CASPER, Wyo. — The Casper Fire-EMS Department received a new shipment of thermal imaging cameras on Thursday.
Casper Fire-EMS Engineer and Public Information Officer Andrew Sundell said during a morning briefing on Friday that some firefighters did some training with the new cameras when they arrived and that these firefighters will eventually help train the rest of the department in the use of the cameras.
The cameras are able to detect heat and Sundell says the fire department uses them on structure fires to help in rescues and detecting fires.
Article continues below…
“We can attach this to our gear when we go into a fire and then when we turn them on this screen shows us everything we look at in heat gradient,” Sundell said. “We can see where the fire is because it shows up in colors, because it is nice and hot, and then we can also locate potential victims because they will show up as a different color.”
Sundell said that firefighters also continued to conduct business inspections on Thursday and will do more on Friday. They also conducted two public education outreaches on Thursday, one at a local daycare and a second at an athletic camp at Natrona County High School.
The Casper Fire-EMS Department’s “A” Platoon responded to 25 calls for emergency service during the first 24 hours of their shift on Thursday.
None of these calls are what the department considers “most significant incidents” (MSIs). MSIs are incidents such as structure fires, technical rescues and significant vehicle accidents, according to Sundell. These calls don’t tend to happen every day.
Sundell said that 90-95% of calls for emergency service are for medical reasons.
“That’s why all of our Casper firefighters are at least EMT basics,” he said.
That can include medical calls like cardiac arrests, abdominal pain, allergies, traumatic injuries, strokes and seizures.
With Natrona County under a Red Flag Warning until 9 p.m. Friday, Sundell said people should “please be fire aware and fire safe, especially as the temperatures continue to rise.”
“All of that moisture we got in the last week or so is going to dry out very quickly, especially with our Wyoming wind,” he added, noting that fire strarts “can turn from something small into something very big, very quickly.”
Sundell asked that people follow restrictions under the City of Casper’s burn ordinances. When Red Flag Warnings are in effect, people are not allowed to start outdoor fires in their backyard pits or other areas.
During the morning briefing, Sundell also talked about some of his own history, noting that he has been with the department for nine years.
“I spent 8 years as a firefighter and then I got promoted to engineer just over a year ago,” he said. “Loving the new position, new challenges. It is wonderful.”
Sundell said he was born and raised in Casper and has “lived here 31 of my 35 years on this earth.” The other four years were in Laramie, where he attended the University of Wyoming.
Sundell said he enjoys life in Casper.
“I’ve always loved this community, so I decided to stay right here,” he said.
Sundell said he had a friend whose father worked for the fire department. While they were out playing golf one day, his friend’s dad encouraged him to think about becoming a firefighter. Sundell said he then took some classes through the Casper College fire program, found it interesting and eventually became a firefighter in 2012.
The full morning update can be accessed via the City of Casper Fire-EMS Department’s Facebook channel: