GRANVILLE, Mass. (The Westfield News) – Through generous donations, the Granville Fire Department purchased a brand new thermal imaging camera.
The all-volunteer department had been using a 15 year-old camera, which is almost obsolete. Now, the GFD has most state-of-the-art thermal imaging camera among all its surrounding towns.
Firefighter Joshua Rutola said the camera cost just under $6,000.
“We received donations from the Lions Club, at the Harvest Fair, Prospect Mountain Campground, the Trail Riders, the Fire Association, and private donations,” said Rutola.
Dan Bryant, president of the Granville Volunteer Fire Association, said the Association works hand-in-hand with the GFD to meet their needs above and beyond the budget.
“We work together as a unit,” Bryant said.
The camera – a K55 by Flir – is a multiple use piece of equipment.
“This will help use do size-ups of a situation,” said Rutola.”It can localize the fire when we’re extinguishing a fire.”
GFD Chief Dave Gay said the camera can be used in search and rescue efforts as well.
The department’s 25 active volunteers received training this week from Alex McCurdy of C & S Specialty, Inc., a firefighting equipment and supply company.
McCurdy, a former fire chief, said the new camera is light years ahead of what the GFD has been using.
“This is considered to be one of the best,” he said. “It’s a high-resolution camera, and it’s the most adaptable camera.”
McCurdy said thermal imaging cameras have changed drastically over the years. They are lighter, more efficiant, capable of doing more, and cost less. The old camera the GFD is retiring cost in the neighborhood of $20,000 and was heavy and cumbersome.
The new camera is very light, can be set up on a tri-pod, and can give a live feed to a computer so firefighters can better assess a fire before entering a building.
The GFD members thanked the community for its donations that made the purchase possible.