FLIR thermal imaging cameras have been adopted by the fire department of the German city of Mühldorf to help them deliver their services more efficiently.

There was a time when thermal imaging cameras (TIC) for firefighters used to be bulky, expensive and out of reach of small voluntary fire departments. New developments in thermal imaging technology have made thermal cameras such as FLIR’s K50 model accessible and affordable even for small fire brigades. The Mühldorf county fire department has recently discovered the many benefits of FLIR’s firefighting cameras.

The Mühldorf county fire department is a modern and professional team that takes the protection and security of its citizens very seriously. Multiple fire teams, responsible for a primary sector of 107,800 inhabitants in Mühldorf county as well as several adjacent communities, attend to an average of 3500 interventions per year.

Affordable thermal imaging cameras

District Fire Inspector Harald Lechertshuber commented that small firefighting teams like theirs could not afford a thermal imaging camera until the advent of more budget-friendly cameras such as the FLIR K50. Using funding from the German state of Bavaria, the department decided to invest in new thermal camera technology. After learning about thermal imaging via their distributor Leopold Siegrist GmbH, the fire department tested several models and picked the FLIR K50 as the most suitable for their needs.

According to Harald Lechertshuber, the pricing of the FLIR K50 makes thermal imaging cameras affordable for practically any community fire brigade.

Search and rescue

A thermal imaging camera makes the search and rescue operation during any fire incident more efficient, especially in places where the view is obstructed, such as in small and closed spaces or smoky environments.

The Mühldorf county fire department was recently called out for a rescue operation in a car wreck. Not sure about the number of people in the car, they used the FLIR K50 thermal camera to find a second passenger after rescuing one person from the wreck.

Thermal imagers to look for fires

The Mühldorf county fire department also uses the FLIR K50 to look for fires that are not immediately visible to the human eye. For instance, if there is a fire in row houses, it is hard to detect the building on fire. The FLIR K50 can be used in such instances to check from the outside which places are hot and cold and get a perfect overview of the situation. Even after extinguishing a fire, a thermal imager can help assess the situation and allow firefighters to look for looming fire remains or inadequately extinguished fires.

FLIR K50 firefighter IR camera

Key features of the FLIR K50 camera include thermal images of 320 x 240 pixels with a 60Hz frequency; temperature range from 32°F to 1202°F (0°C to 650°C); five imaging modes to help speed up tactical decisions and search for survivors; and user-friendly operation with clear temperature readings.

According to Harald Lechertshuber, the camera image is very stable and has a perfect resolution while the various imaging modes help them assess different situations much better. The user-friendliness of the FLIR K50 is valued by firefighters, especially in stressful situations.

The Mühldorf county fire department currently makes use of twelve thermal imaging cameras from FLIR