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  1. #1
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    Question MSA Evolution 5000 TIC

    Greetings folks. First time poster here.

    Just wanted to say hello and in the spirit of this board, ask for opinions and insight into the MSA Evolution 5000 Thermal Imaging Camera. We've recently purchased this unit as our first TIC and I'm just wondering if anyone has anything to say about it, good or bad or perhaps if you have any insight into potential "quirks" it may or may not have compared to other TICs.



    /john
    --
    John Holstein, Asst. Chief
    Danville Volunteer Fire Department
    www.danvillevfd.com


  2. #2
    Forum Member Rescue2947's Avatar
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    We also just purchased one. We looked at other brands but the 5000 seemed more applicable. Good post Chief i would be interested in the same info. I know ours has a truck mount charger which was recommended.

  3. #3
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    roger that.

    we received the unit monday, by 3pm tuesday i had the charging base installed on the truck. we've since went through inservice with most of the officers and engineers and tonight, we'll be doing a station-wide inservice. we've invited our brother-department in for training tonight as well (they have a bullard).

    we also purchased the telemtry system with transmitter and receiver, we'll be implementing/training on this after we get the basics down.

    we wanted to get the unit inservice as fast as possible, all of us knew how important this new piece of equipment is as we recently rescued a local guy from a burning building using our brother-department's TIC (the guy later died, but he had a heartbeat when we brought him out).


    /john
    --
    John Holstein, Asst. Chief
    Danville Volunteer Fire Department
    www.danvillevfd.com

  4. #4
    Forum Member jerrygarcia's Avatar
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    Our department has about 20 of these TICs. I am pleased with their performance. Make sure that you have the latest software from MSA.
    13 Trucks, 5 Rescues and 2 on HazMat.

    It is only used during SAR in a working fire situation. At the earliest time convieniently possible(nothing is convienient in a fire) it is handed back out of the house/building. It is not the kind of thing you want during overhaul stage. Most of the time I hand it to the
    District Safety Officer or the interior command to leave my hands free to work and lets him look for the hot spots as we work.

    During SAR, my firefighter has the imager behind me and through constant communication, it leaves my hands and tools free for anything that we need. It also allows him to know where I am at all times.

    The only trouble I have seen with these is nothing is fireman proof. Most of our tools come with a warning "Do not expose to heat or water". Make sure to wipe it off before you replace it in the charger, as we have had trouble with the contacts in the charger corroding. You might also think of something to lightly hold it down in the charger such as a velcro strap. It will bounce up and down on the charging pins and that has been one of the fixes we have had to have.

    Like I said, I like them. Good luck!


  5. #5
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    JG,Your post confuses me.The 5000 is so small it can be easily slung or hung on the gear keeper option.Why would you hand the tool outside during overhaul? Overhaul is one of the times a camera shines in the prevention of fire spread.And to ACJohn,I CANNOT stress highly enough getting proper professional training before actively using this tool.In trained hands it will make light work of tasks that used to be very difficult.In UNTRAINED hands you might as well hand them an unpinned grenade.The 5000 is a great tool,we beat one up pretty bad when they first came out and returned it to the factory with some modification suggestions.These were incorporated into later units which made them a very effective tool.There are many pitfalls as well as advantages in camera use.KNOW what they are ahead of time.Many articles have been published in the firejournals,seek them out and include them in your training program.Bullard also has a very nice training CD,I suggest you get a copy. T.C.

  6. #6
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    We have had one almost 2 years now it has been a good camera. But just started to have trouble $3000.00 to fix it That is not very good!!!

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    In UNTRAINED hands you might as well hand them an unpinned grenade.
    Forgive me, but I fail to see how this can be. Other than breaking the unit, I don't see how someone could use it and it be as bad as a grenade. It's damn near idiot-proof. Turn it on, point at fire/fireground/interior, see heat/body/whatever.

    Now if you were speaking of some idiot pushing a deckgun down a vertical vent shaft while you had folks inside, ok, he's an idiot with a grenade. Placing a camera in someone's untrained hands and saying "point at fire, look." doesn't seem to be rocket science to me.





