Firefighters using new life-saving tool - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Firefighters using new life-saving tool

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Boston- The Thomas County Fire Department has a new tool to help them find you faster in an emergency. It's a small, hand held, thermal imaging camera. Its main use is to cut the amount of time firefighters spend searching for someone in a blaze.

     Chief Chris Jones says training with a new thermal imaging camera Wednesday will help Thomas County Fire Fighters when there is a real emergency. "It speeds up the process in going through and clearing the residence, or the business, wherever it may be to ensure there's no one left in the structure," he says.

     The camera is more like a televised thermometer than a video device. Every object has a different temperature, which is exactly what it documents. "The thermal imaging camera helps us tremendously in searching for victims in a smoke filled environment," says Jones.

     One of the most important aspects of the camera is it's versatility. It's not only important inside fires, it's also beneficial outside. "In case they miss something, possibly, we can pick it up on our monitor from outside. It's a tremendous tool," says Jones.

     A camera that saves lives also helps preserve firefighters quality of life by electronically searching for a victim who lost theirs. "That's much easier on our personnel, not having the stress of having to go in to look for someone who's unfortunately perished in a fire," says Jones.

     At a cost of $10,000 each, these cameras are worth every penny, especially when the county received 3 of its 4 from a private donor. "You can't put a price on a life," says Jones.

     The cameras can withstand more heat than any firefighter could take. They're also waterproof, and they have an extremely long battery life.

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