CTX fire department utilizes new thermal camera

Posted at 4:46 PM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:58-04

A Central Texas fire department is hoping new, high-tech thermal cameras will help them fight fires and better protect their community. 

Central Texas News Now was able to see first-hand today just how difficult it is for firefighters to navigate through a burning building. But, thankfully, the Lampasas Fire Department has a new thermal camera with the latest technology.
When Lampasas firefighters arrive on scene, the thermal camera is one of the first tools they grab.

"We'll use that right away just to kind of figure out the layout of the structure," Robert Resa, a Lampasas firefighter, said.  

The FLIR thermal camera reads building and fire temperatures as well as enhances firefighters' visibility tremendously. 

"It can truly see through smoke," Lampasas Fire Chief Reece Oestreich said. 

"It's like seeing daylight inside of a dark burning building, it helps you find windows and exits or a downed firefighter or downed victim," Resa added.  

"I already have total confidence in my men, but yes, this does up our game as a department," Oestreich added.

"The one we have now is the best I've seen so far," Resa said. "It shows the temperatures which are very important because you need to know how hot it is in there and how hot it's getting and how fast." 

The new camera costs a little over $7,000, a cost Fire Chief Oestreich says is worth every penny.

"We know that our chief has our back one hundred percent whether it comes to equipment or just the firefighter himself," Resa added. 

The video on the thermal camera can also be used for post-fire investigations and training purposes. 

The fire department has only had this thermal camera for about a month now, but it's already come in handy numerous times.

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