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  1. #1
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    Default Which one do you recommend?

    I'm with a small volunteer department in northern Wisconsin. We've decided to invest in a TIC, and we're wondering which model gives you the best bang for your buck. Any opinions?


  2. #2
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    There are alot of manufacturerers that make TIC's. If you are going to invest in a TIC, you need to invest the time in researching and analyzing various types. Ask the local vendors to come in and demonstrate their models, along with leaving it at the station so members can use each model and see what their opinions are. Remember you will be investing a big chunk of change in a TIC and you want one that is best suited for your department, not one that is best suited for another department. Our opinions are just that, they will be helpful based on the model we use, but it's up to your department to decide a course of action.

    With that in mind, we have a Bullard TI & T3 (basic models). They have held up very well & we have had no maintenance issues. The only real issue is size, the firefighters like the T3 because it's small and compact vs. the TI, but at the same time screen size is sacrificed (T3 smaller).

  3. #3
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    Default Consider this preliminary research

    I've been around long enough to know that people who use equipment are in a much better position to offer advice than sales people. I was responsible for our last Tanker/Pumper purchase. Because of the research I did on this website, we ended up with an apparatus that was twice the quality it would have been and saved us $67,000 from our original quote. I want to apply that same expertise to the camera purchase.

    At least with the truck purchase, I had some truck and pump background. I'm going into this completely blind. I thought I would start here.

    Thanks in advance.......

    PS - I've done searches, but it seems most of the conversation was back in 1999 and 2000. The way technology advances exponentially these days, I'm assuming most of that discussion is outdated.
    Last edited by mongobob; 05-06-2007 at 06:19 PM. Reason: By the way

  4. #4
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    Bob:

    Three manufacturers garner most of the TIC business in the U.S. They are ISG, Bullard, and MSA. I would invite all parties in to demonstrate their products. Give each a half hour to an hour time slot to do a presentation for your department and they make sure that you use all three cameras during actual fire evolutions. All cameras look nice during a presentation, but not all cameras perform the same during live fire situations.

    I believe these are the the local distributors for Wisconsin:

    ISG-Jefferson Fire and Safey
    Bullard-ESG (Environmental Safety Group)
    MSA-Five Alarm

    Good luck and stay safe!

    rfd599
    www.IllinoisFireStore.com

  5. #5
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    We demoed the Scott, Bullard and MSA. All were demoed in the station as well as at a live burn. The Bullard was the best for investigation in a non-fire situtation. I had great quality and contrast. However, the MSA was by far the best in the fires. It's high heat ranges and quality in that mode were superior. We bought the MSA and are considering a Bullard for investigations and post fire work.
    Jason Brooks
    IAFF Local 2388
    IACOJ

  6. #6
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    We have a Bullard and have no problems with it. Our neighbors run with Scott, & MSA and they work great as well. Demo them and go from there.

    On a side note we broke our TIC at a fire of which I ended up in a bath tub and our camera got submerged in the tub as well. The camera somehow ended up getting water in it and after we got outside it worked still. Well after the fire the camera stayed on all the time so we had to take the batteries out of it until we needed it.I contacted Bullard and they had the unit sent to them and they fixed it really quick. It was very nice working with them and I highly reccomend them!
    Last edited by dday05; 05-17-2007 at 07:04 PM.

  7. #7
    MembersZone Subscriber evfd3100's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dday05 View Post
    We have a Bullard and have no problems with it. Our neighbors run with Scott, & MSA and they work great as well. Demo them and go from there.

    On a side note we broke our TIC at a fire of which I ended up in a bath tub and our camera got submerged in the tub as well. The camera somehow ended up getting water in it and after we got outside it worked still. Well after the fire the camera stayed on all the time so we had to take the batteries out of it until we needed it.I contacted Bullard and they had the unit sent to them and they fixed it really quick. It was very nice working with them and I highly reccomend them!
    The Bullard T3 is a wonderful unit. We have one with the Thermal Throttle and HotSpot mode, great for salvage and overhaul. Anyone use the MSA Evolution 5600 TIC? If so, how is it? We're about to get one on a new rig that is being speced, our dealer that we bought the Bullard from no longer deals Bullard, all MSA now.
    Assistant Chief
    Elberta Volunteer Fire Department
    http://www.elbertafire.com

    "Find a purpose in life so big, it will challenge every capacity to be at your best."

  8. #8
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evfd3100 View Post
    The Bullard T3 is a wonderful unit. We have one with the Thermal Throttle and HotSpot mode, great for salvage and overhaul. Anyone use the MSA Evolution 5600 TIC? If so, how is it? We're about to get one on a new rig that is being speced, our dealer that we bought the Bullard from no longer deals Bullard, all MSA now.
    Why can't you go to a place that sells the Bullard cameras?

