Hartford firefighters are getting up to speed on new tracking gear that they hope will prevent ever losing a firefighter in the line of duty.
It was a little over one year ago when Hartford fireman Kevin Bell died after he was trapped inside a burning building and his air tank ran out.
The old tools are still vital for fighting fires, but the newest electronic gear is becoming more essential to their efforts.
Upgraded thermal imaging equipment, and for the first time in Hartford, tracking devices are both being used now.
“They're making the screens bigger, they're making the definition better, and they’re letting it read higher temperatures,” said Hartford’s Interim Assistant Fire Chief Scott Brady. “It's providing more info to firefighters.”
Then there’s the tracking system. If a firefighter stops moving for 30 seconds in a burning building, an alarm goes off. It is built into the new breathing packs.
The signal also gets picked up on a handheld device that can track 50 packs at a time.
Hartford firefighters brought Eyewitness News into their training grounds building for their first test with the new tracking gear.
The tracker costs $1,500. The department has one and plans to buy two more.
The department will then develop rules and policies for using them. Officials said the plan is to have everything fully ready within two weeks.
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