Thermal Imager “TIC” Under Utilized

While there is no substitute for real world experience, realistic training is the next best thing. After conducting search training using acquired structures and “live smoke”, there were several lessons learned and reinforced as it relates to entering a fire building and conducting a search while using a Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC). The most obvious of these, is that the majority of firefighters have had little to no formal training in the use of a TIC, and therefore, lack a true understanding of its potential, but more importantly, of its limitations.
There is no doubt that thermal imaging has been one of the single biggest advances in fire service technology in the last 15 years. However, we must remember that it is just another tool in the toolbox, and must be used with caution. While conducting searches, we have always learned to stay low in heat and smoke, with most…

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