    /john
    --
    John Holstein, Asst. Chief
    Danville Volunteer Fire Department
    www.danvillevfd.com

  8. #8
    Forum Member jerrygarcia's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Rescue101
    JG,Your post confuses me.The 5000 is so small it can be easily slung or hung on the gear keeper option.Why would you hand the tool outside during overhaul? Overhaul is one of the times a camera shines in the prevention of fire spread.And to ACJohn,I CANNOT stress highly enough getting proper professional training before actively using this tool.In trained hands it will make light work of tasks that used to be very difficult.In UNTRAINED hands you might as well hand them an unpinned grenade.The 5000 is a great tool,we beat one up pretty bad when they first came out and returned it to the factory with some modification suggestions.These were incorporated into later units which made them a very effective tool.There are many pitfalls as well as advantages in camera use.KNOW what they are ahead of time.Many articles have been published in the firejournals,seek them out and include them in your training program.Bullard also has a very nice training CD,I suggest you get a copy. T.C.
    We do use it on the spring loaded lanyard/carribeaner. There are a minimum of 2-3 TICs on every fireground.
    Our normal regular alarm is 2 pumpers, 1 truck, 2 rescues(1 for RIT) and a BC. Most of the fires in our district will usually get a 2nd truck company. That makes a total of 3, not counting the one outside for RIT.

    A primary search is a very rapid and quick search, the cameras almost make so easy that it's almost a secondary search. But not the thorough search that needs to be done after initial knock down.

    We have the ability and manpower that this is a viable option, lessening the wear and tear on the camera. And yes, we have broken our fair share of 5000's. We understand when to use them, when to put them down and use our training and experience.

    If you re-read my post, there's always a camera inside. Usually the rescue keeps theirs inside, if not, the interior command ends up with one. What else has he got to do but walk around with a radio? We just don't need 3 of them. Wear and tear. During overhaul, not chasing fire through voids where it is very effective, swinging an axe or lathe hook with another tool tethered to your side is cumbersome and that's when they usually get damaged. We have burned up a few too.
    Wisdom - Knowledge gained through experience.

    I am a truckman, which usually means that I think I can break anything or at least try. I do not want my camera 10-7, we try to take care of it. Don't think that we don't know how to use it to it's full effectiveness because we are fully trained on it.

    Don't get tunnel vision and try and let a TIC do your work for you. Use the tool, don't let the tool use you.

    Has anyone out there heard of KCFD's L.A.S.T. training?
    L.arge
    A.rea
    S.earch
    T.eam

    A very effective drill for rapidly searching a large area with the emphasis on the TIC and teamwork. We lost a Battalion Chief, John Tvedten, in a warehouse fire on 12/18/99. This training was developed by Kansas City and has been in our ongoing training schedule for trucks and rescues since it's inception. John Tvedten is the reason that Kansas City has TIC's now.

    There is a short Windows Media Player video(33mb) on it here at the bottom of this page;

    L.A.S.T. Drill in action.


  9. #9
    Forum Member Rescue101's Avatar
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    Jerry,I work on a camera training team for the State of Maine so pardon me if I misread part of your post. I, too,am quite familiar with these tools and how to use them. I ALSO have been doing the "job"in various capacities for roughly 37 years.I'm no stranger to truck work although most of my career was Engine company. For ACJohn,This tool used improperly can get you KILLED. Since you think all that is involved is turn on,point and shoot;you are a prime candidate for a problem.DO NOT take my commentary the wrong way.I know NOTHING of your time in or line experience. I DO KNOW that in every class we run we have students that have this "mind set".By the end of class(16 hrs) they have a newfound respect for what they DIDN'T know,and how the camera is a tool that needs to be treated with great respect so you DON'T get in trouble.And we find that many students,once they have camera in hand,tend to forget their basics.Much more on these subjects can be had by visiting the TI section of FH and reading the archives.Please do yourself,and your agency a favor and get someone in like SafeIR or another training team so you can benefit from this great technology.But self training is NOT the way to do it initially without proper guidance;Hence the unpinned grenade.You CAN get into serious trouble by using this tool without training and there are many articles published from active Depts using these tools to back me up.
    Last edited by Rescue101; 01-21-2005 at 09:14 AM.

  10. #10
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    Placing a camera in someone's untrained hands and saying "point at fire, look." doesn't seem to be rocket science to me.
    No, but them actually being able to interpret what they are seeing on the TIC may require some training. Some people look at the screen and simply don't understand what they are seeing. The concept of "relative temperature" has to be understood. Example a FF in a cold room will show as white, but in a hotter room will show as black.
    "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?

