Grant leads to thermal cameras

MONTROSE — The Glendale Fire Department received a $78,761 grant Thursday to help pay for life-saving equipment, such as thermal-imaging cameras, and to train firefighters.

The cameras enable firefighters to “find a victim in a zero-visibility environment,” Fire Chief Harold Scoggins said.

The grant will allow the department to equip all nine fire stations with the cameras. International E&S; Insurance Brokers Inc. and the Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, which supports firefighters through the Heritage Program, donated the grant to the department.

This year’s donation is the largest the department has received from the Fireman’s Fund, Fire Capt. Tom Propst said. Last year, $25,000 was awarded to the department, he said.

With the initial grant from the insurance company, the Fire Department was able to purchase its first thermal-imaging cameras, Scoggins said.

The cameras have became more affordable in recent years, he said.

But the state’s struggling economy has made buying even the less expensive cameras more challenging, Scoggins said.

The cameras also help firefighters find hot spots inside walls, Fire Engineer Steve Haleen said. Finding the source of a hot spot eliminates costly damage to a building and confines damage to one area, he said.

The department will also purchase the air-powered tank Air-Kwik system, which uses high-pressured air to spray foam and water to protect wildlife, houses and businesses from fire.

The 85-gallon system will be mounted onto the back of the department’s utility pickup truck, allowing firefighters to hose down hot spots in the mountains, Fire Capt. Jack Morrison said.

With the grant money, the department also will suit the utility truck with new tires and suspension, Morrison said.

Of the $78,761 grant, $15,000 will go toward disaster-preparedness supplies. The $15,000 also will help pay for textbooks and other supplies for the department’s Fire Explorer program.

“We know we need to continue our efforts for disaster preparedness,” Scoggins said.

La Crescenta resident Vicki Snow, who works at International E&S;, helped direct the funds to the department.

“I just wanted to support the community,” she said.

Snow has lived in the foothills most of her life and has seen several fires hit the area, she said.

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