Universal deployment--putting thermal imagers in the hands of every firefighter.(Thermal Imaging)

Thermal imagers have become a vital part of operations in the firefighting industry and have proven to significantly improve firefighter safety, as well as identify hot spots, find emergency egress points or evaluate structural integrity. Why is it then, that not every single firefighter has a thermal imager as part of their gear?


THE REASON THERMAL IMAGERS are not more widely used is primarily down to cost.

For years firefighters have used thermal imaging cameras in their emergency response operations. Applications for thermal imaging in firefighting range from size-up, to search and rescue, to escape. There are approximately 5,000,000 firefighters globally, but to date only about 60,000 cameras have been sold (almost all in the US). Demand for the technology has skyrocketed but the vast majority of departments simply cannot afford the devices.

At $7,000 to $12,000 a thermal imager is a heavy hitter in any budget.

However, despite the reduced cost of thermal imaging available with today's uncooled sensors, there are still millions of potential users for whom thermal imaging is unattainable. A typical uncooled camera may cost in excess of $10,000, too much for most potential users. For example, thermal imaging is critical for firefighters because it helps them locate downed victims, pinpoint the source of a burn or escape a dangerous building, but because of their high price only a small fraction of firefighters use thermal imaging cameras regularly. …

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