Advances in technology help fire fighters save lives

By Greg Higgins
April 15, 2016 - 4:30pm

If you walked through the Saskatchewan Fire Chiefs’ Conference’s trade show at the Field House in North Battleford today, bright lights and reflective gear might have caught your eye.

But the Saskatchewan Association of Fire Chiefs president, Kevin Eskra said things like thermal cameras and battery operated Jaws or Life are not only major advancements in technology, but are vital tools used in modern firefighting.

“Thermal technology is being introduced to the face piece that fire fighters wear when heading into a burning building,” Eskra said. “They can, in a moment’s notice, track where hot spots might be or locate casualties.”

Locating hot spots is vital because a part of a wall, ceiling or floor could be smouldering and could cause the structures to collapse at any time.

“They can locate a person who might be trapped, or unconscious,” Eskra said adding this becomes more important the thicker the smoke is. Sometimes smoke is so dense, firefighters can’t see a foot in front of their faces and the camera eliminates this problem.

Other advancements include battery operated Jaws of Life. Normally the Jaws must be attached to a machine by a long hose in order for the hydraulics to work. These new versions allow for better portability as they are lighter and less cumbersome without losing the power.


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