LEBANON, MO — Firefighters and Police officers are often at the same scenes, but they depend on each other in more ways than you might expect.
First responders are always looking for ways to make their jobs safer and more efficient, so the Lebanon Fire Department is training the Lebanon Police to use some of their gadgets when the situation calls for it.
Fire Chief Sam Schneider says they have some imaging technology they haven’t had to break out too often, but it could be applied in law enforcement situations.
“While our equipment isn’t designed necessarily for all of law enforcement tasks or operations, we did have some equipment that we think might be beneficial for them. We feel there might be an operation where a police department could utilize that equipment in some way so we just want to make them aware of it,” Schneider says.
Tonight, Chief Schneider gave a bit of a technology tutorial to several police officers on three devices.
“One piece of equipment is a thermal imaging camera that we utilize to help search buildings for victims or hidden fire. The other piece of equipment is a camera that’s been designed for structural collapse, maybe confined spaces, things of that nature that maybe we can view into those voids,” Schneider says.
The third is a seismic audio device that can help amplify small sounds from long distances away and even through walls. The Fire Department might use it to hear people scratching or pleading for help under rubble.
Lt. Matthew Wright with Lebanon PD says the biggest impact will be on the safety of their team.
“A couple of incidents that have happened in the recent past where we could have utilized cameras to help look into some dangerous situations before we put our officers in that line of danger,” Wright says.
Wright explains that they have a bit of an influx in new officers that have started on the police force, so police and fire are making an effort to do more joint training to help them work together more effectively.