Thread: Uses of a TIC

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    Default Uses of a TIC

    I would like to hear how your departments use your TIC. When to use it and how much do you trust their information. Also What brands work the best for you situation?

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    We use them at various times. If there is smoke but no visible fire. We found a wire nut that had come loose and was glowing red in the wall (inside a junction box). Another big use has been after the fire is down and out to find hotspots that are buried or in loose insulation. We have used it once to try to locate a missing child after dark. I think you can be creative in the use just don't bet the bank on it as the only source to find heat or fire.

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    It'd be easier to state when they are NOT used.

    Brandwise, the best camera in untrained hands will be useless. The worst camera in well trained hands will be useful.
    "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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    Agree with Bones. Search and Rescue, size-up, overhaul, fire attack, overheated ballast, hot breakers, etc. Try various brands..see what works best. We got a good deal on a Bullard TI Commander and accessories. It's big and not the lightest unit around, but we liked the larger screen, better resolution, and the thermal throttle. Trusting their information is dependant on the operator, you need to know what you're seeing and interpret it properly. It's a tool and doesn't take the place of basic firematic skills. Great tool.
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    Use it for everything, train as if it's good for nothing. It's a tool, it WILL break.
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    Quote Originally Posted by grasstrimmer
    I would like to hear how your departments use your TIC. When to use it and how much do you trust their information. Also What brands work the best for you situation?
    A search through the Forums will yield dozens of threads on how people use their TIs as well as which brands they have preferred. In the Technology section, you will find a number of articles on how TIs work, how firefighters can use them more effectively and tips on maintaining training skills.
    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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    We use ours quite often for MVAs where nobody can tell us how many occupants were in the vehicle. Scenerio: 1 car unwitnessed MVA w/ one unconcious patient. We use it to search the area for any possible other patients.

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    Default TIC for MVA

    How far away are you able to see a person? We have a TI that is several years old and we tried to use it at am MVA one night and we could not find anything. There was a body in the field about 200 Ft. off of the hiway. It was found by walking a search pattern not with the TI. I myself walked about 50-75 Ft. from them with the TI and it did not pick them up. Do the newer TI's work better in this situation than the older units? Or do we not know how to use them. Our County has not given us any training so we just try to practice on our own to see what works. Does anyone have any tips.THANKS

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    Remember that the TIC will only see differences in temperatures. A warm body laying in grass, bushes, weeds, etc. that are thick enough to hide the temperature of the body will effectively keep it from showing on the TIC. Also, if the body and ground are close to same temperature, again very little will show.

    Also, when training, it's very common for FF's to train with the camera during non-fire situations. In those, the victim shows as the hottest thing in the room, which would be the whitest object in the TIC. In a real fire situation, the opposite is true and the victim would show as dark. Camera show everything they can "see"....interpreting/understanding the image is the trick.
    "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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    I would hope that field input is used to upgrade the capabilities of these machines.
    It'd be cool if you could refit a current model to be as capable as a brand new show room model but I know how much of a pipedream that is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grasstrimmer
    How far away are you able to see a person? We have a TI that is several years old and we tried to use it at am MVA one night and we could not find anything. There was a body in the field about 200 Ft. off of the hiway. It was found by walking a search pattern not with the TI. I myself walked about 50-75 Ft. from them with the TI and it did not pick them up. Do the newer TI's work better in this situation than the older units? Or do we not know how to use them. Our County has not given us any training so we just try to practice on our own to see what works. Does anyone have any tips.THANKS
    Bones has properly answered your questions on performance. It is clear that your FD needs training. You need to contact your state fire training organization, your TI supplier, or a private training company (such as Safe IR) to get training as quickly as possible. Using a TI without proper training can place you in more risk than NOT using a TI....
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by doughesson
    I would hope that field input is used to upgrade the capabilities of these machines.
    It'd be cool if you could refit a current model to be as capable as a brand new show room model but I know how much of a pipedream that is.
    Manufacturers are regularly using feedback from the field to improve their products. Just a few examples include:
    1. Wireless transmitters, allowing FFs to send the thermal image out to a command post;
    2. Direct battery charging, allowing a TI to charge off of the truck system;
    3. Smaller TIs, reducing the weight a FF must carry;
    4. Digital image capture, allowing FFs to actually take a thermal picture and download it later into a computer.

    As for retrofitting an older TI: it can be done in certain situations. However, the major component of the TI is the engine, or core, which has the detector and supporting electronics. This is far and away the most expensive componenet, as well as the component that most significantly affects image performance and optional add-ons. If the upgrade you desire requires a different core, you are probably better off just buying a new TI. Ask your supplier for more info, or post what you want to do, and I'll try to give you input.
    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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