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What type of INITIAL training does/did your department provide before putting a Thermal Imaging Camera (TIC) in service? Do you do any type of continuing training for you members with the TIC?

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Our department just has the basic inservice for the TIC's. I attended the thermal imaging HOT class at FDIC and realized that there is much more to the thermal imagers than most know. Especially the different features for different cameras. With that basic knowledge we are learning as much as we can about our cameras. Then we will put together a training to refresh the minds of our firemen on our TIC's.
My Dept. has 5 TIC's. 3-ICC, 1-Bullard T3, 1-Bullard T3max. The ICC's are close to 10 years old and are very heavy, hence they do not come off the apparatus on a regular basis. They usually only get used as an afterthought. The 2 T3's however do get used on a regular basis due to their lightweight and size. We received training on all of these cameras from the sales rep. when we bought them. We had a small group attend a training burn with several cameras when we were specifying which camera to buy. That gave us a good understanding of what the TIC is capable of doing. We have annual training on all of our TIC's within the Dept. However, we do not have the ability to use a burn building to train with unless we travel. I have taken Thermal Imaging Class at FDIC back in 2006. That was a very good class as we used the cameara that my Dept. uses which gave me a better insight as to what this camera can do. I would like to hear what other Dept's do to overcome the inability to use a burn building to train with TIC's. Using the boiler room to show the differences in heat and photo's on a slide presentation just don't cut it...........
We obtained a grant for Thermal Imaging cameras for all of our first out engines (we do not run a truck) back in 2002. We did not have a spec committee for the cameras. We only had one firefighter doing research and we came up with the Bullard T3. Good camera. Well built and they have held up very well for us.

I have attended the SafeIR class twice through Firehouse World in San Diego and the FOOLS. There fore I became our "TIC" guy so to speak. TIC's are a great tool, but the biggest thing to remember is they are just that. They are a machine that can and will break or fail. Always remember to follow sound firefighting tactics when using them.

Our training, like many of yours, consisted of a tech rep from the manufacturer coming to the department and putting on a one day class. Great for the troops on duty, but no so much for the other 2/3 of the department. The rest of the department got the trickle down effect of training. Everyone did a great job of getting hands on the TIC but it wasn't the best training out there. A few years later we had a great opportunity to train on some aquired buildings, so we got a burn barrel and smoked up a few houses for effect. In my opinion that was realistic TIC training. Since then, we try to incorporate TIC evolutions into all of our control burns. This live fire experience is critical for good hands on TIC ops. As Gregg stated in his post, the boiler room is good for heat images, but until you combine heat with smoke, you are not getting the real deal.

One thing that I like to do with TIC training is let the crew get about halfway done with the search, then take the battery out of the camera. See if they maintained some orientation to the room they are in. This will open ALOT of eyes.

Be safe brothers,

The class at Indy was hosted by Safe-IR. They discussed many different TIC's. The main point that I brought back to my FD was that we need to be familiar with the TICs that we use. There is not any standard in place to regulate how the cameras are built. So your camera will vary in operation from another FD. The termperature feature is a great one. The only issue is that it only measure surface temp. It not tell you what the air temp is at the ceiling. At the bottom is a link for a page on the Bullard website. It shows different applications the camera can be used for. While scanning a room make sure to scan from side to side instead of up and down. Some cameras will shutter due to the temperature change. It limit that scan in the same temperature range. My best adive I can give is read the user manual. That helped me out a lot. Hope this helps
If you want an outstanding TIC training course contact Captain Jeff Elliott, Training Capt. at Franklin Fire Department, Franklin Tennessee. He has written one of the best classes on TIC's that I have ever seen.
Our Department takes Thermal Imaging very seriously, we pull the TIC on every call. Our training on TIC's is second to none. If you want an outstanding TIC training course contact Captain Jeff Elliott, Training Capt. at Franklin Fire Department, Franklin Tennessee. He has written one of the best classes on TIC's that I have ever seen.
Our department also did not have the oppurtunity to use a burn building or aquired structure for training on our new TIC's. However, I have had the oppurtunity to conduct other training in various burn buildings and aquired structures.

We have had success simulating heat with a propane or kerosene "torpedo" heater in a vacant hospital structure. By placing the heater in a room at the far end of the hall blowing out we were able to create realistic thermal layers and heat signature. This could also be done in a residential structure, you could use both sides of the heated wall.

It is also beneficial to use live "victims" so that you get a true heat signature from them. Make sure you emphasize to your students that if using the TIC for RIT that the heat signature that you get form a firefighter with PPE will be different than that of a civilian victim in a structure.

The most important part is getting your guys to take them off the trucks.

I have some powerpoint presentations on another computer that may be helpful.
No problem Brent. The PPT entitled TIC is what we used for our basic training several years ago. Some of the information may be old but it has a ton of photos. The second one is entitled advanced search and rescue, the TIC stuff is the second half. The other word document is sort of an instructor guide I put together for a train the trainer class I did last year.
Truly understand why this discussion is important. For most departments the thermal imaging revolution starts with a grant or monetary appropriations, a purchase, some basic vendor training (which consists primarily of how to turn it on/off and change the battery) and your off.

Now lets add in the new super bunker gear we just got as well and we are inviting disaster.

We used the money we had left over from our fundraising effort for our origional two camera's to get Safe IR to do a weekend of training. It was a great start, but the tactics and fundemental safety strategies we learned need to be constantly revisited. I understand easier said than done. It is a great tool when used with respect. I try yo incorperated both TIC assisted tactics and Non-TIC assisted components in our training whenever possibly. Like Hankins, I became the TIC guy at our department. I use it a lot, getting others to do the same. Well..... to be continued.

It is amazing to see the TIC myths, mysteries and dangerous tactics very prevelant by many.
If you will search on this community for Greg Wild, Captain Franklin FD, he can give you all the information on our departments TIC training. Also search 1 SOURCE TRAINING CONSULTANTS you will find much info on this.
We never received any formal training when we recieved our Talisman. We used the information that came with it and try to use it as often as possible while drilling. I took a lecture class from Safe-IR last year and it was very informative. Looking at all of the posts and knowledge on this site I am hoping to come up with some better training for the guys.
Brian I found your PPT very helpful. I am in the process of putting together a training for our department on the operation of TIC's. We may or may not have a burn building to use, so I have to be prepared for both. I saw you mentioned a propane heater. Do you have any other PPT's or suggestions to use?


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