlir this is a big improvement especially when it comes to weight/balance and display. There are definitely units out there with better image quality, but the image quality from this unit will get the job done. The overall design is not bad, pretty practical and user friendly. I would say its greatest strengths are Hands-Free concept, light weight, and ease of use.
    Cons - The biggest issue I could see with this unit would be durability. Once again I have limited experience with this unit, but I would bet based on my experience that these units are going to have some wear and tear issues. Obviously the display and the flexible arm are going to most likely be the weakest link. If you look at the picture above you can see how the arm and display could take a beating just from the faceshield coming down and hitting them. Being on the helmet, these units are also going to take some very high levels of heat. For short term exposures the units seem to do pretty well, but I am not sure how well they will do over the log run with cumulative/repeated high heat exposures. I am used to using weapons with "Reflex/Red Dot Sites", so looking at the TIC display and the surrounding environment at the same time for me is not a problem, but as John pointed out this will take some time and training for most people to get used to. As with other TICs display fogging can also be an issue, specifically with this unit because the small display can be difficult to get at to clear and hitting/pushing on it can move it out of viewing position.

    REMEMBER, there have been those who swore by the Hands-Free concept, but many of those people are now carrying Hand-Held units. There have also been those who swore by the IRIS and the FireFlir, but both of those units are no longer in production due to their design and performance issues. This unit has overcome many of those design issues, but I believe the jury is still out on the performance issues. If the jury comes back with a favorable verdict then this may well become the Hands-Free unit that becomes a staple in the Fire Service.

    Personally, I believe if a Dept is going to have 1-2 TICs you can't beat the Hand-Held units for practical use. However if you already have some Hand-Held units, and are looking to dedicate a unit to a specific company that is assigned to Search & Rescue (Truck, Rescue, Squad) then these units may be the way to go.

    Second, Knowing the "Pros & Cons":
    Whether you are buying a TIC or using a TIC you MUST know the Pros & Cons of the unit. Every TIC made, contrary to what some people may say, has Pros & Cons. I always like to ask people what the Pros & Cons are of a specific unit, and rarely do I get an answer that includes all of them.

    If you are buying, look at the Pros & Cons, I believe there are units out there that have more Cons than Pros and as such you should not be purchasing them. Look at the Pros, are these the strengths that you need and will they really benefit you. A 4-Hour battery would be a Pro, but how often will you need to run the unit for 4 hours non-stop? Look at the Cons, can you live with them or overcome them with something else such as training. A unit may have a battery that can be inserted improperly or in the wrong direction which would be a Con, but with the proper training this could be addressed. If you are trying to decide which unit to purchase, compare the Pros & Cons as you see them, not as the Sales Force wants you to see them, and not as they may seem at first glance. If you do not have a list of at least 5 Pros & Cons to compare for each unit then you are not done with your homework or evaluation.

    If you are using, you must at least know the Cons so you can make sure no one falls victim to them. Make sure everyone is aware of the Cons and training is done to eliminate or mange them. It also pays to know the Pros, I have worked with many users who have not really known or understood the full ability of their units. Donít take it for granted that everyone will know about or understand all of the Pros of the unit.

    Third, Training:
    Your ability to get training on Thermal Imaging is limited to how well you negotiate when you buy your unit or how motivated you are to get it done.

    When you purchase, a lot of people give little or no thought to the training during the purchasing process. This should be just as important in the purchasing process as evaluating the unit. First, make sure you get what the Manufacturer/Rep will provide for training in writing to include an outline/lesson plan. Second, make sure you talk to at least 2-3 users who have received the training and make sure that it was provided as promised. If you can't get the training as part of the purchase then don't buy the unit, any Manufacturer/Rep can and will provide this training if you force them to, if not they will take the easiest way out and not provide the training. Remember, the training may bump the price up some, but you will also get what you pay for! Train as if your life depends on it, because it does!

    If you didn't get the training as part of the purchase, there are resources out there that you can take advantage of. My first recommendation is a formal training program such as SAFE-IR or a State Fire Academy Program. It is obviously best to get everyone trained in this manner, but if you can't make it happen because of logistics or expense get at least 2-3 people trained in one of these programs so they can then go back and work with the rest of the Dept. If you can't afford to have SAFE-IR train just your Dept, as John said you can set up an open enrollment class where multiple Depts can send people and split up the cost of the class. Second option, if you can't get into a formal program, train yourself with the material that is out there. Between the material on the Manufacturer's website, the training material on the Bullard Website, the Conferences such as Firehouse Expo, and the magazine articles and videos tapes that are out there you can put together at least a basic in-house training program for your personnel. Finally ask for help, myself and many others on this Forum can also help.

    Good Luck, Stay Safe,
    Mike Richardson
    Captain, Training Officer
    St Matthews FD, Louisville KY
    "aka TIman"
    richardson@stmatthewsfd.com

    TI Training = www.safe-ir.com

    The information and views above are in no way associated with my employer, and are strictly my own.

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