Granite Falls firefighters get new safety tools

GRANITE FALLS — Firefighters in Granite Falls soon will have two kinds of new equipment — one to help them look for missing people and invisible fire dangers, and another to reduce exhaust from fire trucks.

The equipment will come from a recently awarded $88,420 grant from the Department of Homeland Security, Granite Falls Fire Chief Jim Haverfield said. The fire district must match 5 percent of the grant.

One piece will be a thermal imaging camera that can detect sources of heat in different environments, he said.

The district’s current camera is about 10 years old. The equipment is used to look for people missing in fires or in search-and-rescue operations, as well as assess potential fire dangers.

One example would be looking for overheated wiring when a room smells smoky, he said.

“You can look at the walls, and you can look at the lights, and it really pinpoints whatever is really hot,” he said.

The district needs to research available models before purchasing the camera, he said.

The other grant-funded equipment is for capturing fire truck exhaust so it doesn’t pool in the station and poison the people inside.

With the grant money, the district expects to purchase about eight of the devices as soon as this summer, Haverfield said.

There are multiple ways to keep exhaust out of fire stations, but Granite Falls’ downtown Fire Station 87 is more than 100 years old, limiting their options, Haverfield said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

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