Tactical Thermal Imaging-Enhancing Strategies & Tactics:
Todays fireground is a dynamic place filled with high heat release rate fuels combined with light weight construction that fails quickly under fire. Fire growth is exponential and the temperatures often exceed the performance of our PPE. Therefore there has never been a greater need for a thermal paradigms shift. This class will enhance fire ground commanders and the fire officer’s perspective on how to be more efficient, prevent rapid fire growth, direct their streams, and improve search & rescue efforts.
The fire service is being introduced to new technology and new challenges seemingly almost every day. With the continual synthetic production of high heat release rate fuels combined with light weight construction equates to a rapidly progressing, ventilation limited, fire ground that collapses quite quickly. These factors combined along with improved thermal protective performance of firefighter’s PPE have created a tremendous need for a thermal diagnostic tool that firefighters can enhance their strategies and tactics with. This tool has been around for quite some time but hasn’t been fully understood nor fully implemented in the fashion or manner that would produce greater efficiency on the fire ground. The thermal imaging camera in the hands of a properly trained and fundamentally sound firefighter equates to seeing the fire ground and the changing environment in a new perspective. This enhanced perspective is tactical thermal imaging; it has been written about over the past 20 years in research papers and has been implemented successfully by a few departments across the nation. By properly understanding thermal severity, the key attributes of thermal imaging and its limitations, and then applying them on the fire ground to tactics that are currently practiced this allows firefighters to perform at a greater efficiency, extinguish the fire faster, save victims up to 75% quicker, and improve the success rate of rapid intervention efforts.
Students who participate in this training will receive a classroom portion covering the key attributes of thermal imaging, contraindications of thermal imaging, the aforementioned skill sets, and additional uses of tactical thermal imaging. Then the students will be grouped in teams of 5-7 with two instructors and complete the following stations:
- Tactical 360
- Identifying Flow Path, Fire Direction of travel, and Access points
- Go/No-Go Decision Making
- Enhanced Stream Placement
- Enhanced Search Methodology
Instructor. Andy Starnes, Captain, Charlotte Fire Department
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