Beaver Island Fire Department Acquires New Thermal Imaging Equipment
The Fire Department is delighted to announce the acquisition of a Thermal Imager. Thermal Imaging is the detection of infrared radiation and subsequent translation of the detected energy levels into a viewable image. (Infrared radiation is a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, and is a form of energy that we perceive as heat.) The Thermal Imager assigns a color or shade to an object based on how it compares with the surrounding background - the hottest objects will be light in color, and the coolest darker.
Our Imager can be used for search and rescue in structure fires as well as in wooded areas, looking for lost children and adults or even wounded deer. It will be used for fire overhaul, finding hot spots in walls and ceilings. This will make it easier to find fire or overheated objects that may be causing the problem, such as electrical outlets or machinery.
In February, 1999, a nationwide study on Thermal Imaging equipment was completed in the U.S. that found:
1. Without a Thermal Imager, 40% of the time firefighters were able to locate the victim; but over 30% of the time couldn't find their way out of the burning structure.
2. With a Thermal Imager, 99% of the time firefighters were able to locate the victim and 100% of the time found their way out of the burning structure; the time required to satisfactorily complete a search within a burning structure dropped by 75%.
We can thank the members of our Fire Department Auxiliary for the purchase of this very important equipment. Their unselfish work in raffles and organizing benefit parties to make money for the betterment of our Fire Department and EMS goes, for the most part, unnoticed. The Fire Department Auxiliary members, past and present, have contributed thousands of hours in fundraisers, Bingo, bake sales, and at the Resale Shop throughout the years to buy a lot of equipment that our Departments could not afford without their help.
Most recently, a new Repeater System a tower relay station used by the Fire Department and EMS to communicate with each other and the mainland was purchased to replace an obsolete repeater. The cost was split between the Fire Department, EMS, and the Auxiliary. The Thermal Imaging System was also purchased by the Auxiliary. These two systems cost over $17,000. Without their help, we would not have been able to purchase either of these very essential items. We can all be very proud of their accomplishments and we should be very thankful for their time and hard work.
We want to offer a special thanks to our present BIFDA members and our past members who contributed throughout the years.
Present Members - Dawn Marsh, Carolyn Works, Sherry Timsak, Carol LaFreniere, Yvonne Crandall, Donna Stambaugh, and Kristen Russell.
Past Members - Ruth Hallahan, Sally Lounsberry, Emma Jean Belfy, Dorothy Willis, Dorothy Chichester, Barb Cruickshank, and Eleanor Felix.
If I have forgotten anyone, please accept my apology. And please continue to support these fine ladies and their functions. Thank you.
Tim McDonough, Chief, and all the members of the Beaver Island Fire Department and the EMS
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