How Personal Thermal Imaging Can Help Improve Safety in the Fire Service

Previous blog posts have addressed the importance of both connectivity and accountability for improved safety in the fire service.

Another key element that also helps to contribute to firefighter safety and is tied to aspects of connectivity and accountability is Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC) technology, and the additional features that enhance that technology and make it accessible to individuals person on-scene.

Thermal imaging identifies hot spots and ventilation points, making it easier to navigate a building with limited or no visibility. By making it personal for each firefighter regardless of whether they are wearing an SCBA, a firefighter can be more informed and better understand his or her environment – ultimately contributing to improved situational awareness and more confident decision-making on the fireground.

Previously, thermal imaging was only reserved for tactical, search and rescue operations due to the limited availability of cameras. Personal thermal imaging allows firefighters to use this technology more proactively to safely navigate indoor locations and have increased visibility on-scene. Not only that, but the TIC in LUNAR is enhanced with edge detection as well as firefighter-to-firefighter ranging in one comprehensive and compact device.

Edge detection highlights objects by analyzing temperature differentials of pixels in frame. This can effectively highlight objects such as windows, doorways, and potentially people.

Ranging combines direction and distance information with thermal imaging to help find a downed crew member. Those wearing and not wearing SCBA are alerted if a firefighter’s motion is not detected.

This level of connectivity can help to provide a better understanding of who may be in distress and their location, providing first-step confidence in decision-making.

LUNAR is part of the MSA Connected Firefighter (CFF) platform, which is a system of products engineered to work together to help firefighters see and assess a situation like never before – even in the most dangerous situations. MSA’s CFF platform helps to improve firefighter safety by bringing together technology-based equipment and tools to enhance connectivity, accountability and communications on and off the fireground.

Learn more about LUNAR and the MSA Connected Firefighter Platform here.

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