  11. #11
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    Originally posted by AsstChiefJohn Forgive me, but I fail to see how this can be. Other than breaking the unit, I don't see how someone could use it and it be as bad as a grenade. It's damn near idiot-proof. Turn it on, point at fire/fireground/interior, see heat/body/whatever.
    Chief, I'll make a stab at why it's potentially dangerous. It's not that the thermal imager is hard to use. It's almost that it's too easy. I don't have much experience, which in this particular case gives me a little insight into the problem. I had a TIC placed in my hands prior to an attic search evolution (night, no lights, smoke machine). Without any real training on it, I was trying to search with TIC and tool almost simultaneously. I basically went in circles. That certainly was a learning experience.
    Now if you were speaking of some idiot pushing a deckgun down a vertical vent shaft while you had folks inside, ok, he's an idiot with a grenade. Placing a camera in someone's untrained hands and saying "point at fire, look." doesn't seem to be rocket science to me.
    /john
    It so happens I am a rocket scientist in my day job. I agree, the mechanics of pointing and looking are easy. And I was able to figure out the right way to use the TIC after thinking about it and asking some questions following the training evolution above. But without training and practice, it's way too easy to get TIC-tunnel vision, or at least be distracted from the fundamentals of a safe and effective search. That's where I think the danger lies.

    To go back to the original topic - we are trying out a loaner MSA 5000 on our engine co. now. I like its size and balance, and how fast it turns on. It also seems pretty well armored.

    We're also using a loaner MSA 4000, which has a bigger screen, but the image seems sharper in the 5000. Given its size, the 4000 may be more properly classified as a forcible entry tool.
    Last edited by sts060; 01-21-2005 at 10:29 AM.

  12. #12
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    Another thing - does anybody have a feel for how long it takes the temperature scale (on the right side of the 5000's screen) to change from the 300 degree F max to the 1100 deg. max scale? (We don't have a manual and couldn't find one online.) I pointed it at a nice hot burner flame for a while and the bolometer reading just stayed pegged at 300 F.

  13. #13
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    We're also using a loaner MSA 4000, which has a bigger screen, but the image seems sharper in the 5000
    We just received a MSA 4100, which is the size of a 4000 but has the "engine" of a 5000. Gives the better image with the larger screen.
    "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?

  14. #14
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Originally posted by sts060
    Another thing - does anybody have a feel for how long it takes the temperature scale (on the right side of the 5000's screen) to change from the 300 degree F max to the 1100 deg. max scale? (We don't have a manual and couldn't find one online.) I pointed it at a nice hot burner flame for a while and the bolometer reading just stayed pegged at 300 F.
    It is not a matter of time, but of how much heat is present. The infrared detector is made up of pixels, much like a computer screen or digital camera. On the E5000, the detector is 160 pixels wide by 120 pixels tall. To get the 1000F scale on the E5000, you have to have about 25% of the pixels register what they think are temperatures over about 250F. This changes the sensitivity of the TI, switching it into what is normally called EI Mode. On the E5000, it is L Mode (for low gain).

    To get the switch, make the object occupy more of the display. Then you should get it to switch over into EI/L mode.

    And, others have already addressed the issue of "who needs training, just turn it on and look." The biggest issue I have seen with this mentality is tunnel vision. Guys forget they are not "seeing" in the traditional sense of the word and they get complacent and careless.

    Please get qualified training on your thermal imager. If the manufacturer doesn't offer specific training, Safe-IR is the only private company that is recognized by all the manufacturers. Some states, including Maine and Illinois, have statewide programs that will be helpful as well.
    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).

  15. #15
    Forum Member RyanEMVFD's Avatar
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    Hopefully ours will be in soon. We ordered the 5000 with transmit equipment and stuff and can't wait to start training on it.

    I think where it's dangerous for new people is that they may rely on it too much and forget good old fashioned skills. Also since the display is not 3-D, a sense of depth is lost and people get injured or worse from that. Also glass and mirrors can cause confusion.

    Just like all other tools this is something that needs to be trained on in a controlled environment not for the first time at a fire.
    NREMT-P\ Reserve Volunteer Firefighter\Reserve Police Officer
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  16. #16
    MembersZone Subscriber arhaney's Avatar
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    How much are you guys seeing a 5000 sell for these days?
    We applied last year for a grant and were turned down. (we rec. a grant 2 out of the last 3 years so I can't complain!) We're going to apply again this year but we're also going to start fund raising for a TIC just in case.

    No one in our county even has a TIC!
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  17. #17
    Forum Member Bones42's Avatar
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    4100 with truck mounted charger...under 9k
    "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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