The Fort Wayne Fire Department had an innovative idea: using Caliente’s thermal targets in their smoke room training.
For many years, Caliente has been working closely with the US military to develop thermal targets, which are used for marksmanship training with thermal scopes mounted on weapons and vehicles.
The Fort Wayne Fire Department envisioned repurposing these thermal targets by using them within their rescue training facilities. The targets replicate the heat signature of potential victims, who are often sleeping or hiding in a smoke filled room. The targets/victims are identified with a thermal camera, and “rescued” by the trainee.
“We can also quickly change scenarios without using another firefighter,” explained FWFD’s Deputy Chief, Adam O’Connor, who added that the targets have helped their trainee’s immensely.
“These are the reason some people are still walking around the streets of Fort Wayne today.”
Special thanks to Adam O’Connor and Jermaine Thomas from the Fort Wayne Fire Department and Jeff Neumeyer and Chad Fordyce from WPTA/21 Alive for their contributions to the story.