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BA Firefighters Say New Thermal Imaging Cameras Will Save Lives

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BROKEN ARROW, Oklahoma -

Broken Arrow firefighters are training with new cameras that they say will save lives.

The price tag rings in at nearly $900,000, but crews say the technology will triple their capabilities to fight the flames and conduct search and rescue missions.

Thermal imaging cameras are nothing new, but now, they're built into the air packs for firefighters.

The training major says it's a major lifesaver for his crews and people trapped inside a burning building.

Timothy Tyner, training major for the Broken Arrow Fire Department, says these robust cameras show crews where the hidden fire might be.

"You're going into a house that you have not been in before, looking for somebody in that kind of atmosphere. This will cut down quite a bit of the time it takes for us to reach a potential victim,” said Tyner.

Related Story: BA Firefighters To Get Thermal Imaging Cameras

With the push of a button, the control acts as an alarm if a firefighter is in trouble. The digital screen also shows how much breathing air they have left, alerting crews when they're down to 33 percent.

"We're going to be able to work in that dangerous environment for a longer period of time,” said Tyner.

The new air packs also have better built-in communication so firefighters can talk to each other easier.Field training will continue for another month, and then, two of the new air packs with the built-in thermal imaging cameras will be mounted on every engine, truck and ambulance.

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