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New CFA TIC cameras

CFA leads introduction of cameras

10 August 2012

A CFA managed joint agency equipment project has seen the introduction of new Draeger USF 9000 thermal imaging cameras – an electronic device used to detect a heat source in both structural fires and other emergency incidents.

Thermal Imaging cameras provide wide capability to locate dangerous hotspots in a house or under the surface on the fire ground. They also have the capability to identify the fill level of materials contained in tanks, such as those in a truck accident.

CFA’s Acting Manager Structural Planning and Specialist Equipment, Craig Brownlie says the new thermal imaging cameras include the latest technology available in heat detection and in our testing have proved to be an extremely effective piece of equipment. “We took a hot head bead, buried it in four inches of soil, and the camera identified the heat source from 150 metres away,” Craig says. “The thermal imagery cameras underwent some 10,000 tests including operational testing and evaluation.

Craig says the success of the project is due to the great the work done by CFA Senior Station Officer, Gavin Parker, and Leading Firefighter Col Chapman from Boronia fire station who he says both provided tremendous assistance to the project. “It’s an extremely effective piece of equipment,” Col says. ”We developed the tender documentation, coordinated the trials, and designed the testing of the camera. We’re now ready to begin the training courses for those brigades that will receive the new cameras.”

The Draeger USF 9000 model cameras are designed in Germany and are adaptable to a variety of fire and emergency incident situations. Imagery on the cameras can be viewed in either clear digital image mode or in thermal image mode.

CFA will initially deploy 16 of the new camera to various integrated stations. Two cameras have gone to brigades under the Victorian Emergency Service Equipment Program, and two other cameras have been purchased by brigades that have self-funded the cameras.

The cameras are each come with a special charging unit that is fitted in the rear of CFA heavy pumpers. The new Draeger cameras replace similar equipment which has been in service for about twelve years.

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