A THERMAL imaging camera received by volunteer firefighters last Friday will help ensure they, and the community, are safer during a fire.
It will be used by the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Canobolas Zone to enable firefighters to detect hot spots at fires.
While several RFS aircraft already have thermal imaging cameras, this recent acquisition is the first portable camera that can be taken onto the fire ground.
RFS operations officer Brett Bowden said the new camera could be used at structure and bush fires, as well as during hazard reduction activities.
“Anything from a chimney fire to a full-on structure fire ... this camera allows us to see heat sources through smoke,” he said.
“It will pick up everything above the normal ambient temperature.”
Mr Bowden said finding hot spots in a house fire allowed firefighters to see where the fire was located within a smoke-filled room.
The camera will also be used after bushfires or hazard reductions to ensure the fire is fully extinguished, as flare-ups can happen for several days after a fire.
“It will be safer and much more efficient ... especially with the water we use and where we put that water,” he said.
“The safety level for firefighters and the people we may be trying to rescue will be increased.”
Funds for the thermal imaging camera came from an NRMA Insurance Community Grant of $10,000.
“Thanks to the NRMA for their community grants and the benefits it provides to the wider community,” Mr Bowden said.