Life Saving Thermal Cameras Help Firefighters See Clearly

South Metro Fire Rescue Donates High-Tech Cameras to Steamboat
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, COLORADO-September 13, 2018-In the heat of battle, Steamboat Springs Fire
Rescue (SSFR) will be able to see much more clearly during emergency situations with the recent donation of
five Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) from South Metro Fire Rescue, located in Centennial, Colorado.
“It’s truly amazing how Colorado fire agencies work closely together to make every community safer,” said
Captain Scott Hetrick with Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue. “South Metro’s donation is a great example of
neighbors helping neighbors, even though they may live more than 165 miles apart. This donation will not only
better the safety of our firefighters but the community that we serve.”
SSFR currently utilizes two older thermal cameras in its
arsenal. Through this donation, the department will triple the
cameras available to firefighters. Captain Hetrick accepted the
generous donation earlier this week from Battalion Chief Tom
Meigel and plans to put the new cameras into service
immediately.
TIC’s have the potential to increase the safety of residents,
visitors and firefighters in the event of a structure fire as well
as assist in other low visibility situations. TIC’s are
thermographic cameras that process infrared radiation as
visible light allowing firefighters to see through smoke and
locate heat signatures.
For example, in dense smoke with zero visibility, firefighters with these cameras can easily navigate through an
unfamiliar home or building layout, quickly identify people and pets lost in the smoke, and clearly identify where
the fire is located when flames may not be visible. Without this technology, firefighters are forced to crawl in
the darkness while feeling for victims and heat, which is much more dangerous and slower process when time
is of the essence.
In addition, TIC’s are very helpful at nighttime vehicle accident scenes where victims might be laying outside of
visible light; scanning the area with a thermal camera saves precious minutes when individuals need
emergency medical care. Since TICs clearly visualize heat sources, this technology is a valuable tool when
responding to a Hazmat or Search & Rescue incidents.
Fire departments across the United States participate in mutual aid agreements, and, as evident by this
donation, assist each other whenever possible. South Metro Fire Rescue protects 179 square miles in Douglas
and Arapahoe counties, providing emergency and prevention services to more than 200,000 residents. And
with this donation, will also be helping the 20,000 residents in the Steamboat Springs Fire District.

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