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Insurer funds thermal imaging camera for North Auburn fire station

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Insurance company funds new thermal imaging camera for North Auburn fire station Placer County Fire Department has a new thermal imaging camera paid for by a $10,706 grant from the Fireman?s Fund Insurance Company. Before the grant, Fire Station 180 on Atwood Road had been without a working thermal imaging camera and faced an $8,000 repair bill on its old one. The new camera has already been put into use on everything from car crashes to house fires. Cal Fire and Placer County officials met Thursday with Fireman?s Fund representatives to thank them for equipment that the fire department would have had a difficult time finding the money for during a time when government budgets have been particularly constrained. Battalion Chief Ray Wright said the new thermal imaging camera is being used on a daily basis. The device uses updated technology first used in military applications to ?see? through smoke and darkness to see hot spots as minimal as a recently turned-off fluorescent light or a spot on the ground where someone had just sat on. Capt. Jon Woody said the camera ? nicknamed a ?TIC? by firefighters ? is one of the initial tools employed at an emergency. It can see where a fire is originating from, even through walls, or locate a downed firefighter or person trapped inside a building, he said. Susan Shallan, a Fireman?s Fund small commercial underwriter, nominated the county fire department for the grant. David Soulsby, who is the senior commercial lines underwriter in the same Rancho Cordova Fireman?s Fund office as Shallan, said the philanthropic program has issued grants since 2004 totaling $26 million to 1,500 different departments. That total includes grants to pay for hundreds of the thermal imaging cameras, he said. ? Gus Thomson