SOURCE: AC Tool Supply, Inc.

flir thermal imager infrared camera equipment technology haiti relief

January 28, 2010 13:12 ET

Infrared Thermal Imaging Cameras Save Lives in Haiti

TEMPE, AZ--(Marketwire - January 28, 2010) - Following the magnitude 7.0 earthquake that rocked the island nation of Haiti on January 12, 2010, a Texas search and rescue team, dubbed "Texas Task Force One," was mobilized for deployment to Haiti. Sadly this team, which was called up by Texas Gov. Rick Perry just two days after the massive earthquake, was asked to stand down. Had this team arrived in Haiti, their goal was to search for "hot spots" which in infrared terms can mean hidden fires, trapped people or animals beneath the rubble. The search and rescue team had planned on doing this with infrared / thermal imaging cameras. An infrared camera is a device that detects heat (infrared energy) and converts it into an electronic signal, which then produces a thermal image on a video screen. Heat sensed by a thermal imager can be very precisely measured, allowing the user to monitor and identify thermal changes in just about any material, including block and concrete. A qualified infrared thermal imaging inspector can interpret these real time images for many applications, including search and rescue operations. Recent innovations in infrared technology have allowed these infrared cameras to become more affordable, but more importantly for 16 earthquake victims in Haiti, the innovations have allowed them to become more accessible to the public.

The Texas Task Force One urban search and rescue team consisted of roughly 80 personnel, including search dogs and an arsenal of infrared camera equipment. While the search and rescue team did not make the trip to Haiti, the infrared equipment did. Three Fluke TiR1 thermal imagers, Donated by the Fluke Corporation (Everett, Washington), a subsidiary of the Danaher Corporation (NYSE: DHR) and AC Tool Supply, Inc. (Tempe, Arizona), were specifically noted in the saving of 16 Haitian earthquake victims and one very lucky canine. On January 23, 2010, the Haitian government called off the search and rescue efforts in order to focus their attention on the humanitarian efforts needed for the survivors.

As of January 27, 2010, with the infrared equipment heading back to the United States, a total of 135 victims had been saved by U.S. and international search and rescue teams, while roughly 170,000 bodies were said to be cleared from Haitian streets and remains of toppled buildings. Approximately 13,000 military personnel from all branches have been part of this relief, as well as 1,739 rescue workers with 161 rescue dogs. To date, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided more than $36 million is support of U.S. Armed Forces and has contributed another $68 million in food and water assistance. Donations like the ones made by the Fluke Corporation and AC Tool Supply, Inc., along with the effort of the rescue workers utilizing the infrared thermal imaging equipment, helped make the lives of 16 people and one dog possible.

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Contact Information

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