A Trail business is lighting the way for Kootenay Boundary firefighters to save lives.
Last week, Retriev Technologies, located in the industrial area of Waneta, donated a $7,000 thermal imaging camera to firefighters working from the regional station in Trail.
Conditions during a structural fire are intense, and firefighters often struggle to see through thick, black smoke.
A thermal imaging camera (TIC) detects infrared energy, or heat, and converts it into a visual image, allowing firefighters to see flames clearly and quickly.
With high resolution images on a bright, four-inch LCD screen, the camera scans large areas so firefighters can quickly identify a victim, expedite extraction and determine the best course of action and direction when moving through a burning structure.
“We’re extremely thankful to Retriev Technologies for providing us with an indispensable tool to help us perform our duties more safely and effectively in the extremely hostile environment of a structural fire,” regional Fire Chief Dan Derby states.
“This tool not only helps our crews orient themselves in a building and locate the seat of a fire and any victims faster, but it gives us another vital piece of equipment designed to make sure we all go home safe at the end of a call.”
Studies show when thermal cameras are employed, search times to find victims can drop by 75 per cent, Derby explained. He also says time to locate the source of the fire was cut by 60 per cent with use of a TIC, and firefighters located an exit 100 per cent of the time with this type of camera compared to 70 percent without.
“Retriev Technologies wholeheartedly supports firefighter and public health and safety,” said Kathy Bruce, vice president of Retriev Technologies. “As a technology company, we are keenly aware that advances in equipment such as TICs can help people do their jobs better and save lives, and we want to play a role making our communities safer.”
Retriev put those same words into action last year by donating 25 specialized Streamlight Survivor re-chargeable flashlights to the regional fire service.
Valued at upwards of $6,500, the high-powered LED flashlights assist firefighters on the job while forgoing the need to buy disposable batteries.
The 25 specialized rechargeable flashlights were installed in firetrucks in Rossland, Warfield, Genelle, Montrose and Fruitvale.