Thermal cameras donated to Steamboat Fire Rescue |

Thermal cameras donated to Steamboat Fire Rescue

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue will be able to see much more clearly during emergency situations with the recent donation of five thermal imaging cameras from South Metro Fire Rescue in Centennial.

“It’s truly amazing how Colorado fire agencies work closely together to make every community safer,” Steamboat Fire Rescue Capt. Scott Hetrick was quoted as saying in a news release. “South Metro’s donation is a great example of neighbors helping neighbors, even though they may live more than 165 miles apart. This donation will not only better the safety of our firefighters but the community that we serve.”

Steamboat Fire Rescue currently uses two older thermal cameras, so thanks to the donation, the department will triple the number of cameras available to firefighters. Thermal imaging cameras process infrared radiation as visible light allowing firefighters to see through smoke and locate heat signatures.

For example, in dense smoke with zero visibility, firefighters with these cameras can easily navigate through an unfamiliar home or building layout, quickly identify people and pets lost in the smoke and clearly identify where the fire is located when flames may not be visible.

Without this technology, firefighters are forced to crawl in the darkness while feeling for victims and heat, which is much more dangerous and a slower process when time is of the essence.

In addition, thermal imaging cameras are very helpful at nighttime vehicle accident scenes, where victims might be laying outside of visible light. Scanning the area with a thermal camera saves precious minutes when individuals need emergency medical care.

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