FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jamestown, California: On Friday, March 4, 2005 1:00 P.M. at the Jamestown Fire Station, located at 18249 4th Ave., the Firefighters Save A Life Fund will present an MSA Evolution 5000 Thermal Imaging Camera to the Jamestown FPD. Demonstrations will be conducted for those present.
Costing over $9000 each, Thermal Imaging Cameras (TICs) are vital life-saving devices that allow firefighters to “see” through smoke and darkness to locate and rescue victims. Without a TIC, a firefighter has to crawl with one hand on the wall to navigate through a building and feel for victims. TICs can also be used to find the base and path of fire through floors, walls, and false ceilings, enabling firefighters to “see” and then safely attack the fire and extinguish them more quickly, saving firefighters´ lives and reducing property damage.
The Firefighters Save A Life Fund received a grant for the TIC purchase from The J. M. Long Family Foundation and the Modesto and Jamestown Harley Davidson stores. “The Long Foundation and the Mitchell Family have been very generous to the firefighting community.” says President Patrick Walsh. “We are asking that other community-minded citizens learn about the importance of thermal imaging cameras and make donations so more of these “life saving” cameras are available to our firefighters. Our goal is to provide one of these cameras to every fire station that can´t afford them, ensuring that their first response vehicles are properly equipped at all times.”
According to the US Fire Administration´s most recent fire statistics, each year fire kills more Americans than all natural disasters combined. The U.S. has one of the highest fire death rates in the industrialized world. At least 80 percent of deaths occur in residences. An average of 1.9 million fires are reported each year. In 2002, 3,380 civilians lost their lives as the result of fire. 100 firefighters died in duty-related incidents. An additional 30,000 Americans were injured. Fire also accounted for an estimated at $10.3 billion in direct property loss.
Founded by President Patrick J. Walsh, the FSALF was formed to honor two firefighters who were killed in Pittston, Pennsylvania on March 15, 1993. They fell to their deaths when a fire below weakened the floor and it collapsed, dropping them into the inferno. The Thermal Imaging Camera would have saved them because they would have “seen” the fire´s presence. Mr. Walsh is originally from Exeter, Pennsylvania, where he has served as a volunteer firefighter for over 30 years.
The Evolution 5000 camera is distributed through Mallory Fire, S. Francisco the local MSA distributor. They will provide the necessary training and support for the firefighters. The presentation will be made by FSALF President Patrick Walsh and received by Captain Dan Dinneen along with several members of his firefighting team.
The California-based FSALF received its 501(c)3 non-profit designation in December 2002. In 2003, 92% of our expenses were used towards the purchase of Thermal Imaging Cameras and in 2004 93%. The Firefighters Save A Life Fund has raised over $126,000 and helped nineteen fire departments obtain thermal imaging cameras for their departments including the Denair Fire protection District, Stockton City FD, the Turlock Rural, Cordelia Fire Departments, and Liberty Rural Fire Protection District near Lodi.
The FSALF is also a recipient organization in the United Way´s Central Valley/Sierra Combined Federal Campaign. Donors may also write in the Firefighters Save A Life Fund on their United Way Charity forms.
The FSALF estimates that to equip every needy fire department in America with Thermal Imaging Cameras will require over $250 million. The greater the awareness people have of the FSALF, the sooner funds can be raised to purchase these cameras, get them into firefighters´ hands, and save lives.
Please help us, help our firefighters! For more information, or to make donations please contact Patrick Walsh at 209-523-8579, and visit the website at www.FSALF.org.