Gun Raffle Profits, Grant Help Fayette Fire Department Add New Devices to Engine

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Money raised from a gun raffle has helped the Gorham-Fayette Fire Department add some new equipment to their main engine.

The department had 1,000 tickets to sell and sold just under 500, Fire Chief Robert Stillion said. Profits from the raffle helped the department purchase a modern thermal imaging camera. The device will help protect the firefighters, civilians and property.

Fire Chief Robert Stillion said the department gave out 19 of 30 guns.

The camera and truck mount cost $6,200, Stillion said. The raffle raised just under $5,000 so the difference was made up from other fundraisers, he said.

A grant for $1,250 from TRW helped the department purchase the new Blitz nozzle. The nozzle cost $1,600, so the remainder came from other surpluses from past fundraisers, the chief said.

“It’s a fast-deploying nozzle and it’s unmanned,” Stillion said. “Which means we can take it off (the engine) set it up because it is all ready to go, it anchors itself down.”

The nozzle can be left alone and perform its job flawlessly. This helps if there is a building the crews are concerned may collapse. The nozzle pumps 500 gallons per minute and the firefighters remain out of harm’s way.

“If we need to move it, we can move it,” Stillion.

The camera has multiple settings and can be adjusted to find hot spots in a structure and where people might be.

“It changes the temperature for a person’s body temperature,” Stillion said. “An outline of a body would show up brighter.

There is also a mode that allows a firefighter to point it at a tank to determine the condition of the propane inside,” Stillion said. “How much is gas how much is fluid. Which is helpful on some of these tanks because they don’t have gauges.”

The camera came in handy recently on a structure fire on U.S. 127 south of the railroad tracks. The building was being remodeled and was uninhabited.

The camera can automatically adjust to reflect hotter temperatures.

The fire was too intense and the structure unsound to risk any personnel, so crews let it burn. The owner later leveled it.

James Pruitt may be reached at publisher@thevillagereporter.com

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