Menlo Park Fire District is the first in the nation to equip its firefighters with thermal imaging technology mounted upon their helmets that can navigate their way through burning buildings more safely effectively.
The Qwake C-Thru Navigator Helmet Mounted Device will allow firefighters to find people trapped in fires about twice as fast, Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman told Bay City News about the technology, calling it “a game changer.”
The Fire District has been using hand held thermal imaging devices for many years to see while in fire or heavy smoke conditions, according to the District. Apart from being hands-free, the Qwake technology can “outline images firefighters see in green, show them how they entered a burning building, communicate with other firefighters wearing a similar device and live stream what’s going on inside, to an incident commander and other firefighters, outside of the structure,” the Fire District said.
In March 2018, the Fire Board approved entering into a two-year product development memorandum of understanding with Qwake Systems. Recently, the Board expanded the program to provide each on-duty Menlo Park firefighter with a Navigator Helmet Mounted C-Thru device, for a cost not to exceed $210,000, the District said.
Photos courtesy of the Menlo Park Fire District