The #AtoZChallenge is over, but I couldn’t just leave the challenge hanging without trying to make up the letters I missed. Unfortunately a bout with a bit of vertigo due to cerumen impaction, complicated by history of cholesteotoma, had me pretty much down and out for a couple days. Even once “back up”, I wasn’t running up to par for a few days and then there was all the dreaded “catch-up”… You know, all the stuff that didn’t get done while you were down & out that now needs to be done. Sadly the AtoZChallenge was pretty much at the bottom of that list (at least when it came to family). But enough on the excuses and complaining… On to (finishing up) the challenge.
Thermal Imaging Cameras (or TIC) have been in use in the police service and military for quite some time. More recently they have made their way into the fire service.
Thermal Imaging Cameras are use by firefighters and rescue workers in the aide of rescue to help locate trapped victims who are not easily found. They are also used to get an idea of what is going on inside a building before actual entry is made and are used during overhaul to find hotspots that may still be there. It should be stated that the use of TIC is not a substitute for the good old fashion, ‘checking the temp with the back of your hand’ trick. TICs are predominantly hand held, but can be helmet mounted. However one problem with helmet mounted ones is that the operator can quickly become disoriented, plus there is the danger of relying on only what is seen on the screen (more so than what is found using a hand-held device). A hand held TIC is designed to be operated using one hand leaving the other hand free.
TICs work by By rendering infrared radiation as visible light. Different temperature items will show up as different shades of grey in a black & white monitor. Typically items that are hotter than surrounding objects will show as white and items that are cooler will show as black. There is also a color palette mode which displays varying temperatures in shades of yellow, orange, and red.
One of the dangers in the use of Thermal Imaging Cameras is that of a false sense of security. TICs are not x-ray machines. It is still necessary to check behind doors and walls and they do not restore complete vision in areas of limited lighting. TICs should not be confused with Night Vision devices.
To read more about Thermal Imaging Cameras here are some articles:
Join me on an A to Z Journey of firefighting tools throughout the month of April. I appreciate feedback. Please keep in mind that I am not (nor do I pretend to be) a firefighter or a member, either volunteer or paid, of the fire service. My purpose here is to pass on knowledge that I find in hopes to both bring awareness to the fire-service and to help those in the profession do their job safer and better.