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  1. #1
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    Feb 2004
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    Question Thermal Imaging Camera training videos?

    About 2 years ago, my department purchased a Argus 2 TIC, and we have been fairly happy with it. The problem that we have (same problem that we would have with any camera) is training members, especially new members, in the use of the camera. Are there any cost-effective videos or CD-ROMs, havefully non-manufacturer specific, that we could purchase that would help us in our training? I have e-mailed the manufacturer, but haven't received a response yet.

    Thanks,
    Captain Chris Avis
    Clendenin (WV) VFD


  2. #2
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
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    Default Re: Thermal Imaging Camera training videos?

    Originally posted by cavis1
    About 2 years ago, my department purchased a Argus 2 TIC, and we have been fairly happy with it. The problem that we have (same problem that we would have with any camera) is training members, especially new members, in the use of the camera. Are there any cost-effective videos or CD-ROMs, havefully non-manufacturer specific, that we could purchase that would help us in our training? I have e-mailed the manufacturer, but haven't received a response yet.

    Thanks,
    Captain Chris Avis
    Clendenin (WV) VFD
    There is no generic training CD. To my knowledge, Bullard is the only manufacturer that supplies a training CD with each thermal imager purchased.

    Your best bet might be to get Safe-IR to come in, take really good notes, then develop your own course afterwards.
    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).

  3. #3
    Forum Member CaptOldTimer's Avatar
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    Exclamation

    Ummmmm


    I think that some type of instruction book came with that creature. You did buy it from a fire department supply business? Was there a salesperson there to show you the TIC? Did you just find it on the door step, looking for a home?

    Ask other fire departments around you, if they use TIC'S. Check with the Charleston FD and get some input from them. I am sure that they will be able to assist.

    If you have a instruction booklet and an fire department instructor, it isn't hard to create a lesson plan and a training video to show others. Read the manual.

    My thinking who ever sold it to your dept., and what ever the brand is, should be of assistance to you, for the price you paid, they should give you some type of help.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2003
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    Default

    On the video,
    There are videos out there but I would not necessarily recommend them, and I do not believe they were intended to be “stand alone” training programs. Both FETN and American Heat have done training segments on Thermal Imaging, you can find some of those segments listed at http://thermalimager.bullard.com/techSpecs/articles.cfm and you can contact FETN http://www.pwpl.com/fire/default.asp .

    Like Jonathan said the Bullard Video and CD that I put together 3-4 years ago is the only material out there specifically made for thermal imaging training. However this material was only intended to be a Basic Awareness Level Training, not a complete stand alone training program.

    On Thermal Imaging Training,
    I hope this does not come off wrong, but I also feel like it needs to be said,

    My beliefs on Thermal Imaging Training in the Fire Service:
    1. There should be at least 2 Levels of training, Basic (Awareness/Operations) and Advanced (Technician/Specialist).
    Basic includes:
    Basic TIC Operating Procedures (Turn On/Off, Battery Changing/Charging, etc)
    Basics of Thermal Imaging
    Basic Thermal Imaging Applications (Fire Attack, Search, Overhaul, etc).

    Advanced includes:
    Advanced TI Operating Procedures (Temp Measurement, Colorization, etc)
    Advanced Thermal Imaging Technology & Principals
    Advanced Thermal Imaging Applications (Haz Mat, Fire Investigations, etc)

    2. These training programs must include 2 components, an Academic/Classroom component, and a Practical/Hands-On component. Sitting in a classroom going through a video or Power Point presentation is a good starting point, but you must also be able to “see it and do it” under realistic conditions. You MUST have BOTH of these components in your training, one component alone can not get you to the level of training that you will need.


    I would also make the following argument:
    Being a Fire Service Instructor does not make you a Thermal Imaging Instructor. As the guys at SAFE-IR say “there is more to Thermal Imaging than changing the battery”. If you do not TRULY understand how a thermal imager “works in the real world” then chances are you can’t provide the information your students will need. While you can try to follow a lesson plan, I have never seen a lesson plan that really covered all of the material, and I think this is especially true for Thermal Imaging given its complexity. My Basic Thermal Imaging Power Point is over 200 slides and it still only has about half of the information in it that you would need to teach the class, the other 50% has to come from practical experiences using thermal imaging. You can also get into trouble the first time a student asks a question that is not covered on the lesson plan, because you do not have a knowledge or experience base to draw from. I do not believe a Fire Service instructor should teach any topic simply because they have a Lesson Plan or Power Point presentation. If an Instructor has not been through a “Formal Training Program”, had at least 2-3 years of experience using the skills on the fireground, and been able to demonstrate that they are competent on the subject matter then I don’t believe they should be teaching the subject. There is a very good saying, “crap in equals crap out”, if an instructor does not provide “quality training”, then you can not expect a “quality performance” from the students.

    To be very honest I do not think anyone should buy a TIC unless the Manufacturer or Distributor is willing to put it in writing that they will provide at least a “Basic” level class that includes Hands-On training. I also believe Depts should be willing to pay more money for the TIC if this training will be included as long as it is “legitimate training”. An example of “legitimate training” would be someone from SAFE-IR coming in and doing 6-8 hours of classroom and 6-8 hours of hands-on, not a sales rep who shows up and plays a 30 minute video followed by 15 minutes of questions and answers. Bottom Line, you can get this quality training up front and probably have to pay money for it, or you can accept a poor substitute and pay for it down the road with injuries and failed operations. If more Depts would include training as a part of the purchasing process it would help them tremendously in the long run.

    I hope more will be done with Thermal Imaging Training, to be honest I think it is one of the most underrated and neglected subjects of training in the Fire Service.


    How has everyone’s Dept handled their Thermal Imaging Training?


    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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