With the Support of the Community The Potsdam Fire Department Was Able to Purchase Six Scott Sight Masks
By Fire Chief Danielle Rose
April 20, 2017

A fire is no place to be blind, but firefighters face that prospect every time they enter a smoke-filled building. Thermal imagers can improve the odds, but they're too often handheld and bulky. Scott Safety has come up with the Scott Sight, a lightweight imaging system integrated into a firefighters mask to provide individual firefighters with real-time thermal images.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, most fire deaths are actually due to smoke inhalation. It has also been found that the hazard that gives firefighters the most grief isn't flames, but the blindness caused by stumbling about in smoke while using self-contain breathing apparatuses. In such a situation, rescuers can get lost; fall down stairs or through holes in the floor.

These cameras use heat instead of visible light to penetrate smoke. They not only allow firefighters to navigate burning buildings for victims, but they also bring situational intelligent to firefighters vision so that hidden fires in walls and ceilings can be put out without having to damage or destroy surrounding property.

However, thermal imagers still have their drawbacks. For one thing, they tend to be expensive. With the help of our community, the Potsdam Fire Department was able to secure enough monies through fundraising this year to purchase six Scott Sight masks.

Members did not waste any time getting trained on preventive maintenance for the mask and putting them to the test on different training exercises at our local training facility.