Firefighters safer with thermal technology

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HARDIN COUNTY, Tenn. — Thermal technology is nothing new, however, the ability to transport it into a burning home and record what’s happening, is something Hardin County firefighters say will now help them significantly. Nearly 200 Hardin County firefighters will no longer have to blindly walk into a burning building. “I grab the camera anytime I get off the truck, any kind of fire,” firefighter Timothy Short explained. The Hardin County Fire Department bought ten new thermal imaging cameras with a FEMA grant. When pointed toward the heat, thermal cameras allow vision into a building and through the smoke. The cameras even show the temperature in different parts of the room. “They’re a life-saving device for the firefighters, and you’re able to see through smoke and find a victim if they’re in a house fire,” Hardin Co. Fire Chief Melvin Martin said. Chief Martin also said this technology is something that continues to develop, but is a huge step forward. “We’re taught to feel through the smoke, but this tool, with the thermal imaging technology, you can see through the smoke and you don’t have to feel your way anymore,” Chief Martin explained. “It’s a life-safety tool for the firefighters as well as a victim if we’re trying to rescue somebody.” Chief Martin said in no way does this take the risk out of the job, but adds another layer of protection. “All the firefighters are going to train on it. It just adds a tool to the toolbox for our firefighters and the public,” Chief Martin said. Fire officials said to be extra careful this time of year with heaters, making sure they’re at least three feet away from any walls. They also said it’s especially critical to have smoke detectors working.

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