Works for You

Thermal Imager Helps Find Woman Lost in Illinois Marsh

A suburban Chicago woman can thank three local firefighters and their thermal imaging camera for saving her life on a cold December day. Using their thermal imager, Lake Zurich, Ill., Fire Lt. Phil Cappitelli and fire fighters Scott Nemeth and Greg Brendle found the woman who had been missing in the marsh for several hours.

Thermal imagers form pictures based on heat given off by various objects, including people. They can show heat through walls, smoke or a thicket. Police had been looking for the woman with a search dog, but had no luck, the Chicagoland Daily Herald reported. Then the fire department applied its thermal imager.

Deborah Puracchio, public relations specialist for ISEA member Bullard, which makes the thermal imager used to locate the woman, told the Daily Herald: “[The fire fighters] went to the highest point they could. They saw a little blip that looked like it could be a person.” That blip led the fire fighters through the marsh to the missing person.

Bullard honored the Lake Zurich fire fighters by inducting them into the company's “Save-A-Life Club.”

T3MAX thermal imaging camera by Bullard, Cynthiana, Ky., www.bullard.com.

Helmet Takes 600-pound Impact; Saves Worker's Life

Think wearing a hard hat is optional? Just ask Ryan DeVolder, who credits his with protecting him from serious injury and possible death.

Ryan was installing steel clips for a downtown San Francisco window system while a crew above him was stripping concrete without a safety net. Suddenly, a 10-pound chunk of concrete broke loose and fell six stories directly onto Ryan's head. The 600 pounds of driving force smashed his face into the building, shattered his cheekbone, fractured his skull, and crushed several teeth.

Yet despite the tremendous impact, Ryan never lost consciousness. “The building is right on the sidewalk,” he recalled. “[The concrete] could have hit someone walking - and if they weren't wearing a hard hat, it would have taken them out for sure.” Ryan is alive today thanks to a very smart, yet simple act - putting on his hard hat.

Skullgard® helmet by MSA, Pittsburgh, www.msanet.com

Protection Update welcomes contributions from readers for our regular “Safety Equipment Works for You” feature. Email examples of where PPE has saved workers' lives or prevented injuries to Editor Joe Walker, [email protected], or mail them to the Editor, Protection Update, International Safety Equipment Association, 1901 N. Moore Street, Suite 808, Arlington, VA 22209. Photos are welcome.

MSHA Proposes $500,000-plus Penalty for Pennsylvania Mine Operator

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has proposed $504,000 in civil penalties against UAE Coalcorp Associates for five violations cited as a result of a fatal roof fall accident in June 2008 at the company's Harmony Mine in Northumberland County, Pa. Robert Carey, a 45-year-old roof bolter and assistant foreman, was injured fatally when the mine roof collapsed during retreat mining activity.

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