Fire department gets new thermal imaging cameras - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire department gets new thermal imaging cameras

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HIAWATHA (KWWL) -

When duty calls for firefighters it can sometimes be difficult for them to determine exactly where the source of the heat is, that's where thermal imaging cameras can come in handy. 

"Natural eye you can't see the heat signatures, they go all the way up but with this you can really see the heat signatures," Deputy Fire Chief Matt Powers explained. 

The departments former thermal imaging camera was more than a decade old.

The cameras are used at almost every fire call. 

Find victims really really fast, you go inside you can see through smoke you can see where the victims are at," Powers says. 

The camera can detect any type of heat including body heat so it can be used in search and rescue situations.

"Let's say outside in the snow right now it's going to be cold, the snows going to be cold the bodies going to be warm so you'll be able to see it," Powers told us. 

The new cameras even allow firefighters to take pictures or video which could help solve crimes. 

"If it's a criminal act or something else we have a little more proof there of hey this was actually on fire this is what the fire was doing," says Powers. 

Since the cameras detect heat they are even able to see ethanol fires which aren't visible to the naked eye. 

The department bought two of the new cameras for a total of $13,700.

The cameras were fully paid for through fundraising and community support. 
      

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