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Firefighters add nightvision technology to save lives

Custom thermal imaging cameras make it easier to find victims in fire
Published: Jul. 14, 2020 at 10:39 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Regional firefighters are equipping themselves with custom-made TICs - or thermal imaging cameras - a heat-sensing device used to spot helpless victims and origins of fires.

Each TIC functions like your average camera -- just point and shoot -- and the viewfinder will update in real-time -- displaying temperature and distance in infrared light.

Rapid Valley Assistant Chief Tim Kobes says the tools can discern hot flames and smoke from trapped subjects -- and even help firefighters in a pinch.

“If the firefighters themselves run into problems where they get disoriented ... then they can use it to find their way out, because it’ll give the heat signature of doorways, windows and other objects that they may need to go around.”

TICs come in two variations -- hand-held and torso-mounted -- and offer a variety of colorblind options.

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