Firefighters to purchase life-saving camera

Tuesday, March 4, 2003

With Cape Girardeau's budget such as it is -- tight -- city firefighters could simply have complained about there not being enough money for a tool they truly need: a thermal-imaging camera that would help them find people trapped in burning, smoke-filled homes.

But the local firefighters decided to take the matter into their own hands.

Members of the International Association of Firefighters union are collecting money to buy the device and present it to the city's fire department. The expected cost is from $9,000 to $17,000.

The cameras allow firefighters to see 200 yards.

Firefighters can recall at least one case where a man died from smoke inhalation because of lost minutes trying to find him in a burning structure.

The camera could do a lot of good.

The firefighters union has already done a good thing in taking the lead on raising the money itself.

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