Insight Fire Training highlights requirements for AFG fund use in TIC purchases

January 31, 2024

Using AFG funds for thermal imaging camera purchases

Insight Fire Training recently published a blog titled ‘Using AFG Funds to Purchase TICs? Read This First!

This blog provides critical information for fire departments applying for Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) funding, specifically when purchasing thermal imaging cameras (TICs).

According to the blog, it is essential for departments to ensure that the TICs are certified to the NFPA-1801 2021 standard to qualify for AFG funding.

The blog emphasizes that fire departments cannot use these funds for non-approved models or NFPA 1801 certified models that meet older standards, such as those from 2018 or 2013.

Eligibility and training requirements

The blog also informs that AFG grants can be amended to include funds for training on the specific brand or model of TIC that a department purchases.

This information, detailed on page 58 of the FEMA document, outlines that eligible equipment activities for fire departments include training specific to the requested equipment.

Therefore, if a fire department uses AFG grant monies, it is mandatory for the TIC to be NFPA 1801-2021 certified.

The grant also allows for amendments to include training expenses.

Selecting NFPA certified TICs

For departments interested in identifying TICs that meet the 2021 NFPA 1801 standard, Insight Fire Training directs them to the Seinet.org testing company website.

The website provides a list of certified TICs that meet the current standard, including models like the Argus MI-TIC series, Bullard NXT, FLIR K65, MSA 6000, and Seek Attack PRO +, with approximate prices based on recent internet research.

The importance of NFPA 1408 compliance

Insight Fire Training also addresses the importance of complying with NFPA 1408, which requires organizations purchasing TICs to train members before using them, perform yearly practical and live fire training, and establish policies for the use of thermal imaging cameras on the fireground.

Non-compliance with NFPA 1408 could pose challenges for organizations, especially when they have the funds for equipment purchase but opt out of adhering to training standards.

Resources and assistance

The blog post further highlights research-based information on TIC performance, citing a study which found that search times were reduced by 70% with TIC usage, and the victim was missed in 60% of attempts without a TIC.

Insight Training LLC, as Thermography Certified Fire Service Professionals, offers additional resources, including courses on evaluating thermal imaging cameras.

They also extend support for inquiries and assistance with the process, including contacts with major manufacturers and aid with demo TICs.

FSJA Comment

The recent blog post by Insight Fire Training underscores the importance of compliance with NFPA standards when fire departments utilize AFG funding for the acquisition of thermal imaging cameras.

This guidance is not only crucial for ensuring that departments meet grant requirements but also plays a vital role in enhancing the effectiveness and safety of fire service operations.

The emphasis on training and adherence to standards like NFPA 1801 and NFPA 1408 reflects a commitment to operational excellence and the responsible use of technology in emergency services.

As fire departments continue to integrate advanced tools like TICs into their arsenal, adhering to these guidelines ensures that they are used to their fullest potential, ultimately aiding in life-saving efforts and improving fireground operations.

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