/Andy Starnes

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So far Andy Starnes has created 27 blog entries.

Intelligently Aggressive Fire Attack


Enhanced Stream Placement: Intelligently Aggressive Fire Attack The issue with most water application isn’t the nozzle. It is the nozzle man. Water is often applied based on a method and an educated guess. In many cases, firefighters have withheld water because they didn’t see flames but were being cooked by a blast furnace of superheated gases and convection currents.  Tactical Thermal Imaging allows firefighters to direct their streams more efficiently toward where the water is needed most rather than all over or missing superheated areas. In many cases, of watching firefighters on standard training fires we have noted that firefighters only [...]

Intelligently Aggressive Fire Attack2019-12-23T08:54:22-05:00

Enhanced Search Methodology-Making the Rescue up to 70% Faster


Enhanced Search Methodology: The use of thermal imaging cameras has enhanced the firefighter’s overall effectiveness particularly in the area of searching for victims or downed firefighters. In the late 90’s several large and well known fire departments were invited to participate in a study. They were given two identical search scenarios: one conducted without a TIC and one conducted with a TIC. The results were staggering. Without the use of a TIC the search crews missed the victims 60% of the time whereas they found the victim with the TIC while searching 99% of the time. In addition to this the [...]

Enhanced Search Methodology-Making the Rescue up to 70% Faster2019-12-06T09:29:03-05:00

Thermal Imaging Training Drills & Tips: Field of View


Why is Field of View Important? In our curriculum we cover the five key attributes of thermal imaging in depth and they are as follows: Field of View Temperature Modes/Application Modes Resolution & Color Palettes Distance to Spot Ratio: Emissivity What is Field of View? Field of view is the total field, measured as an angle, within which objects viewed by a TIC. Narrower FOVs generate more life-size images and distances, while wider FOVs place more image on the display. Therefore it is a tradeoff for us as firefighters to have a wider field of view so we can see the big [...]

Thermal Imaging Training Drills & Tips: Field of View2019-12-06T08:59:37-05:00

Which TIC Should We Buy?


Thermal Imaging Needs Assessment/Purchasing/Training Guidelines: The following document was developed to assist departments with purchasing thermal imaging cameras and with their training needs. This document is the sole property of Insight Training LLC and is copyright protected. It may be used within the confines of the host organization but not for financial gain or instruction purposes without the written permission of Insight Training LLC. I. Decide upon purchasing either a Situational Awareness TIC (mask mounted/SCBA mounted or small low cost/low resolution) or a Decision-Making TIC (High Resolution, High Dynamic Range, Fast Processor Speed, Multi-Application Use). You may read the full article [...]

Which TIC Should We Buy?2019-11-16T10:28:28-05:00

An After Action Review of TIC Use-by Instructor Joey Baxa


As a training officer I am always interested in any form of post incident analysis or after action review my department completes. Whether it is formal or informal it doesn’t matter, the lessons often learned by individuals from these moments need to be shared to the entire department. From my perspective, my organization is not overly staffed and any form of a rapid intervention crew will be late in the incident. Therefore, mayday prevention is vital and proactive steps must be taken. And any lesson learned that is shared might prevent a similar occurrence with more tragic consequences. As a firefighter, I have been amazed [...]

An After Action Review of TIC Use-by Instructor Joey Baxa2019-10-19T14:16:39-04:00

Understanding Temperature Modes


Thermal Imaging-Understanding High & Low Sensitivity. This short article is an attempt to clarify a few misconceptions in regard to fire service thermal imaging cameras. All fire service thermal imaging cameras automatically switch gains or sensitivity modes based on the following: The overall heat detected within the field of viewAnd at a certain percentage of pixels affectedThe majority of fire service TIC’s are dual mode sensitivity which is known asHigh & Low Sensitivity. The NFPA 1801 requirement states that when a LWIR (Long Wave Infrared) fire service TIC switches to Low Sensitivity a green equilateral triangle will appear in the upper [...]

Understanding Temperature Modes2019-10-17T17:55:12-04:00

Tactical Thermal PPE Management-Temperature, Tactics, & PPE


The following speech was given at the FIERO 2019 PPE Symposium... “PPE Thermal Limits are designed to protect the firefighter to a tested specified limit, yet our tactics do not consider these limits when placing the firefighter into these IDLH environments. We need to transform our processes to provide these tactical approaches. We have the tools, yet we refuse to modify these SOPs. If we know better and do not, we are negligent! Learn about the changes needed.” Chief Joe Starnes-Founder Project Kill the Flashover. What affects everything we do each day? Temperature, Weather, and the exposure to those elements. What [...]

Tactical Thermal PPE Management-Temperature, Tactics, & PPE2019-03-15T09:32:08-04:00

In Living Color? The Colorful & Confusing Thermal Imaging Fire Service Color Palette World:


Have you noticed that there are numerous color palettes and color temperature associations with fire service thermal imaging cameras?   Why is this so? Doesn’t NFPA 1801 standardize this issue and prevent confusing color temperature associations? Sadly, this isn’t the case. This is the NFPA 1801 approved color/temperature progression for thermal imaging cameras under the TI Basic Color Palette (black, grey, white, yellow, orange & red). According to NFPA 1801 (Standard for Thermal Imagers for the Fire Service section & colors should meet the following criteria: “Colorization shall overlay the grayscale thermal images produced by the thermal imager. Details [...]

In Living Color? The Colorful & Confusing Thermal Imaging Fire Service Color Palette World:2018-08-30T21:47:41-04:00

Do You Know The Danger of Cold Smoke?


Firefighters need to be aware of the importance of fundamental search methods and the limitations of thermal imaging cameras. There are several TIC manufacturers that falsely advertise that their brand of TIC will “see” through steam. This is inherently dangerous and a false statement for them to spread because in many cases the TIC will not be able to see through dense steam, cold smoke situations (created by sprinklers), or high moisture content environments. Why can’t a TIC see through steam/moisture? First of all, TIC’s don’t “see” through anything. A fire service TIC detects long wave infrared radiation (LWIR) which is [...]

Do You Know The Danger of Cold Smoke?2018-07-16T15:08:07-04:00

Do you know the 2 Main Types of Fire Service TIC’s?


Do you know the Two main types of Fire Service Thermal Imaging Cameras? Don’t be fooled by low price! You will find that you get what you pay for… There is a lot of confusion in the fir service today about thermal imaging cameras. Many departments are purchasing TIC’s such as the FLIR K2, the Scott Sight, the MSA ITIC or the SEEK. These devices are situational awareness cameras and NOT decision making TIC’s. They have a specific purpose and are often misused. What does this mean exactly? A situational awareness TIC is solely designed to prevent disorientation. It is used [...]

Do you know the 2 Main Types of Fire Service TIC’s?2018-07-15T14:56:15-04:00