New Fire Equipment

By Kate Gaier
5:15 pm January 12, 2007

Two to three minutes is how long you have to escape a burning building once the smoke alarm goes off.

CAPT Tim Connell with the Thomasville Fire Department says, "Fire doubles in size every two and a half minutes, so by the time we get the call the fire is going, we have two to three minute response, it's already doubled in size. Minutes, seconds are precious to us."

The Thomasville Fire Department is trying out new equipment that uses thermal imaging to save precious seconds when fighting a blaze. It can register different temperatures to locate a victim, or find where the fire started.

Derek Knight with the Thomasville Fire Department said, "We go in, use the thermal imager looking for bodies or looking for heat or fire. It's going to help out a lot."

Firefighters say this new equipment will come in handy most often when searching for children who tend to hide in closets and small spaces.

Connell added, "It's really tough to find victims. We're wasting a lot of time because inside a house fire it's just purely feel. You have no vision inside."

Now the new equipment will allow firefighters to have an extra eye when battling a blaze. The thermal imager can also send pictures to a firefighter standing by who can direct those inside the building where to go.