Back to top

Thermal imaging camera donated to Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue

Kathy Bruce (centre), Vice President of Retriev Technologies donated a $7,000 thermal imaging camera to Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue. Chief Dan Derby (right) and Captain Rick Morris (left) received the donation at the Trail Station on May 26.
Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR) has added a thermal imaging camera to its fire fighting arsenal. 
Retriev Technologies in Waneta donated the $7,000 camera to firefighters at the Trail Station on May 26.

“We’re extremely thankful to Retriev Technologies for providing us with an indispensable tool to help us perform our duties more safely and effectively in the extremely hostile environment of a structural fire,” said KBRFR Regional Fire Chief Dan Derby.

“This tool not only helps our crews orient themselves in a building and locate the seat of a fire and any victims faster, but it gives us another vital piece of equipment designed to make sure we all go home safe at the end of a call,” said Chief Derby.

A thermal imaging camera (TIC) detects infrared energy, or heat, and converts it into a visual image. Firefighters often struggle to see through the intense smoke of a structural fire and the TIC allows them to see flames clearly and quickly, and to scan large areas to locate victims and make better decisions when every second counts. The handheld camera displays high resolution images on a bright, four-inch LCD screen so details of the environment are visible as firefighters move through a burning structure.

Derby said that recent studies of scenarios in which a thermal imaging camera was used and compared to scenarios without a camera, search times to find victims dropped by 75 per cent, time to locate the source of the fire was cut by 60 per cent, and firefighters located an exit 100 per cent of the time with the camera compared to 70 percent without a TIC.

“Retriev Technologies wholeheartedly supports firefighter and public health and safety. As a technology company, we are keenly aware that advances in equipment such TICs can help people do their jobs better and save lives, and we want to play a role making our communities safer,” said Kathy Bruce, Vice President of Retriev Technologies.

Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue serves the Greater Trail area as well as electoral areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory from fire halls in Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Genelle, Montrose, and Fruitvale.

The RDKB also provides fire rescue services from stations in Christina Lake, rural Grand Forks, the Kettle Valley, Beaverdell and at Big White.