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Firefighters test new thermal imaging cameras in training exercise in Basildon

Firefighters at Essex County Fire and Rescue Service have tested the latest high-tech thermal imaging cameras during a high rise training exercise in Basildon.

Crews from Basildon, Orsett, Billericay, Rayleigh, Wickford, Grays and Chelmsford Fire Stations took part in Exercise Ketling in multi-storey building in Southernhay, Basildon on November 20.

The exercise gave firefighters the opportunity to test the latest ISG thermal imaging cameras, which will be used by frontline crews across the County. The cameras allow firefighters to search for people trapped in smoke filled rooms and find hot-spots which could be hidden behind a wall or in a roof space. These cameras are life savers, they are vital in helping find casualties when visibility is restricted because of smoke and darkness.

Sub Officer Dan Evison from Basildon Fire Station organised the exercise, he said:

“Exercise Kelting was an excellent and rare opportunity for firefighters to train for a fire in a high rise building. Because of the location of the fire, crews had a physically demanding task to get the firefighting equipment up several floors before they then had to search the heavily smoke logged rooms to rescue casualties. The exercise went well and we all gained valuable experience in this type of incident.

“I would like to thank the management of Eastgate Shopping Centre Management for allowing us to use the venue and I would also like to thank all the firefighters for their hard work and enthusiasm during this exercise.”

The Service has invested in a total of 80 new thermal imaging cameras which have been distributed to all frontline crews across Essex. The introduction of the new cameras follow more than a million pounds worth of investment in the latest breathing apparatus and radio sets.

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