  9. #9
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by evfd3100 View Post
    The Bullard T3 is a wonderful unit. We have one with the Thermal Throttle and HotSpot mode, great for salvage and overhaul. Anyone use the MSA Evolution 5600 TIC? If so, how is it? We're about to get one on a new rig that is being speced, our dealer that we bought the Bullard from no longer deals Bullard, all MSA now.
    At my work we have a MSA Evolution 4000 I think and it works great. I still prefer the Bullard but I like the MSA also.

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber evfd3100's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dday05 View Post
    Why can't you go to a place that sells the Bullard cameras?
    Because there isn't one anywhere around here......The one dealer that was here dropped everything Bullard and now carries MSA.
    Assistant Chief
    Elberta Volunteer Fire Department
    http://www.elbertafire.com

    "Find a purpose in life so big, it will challenge every capacity to be at your best."

  11. #11
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear that. Wouldn't you beable to see if or who Bullard has for you equipment dealer wherever you're from?

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber dday05's Avatar
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    I did a little research on the web and found this about Bullard. I believe this would be your contact person for your area www.larryholder@bullard.com or 1-800-227-0423 Ext 891. Good luck if you want to pursue it.

  13. #13
    MembersZone Subscriber AC1503's Avatar
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    The main reason that we bought a Bullard TIC was service. The Bullard factory is in the adjoining state of Kentucky, and is less than a two hour drive from our station. Bullard promised to repair it, or to give us a loaner if they can't repair it, while we wait. We would only have to make one trip. We would ship theirs back when ours was received after being repaired.

  14. #14
    Forum Member TC33FF's Avatar
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    We run with all Bullard. Two of the original big bulky ones. 5 T3 and 2 T4's The T3 + 4's are great. Small light weight. They have a strap that attaches to you coat or pack so when you need it pull it up when you are done just let go. Never had a problem with them. Durable and reliable. We have sent a couple back because we broke the outside case but that is all. Chris
    Chris
    FF/Lic-Paramedic
    Galveston FD "The Big House"
    IAFF Local 571
    www.galvestonfiredept.org

  15. #15
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    I have used the Bullards and even went to the factory while I was in college. They really impressed me when they threw the camera through a wall and it still worked. When my dept at the time was looking to buy a TIC none of the other dealers would even consider dropping theirs on the ground.

  16. #16
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mongobob View Post
    I'm with a small volunteer department in northern Wisconsin. We've decided to invest in a TIC, and we're wondering which model gives you the best bang for your buck. Any opinions?
    You can get guidance on choosing a thermal imager by reviewing some of my articles online (in the Technology section here) or by going to Bullard's website at www.thermalimager.com.

    Yes, I work part time for Bullard. No, the articles do not lead you to "magically" select Bullard as the best option. The information is to help you buy the best thermal imager for your operations and to do so with the most information possible.
    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).

  17. #17
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    Question Scott TIC's

    Does anyone have any experience or input on the Scott Eagle 160 thermal imager. We were awarded a grant for this year and wanted some input. We have a Bullard 5000 demo model and are getting ready to receive a Scott for demo. I am just curious as to why the Scott seems to be much cheaper. We are a small rural department and this would be our first TIC purchase.

    Thank you in advance for your input.

  18. #18
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    There is no such thing as a Bullard 5000. It is either a Bullard T3XT or a T3Max (if it has a thermal throttle, it is the T3Max). Of course it could be the new T4, but I doubt that is in the budget. MSA makes the 5000.

    How often do you do interior attack? If you usually show up in time to save the basement, I would go with the Scott and hope it doesnt break.

    If you go plan on going interior with the TIC, I would go with the toghest unit available. Have your reps come out and see who will abuse thier TIC in front of you. If they arent allowed to hold it over thier head and drop it, you might want to think twice about how ff proof it is.

  19. #19
    MembersZone Subscriber mcaldwell's Avatar
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    We just received our new MSA 5600.

    Now 5 out of seven of the local depts are using one of the MSA 5000 series. No others are in service around here. Mostly due to the sub 10K price of the MSA, vs higher prices for the others.

    I think the consistency has some value for M/A and cross-training too.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

    IACOJ

  20. #20
    Protective Economist Jonathan Bastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcaldwell View Post
    We just received our new MSA 5600.

    Now 5 out of seven of the local depts are using one of the MSA 5000 series. No others are in service around here. Mostly due to the sub 10K price of the MSA, vs higher prices for the others.

    I think the consistency has some value for M/A and cross-training too.
    The lower price of the Evolution 5600 is due to it having a small, square detector (FPA). Until the 5600 hit the market, all modern FPAs had the same 4:3 ratio. The two sizes were 160x120 and 320x240 (or 4 times the size). The 5600 has a 120x120 FPA. Just as the 160x120 imagers are less expensive than the 320x240, so is a 120x120 vs a 160x120. The engine, or core, of the TI is the most expensive part to the manufacturer. The 120x120 FPA means a lower production cost, but also results in a square picture...not the 4:3 picture seen on most other TIs.
    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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