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          As is the case in nearly every community, we all have our share of serious fire calls.  On occasion, it turns out to be structure fires and we are faced with a very serious situation. Antigonish has not escaped this fate, and has indeed had it's share over the  past few years.  The amount of time  it takes to properly search a building, the "low -to- no" visibility faced by the firefighters, and the rapidly advancing situation at hand,   has prompted us to look at the latest technology available to today's fire service.

         During late 2001,  we had discussed the possibility of acquiring some more equipment.   As we ventured into 2002, we had many committee meetings and decided to raise the funds necessary to get the thermal imaging camera. Our fundraining  consisted of advertising, approaching local businesses for their support,  donations received from organizations and individuals, and  coin cans in many of the local stores. Our campaign ended in the spring - early summer, with the acquisition of the camera following soon afterward.

        This amazing piece of equipment will, in effect, help to give back the sight to the firefighters entering very dangerous buildings, filled with smoke. Visibility is such a building is nearly always ZERO, thus requiring the firefighter to crawl about on his hands and knees, feeling his way .  This takes time, when we don't have it.  Searches could be conducted much faster,  when  looking for any possible victims, and also in locating the actual source of the fire.  This will shortening the amount of time firefighters are inside searching, making for a safer situation for the men. It will also help with overhaul, to assist the firefighters in locating hot spots, to confirm extinguishment.

        This was an ambitious project, the camera running at over $25,000.   We are pleased to have such a piece of technology in our firefighting arsenault. We have already used the gear several times since we accepted delivery, and we continue to do so as time progresses.



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