“Firefighter Friendly Thermal Imaging” Workshop

Lead Instructors: Sam Hittle Traditions Training
Date/Time: February 28th, 2019 ONLY! 13:00 - 17:00
Shuttle Departure: NONE
Details: This 4 hour PM workshop it will be offered on Thursday February 28th, 2019 ONLY.  Lunch will be provided.
Required Equipment: This class is lecture-based, no turnouts or SCBA are required.
Location: PARAMOUNT HOTEL Conference Room 808 SW Taylor St Portland OR 97205


Course Description: Thermal imaging is one of the most misunderstood disciplines on the fire ground today. Too often, fire fighters with this tool in hand, approach their tactical objectives believing that the camera will execute the necessary thinking to derive at the critical information needed for success. Regrettably, this is not the case. The camera is only capable of performing interpretations within its inherent confines. The technician is responsible for the critical thinking required to conclude what is truly occurring on the fire ground. It is vital that fire fighters using a camera understand and appreciate both its capabilities and limitations to successfully assess conditions for positive mitigation. The basics, such as white is hot, black is cold, and victim identification will be fast and easy are lies without imager comprehension, training, and drilling. Unfortunately, this is the extent of thermal imaging knowledge most of the fire service is operating with today. Through lecture and classroom hands on experiments (students will observe with cameras in hand), this class will demonstrate real world infrared concepts and applications to help students understand and properly interpret feedback from the thermal imager.  Hands on experiments include mode transitions, environmental subjectivity, peripheral limitations, thermal interpretation restrictions, proper object analyzation, one dimensional conflicts, emitter and contrast variance resolve, temperature accuracy, misinterpretations and unrealistic expectations, and principles of transmission, reflection, and emissivity. Lecture addresses how to apply these concepts to effectively utilize the imager when conducting structural size up, extent of fire conditions, interior size up, suppression, search techniques, pitfalls of exterior search, ventilation, reading smoke from the interior vantage point, overhaul, smells and bells alarms, and hazmat. It is easy to appreciate what the camera can do. To be efficient and successful we must talk about what it can’t do. Only when we recognize the limitations, operate competently with the capabilities, and recognize the camera is there to help us do more and not less at our fires, will we enhance our tactical decisions.