New thermal cameras to increase safety, visibility while fighting fires

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Unified Fire Authority has just purchased 72 new high-tech thermal imaging cameras that will be used in a myriad of situations that firefighters deal with on a yearly basis.

Captain Sam Christensen with Unified Fire tells Fox13 that they spent nearly $500,000 from their budget to purchase these thermal cameras.

“Advancements in technology, things have come along way. The technology is more readily available, the production of these things is much faster than they used to be,” Christensen said.

Since other large city fire departments around the country had purchased many these cameras Christensen said they needed to jump on that bandwagon.

“This is bread-and-butter, I mean everybody has these on their rigs across the country. This is not a luxury item this is a basic thing now days away firefighters are using them," Christensen said.

Each camera costs about $8,000 and for UFA, it’s money well spent.

“We’re seeing victims, we’re seeing pets, we are seeing down firefighters,” Christensen said, “In zero visibility, we’re able to make out beds, living room dinette sets, kitchens, flooring, all that stuff and get to where we need to be faster than we ever have been able to.”

To get an up-close look at how these cameras work, watch the video above.

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