On Wednesday June 19 and Saturday June 29 members of the Brewster Fire Department attended thermal imaging camera (TIC) training at the Barnstable County Fire Academy. The thermal imaging camera is an extremely critical piece of equipment in our inventory that utilizes heat imaging technology to provide firefighters with the ability to “see” through smoke during a fire to locate occupants and fire hidden in walls and void spaces, identify high heat levels, rescue downed firefighters, and a complete a host of other fireground tasks.
The class was designed as a refresher session to ensure our firefighters are adequately trained and competent in the use of the cameras we utilize to protect our community. During the three-hour sessions firefighters were placed in several different hands-on scenarios inside a burn building including using the camera to search for fire victims, measuring heat levels, looking for downed firefighters, identifying flashover conditions, and searching for hidden fire.
At this time the Brewster Fire Department owns two different types of thermal imaging cameras. At these sessions we found a significant difference in the technology and proper methods of deployment between the two cameras to the point that firefighters could easily become disoriented or lost during a fire and victims go unnoticed. In order to prevent this from occurring our department will be searching for funding mechanisms in the near future to upgrade our older cameras to the newer technology to enhance the safety of our members and improve our ability to serve the community.