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New TIC purchased through donations by Fulda Fire Department

June 19, 2014

Pictured left to right is the TIC committee of Steve Webb, Mike Milbrath and Fire Chief David Baumhoefner.  
Pictured left to right is the TIC committee of Steve Webb, Mike Milbrath and Fire Chief David Baumhoefner.
By Norma Dittman
A new thermal imaging camera (TIC) was recently purchased by the Fulda Fire Department through donations from the community. An existing camera had quit working and had been sent in for repair. It was returned to the fire department classified as irreparable.

A TIC committee was formed consisting of Fire Chief David Baumhoefner, Mike Milbrath, and Steve Webb. Over a four-month time span, they looked at cameras from four different companies before choosing to purchase a FLIR camera. “The technology of these cameras have improved so much since we first purchased a thermal imaging camera,” Fire Chief Baumhoefner stated. “The old one was purchased at a cost of about $15,000. The new one that we purchased cost $3,800.”

FLIR gave the fire department $100 for their old camera and the company applied a $200 donation towards the new camera’s purchase.

“We also purchased a charger and a generic holder to hang in in the truck,” Webb added.

Some of the features of the new camera that the committee members noted were that it is of a smaller size and easier to handle, it has five different search modes, images on the camera are more colorful, and there is a temperature gauge that indicates the temperature of the image that the camera is pointed at.

“If we were to be out at an accident at night and we know that we have one victim, but don’t know if anyone else was in the vehicle, we can search the perimeter with the thermal camera. But even before we would do that, the body heat from another person can be picked up from the seat that the person was sitting on,” Milbrath said.

By having two cameras available to firefighters, one camera can be used by an interior team (the team who enters a burning building) and one by the exterior team. “The camera can also be used to find the seat of the fire as it will read a hotter temperature than the rest of the fire. And as a safety measure, the camera will read the temperatures that the firefighters are dealing with as well as where the fire is going,” Fire Chief Baumhoefner stated.

The committee wanted the public to know about the new thermal imaging camera but more than that they wanted area residents to know that it is through their donations to the Fulda Fire Department that this valuable tool was purchased. “We wouldn’t be able to purchase this type of equipment without the donations that we receive. We appreciate those donations that help us purchase this equipment.”

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