16 - Jun 1998 - Burning Desire for Fire Cam Leads to Fund Quest

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16 - Jun 1998 - Burning Desire for Fire Cam Leads to Fund Quest - Burning Desire for Fire Cam Leads to Fund Quest...
Burning Desire for Fire Cam Leads to Fund Quest ; By James Yodice i For the Journal i J Picture this: a man trapped inside his burning Los Ranchos de Albuquerque home barely escapes death 1 because firefighters could not immediately locate him. i It's a scene every fire department wants to avoid. 'With some patience and the generosity of its residents, the village hopes to take a preventive measure so nobody faces such a risk. ' ; For the past few months, Los Ranchos has been rais-' rais-' rais-' ing money to buy a fire cam, which is designed to help ! firefighters as they search for victims inside burning ; buildings. ; The fire cam costs $17,000, and the village so far has. ; raised about $2,000 mostly from the local elementary ' school and mostly in pennies and dollar bills. "To us, it's priceless," says Los Ranchos Fire Chief .Dale Addison, who has held the position in the North ; Valley for nearly 19 years. "I think it's something every ; fire department should have." ; Addison says his Los Ranchos division battles only one or two structural fires each year. But, he says, if, fights many more in the North Valley and sometimes ; the South Valley when the Bernalillo County Fire Department needs help. J "(If it) saves one life," says village Mayor Harry Stqwers, "then it's paid for itself 100 times over." ; The fire cam can see through walls and can pinpoint "We're relying on the goodwill of the people who come in. I want the people to feel like they 're a part of the village. The grade-school grade-school grade-school kids have set a wonderful example to follow. It was a beautiful thing when they came in." MAYOR HARRY ITOWEM SPEAKING ABOUT DONATIO MONEY the location of a fire. ' The village recently had access to a loaned cam for a couple weeks. Though there were no fires reported in that time, the department simulated a rescue attempt by filling a room with non-toxic non-toxic non-toxic smoke in an exercise. Also, Addison filled a hot cup df water inside a styro-foam styro-foam styro-foam cup and then placed that cup inside a cabinet. In both cases, the cam worked flawlessly it spotted a person inside the smoky room, and instantly saw the cup inside the cabinet. Models vary in size and design, but the fire cam detects the body heat of an individual, even within the confines of a burning home. If someone is curled up in a corner underneath a blanket, the cam can spot the individual. There are two basic fire cam designs the first is worn like a pair of goggles, with the remainder of the unit strapped to a firefighter's back; the second looks like a camcorder and is hand-held. hand-held. hand-held. Los Ranchos is after the latter model it is slightly more inexpensive than the first. Fire cams cost anywhere anywhere between $17,000 and $24,000, Addison says, depending on the manufacturer. The village administration office has two giant, coin-filled coin-filled coin-filled jugs on display, to encourage donations. Stowers says he did not need convincing about a fire . cam. "Absolutely (not)," he says. "(Chief Addison) didnt have to make that pitch. I recognize the value of this." The Los Ranchos fire department has eight full-time full-time full-time employees, Stowers says, with additional volunteers. Another benefit of the fire cam is its ability to find hot spots and hidden fired after the initial fire is doused. " "It (sorts out) hotter objects," says Addison. "Hidden fires are hard to find without tearing down a wall." Stowers is optimistic the village and its approximately approximately 5,800 residents will contribute to the fund-raising. fund-raising. fund-raising. "We're relying on the goodwill of the people who come in," he says. "I want the people to feel like they're a part of the village. The grade-school grade-school grade-school kids have set a wonderful example to follow. It was a beautiful thing when they came in." ' ? y - 3 l5 K , m m TREVOR KAPRALOSJOURNAL CASH FOR A CAM: Los Ranchos de Albuquerque would like to see these Jugs, and more, filled with donations that can be used to buy a fire cam. -

Clipped from
  1. Albuquerque Journal,
  2. 16 Jun 1998, Tue,
  3. Page 47

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  • 16 - Jun 1998 - Burning Desire for Fire Cam Leads to Fund Quest

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