BAYONNE, NJ - The Bayonne Fire Department quadrupled their supply of thermal imaging devices in February.
Using funds from last year's municipal budget, Mayor Jimmy Davis approved the purchase of 28 devices that "enable firefighters to find victims and see exits in dark and smoky conditions," according to a press release.
Davis said this is a huge game changer for "a municipality of this size" to equip all active firefighters with thermal imaging technology.
“Bayonne is the first municipality of our size in the state to be able to deploy thermal imaging devices to all firefighters on duty at a fire.” Davis said in a press release. “This is huge. Everyone has a set of eyes now. We have set a benchmark for other departments to follow.”
Prior to this purchase, thermal imaging devices were limited to one device per crew. Bayonne Fire Department Chief Keith Weaver said the additional equipment will "save lives."
He said: “It will improve the safety and efficiency of the department, and will enhance the safety of the public."
The Bayonne Fire Department has been using thermal imaging technology since the 1990s, when each device cost between $20,000 and $25,000. Weaver said the department held a fundraising campaign because of the high cost.
The department has two types of thermal imaging devices: large and small. The officers in charge will hold the larger devices, while rank-and-file firefighters will hold the smaller units, according to the press release.
The new thermal imaging devices were purchased using $39,150 in funds from last year’s municipal budget.