Local News

Raleigh Firefighters Have Extra Set Of Eyes To Help Save Lives

Posted May 21, 2001 7:10 a.m. EDT

— Raleigh firefighters have an extra pair of eyes, but these eyes see through smoke and can actually help save lives.

They are now using thermal imaging cameras to find people in smoke-filled buildings where visibility is close to zero. The camera does not just detect people but also hot spots such as the fire's source.

"Before the camera, we had very limited visibility. We would actually have to physically cover every portion of this room by crawling and touching," says Captain Mike Cooper of the Raleigh Fire Department.

The cameras cost $18,000 apiece. Raleigh has enough now so that firefighters have one on hand whenever there is a fire. The cameras are also being used to search for people lost in the woods.