Seeing to the safety of fire victims

March 6, 2012

lois Capps

A federal grant will help the San Luis Obispo Fire Department locate and rescue fire victims more quickly with new thermal imaging equipment.

The $49,000 Department of Homeland Security grant was announced by Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-23rd District), who said the money “couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Thermal imaging cameras, according to Wikipedia, are capable of detecting infrared radiation and producing visual images, making possible the viewing of an environment without visible illumination.

San Luis Obispo City Fire Chief Charlie Hines said the department’s current equipment is badly outdated, and repairs are becoming more expensive.

“We had little hope of replacing that equipment,” said Hines.

Grants from DHS can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including the purchase of equipment, firefighter health and safety programs, and enhanced emergency medical services programs, according to Capps.

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San Luis Obispo City Fire Chief Charlie Hines said the department’s current equipment is badly outdated, and repairs are becoming more expensive.

It’s outdated because they don’t have much occasion to use it for its intended purpose. What will happen to the new equipment? It will soon be become outdated! SLO City has fewer fire fatalities because new structures & substantial remodels are required to be sprinklered, and commercial properties are subject to annual inspections.

Why not just hold on to the existing stock of outdated equipment? It’s not like it’s going to get worn out.

Are you looking at a flat screen or are you still using a cathode ray tube type monitor?

Thermal imaging??? How does that equipment help locate someone in a fire? Isn’t the fire putting out lots of thermal energy that will overwhelm any semblance of heat that a human produces for imaging purposes?

I thought thermal imaging equipment senses heat? Am I wrong? If I’m not wrong then I would look to the following: “Grants from DHS can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including the purchase of equipment, firefighter health and safety programs”…………….. Notice the FF health and safety, I wonder what they will really do with the money???

It lets firemen see through thick smoke, to see you or the source of the smoke.

SLO City are fat cats compared to some of the smaller departments. It seems it would have made more sense to give to a department that is actually short of funs. SLOC has great pay and benefits while some outlying departments have paid call volunteers working for a few bucks a call and few or zero benefits and a very tight budget.

PR and bribery.

I think it’s time Lois hangs up her political hat and lets someone else have their turn in office. She used to agree with me when she was for limited term. What happened to that?

I think Lois has done a great job. I love driving 101. It is better than when I arrived in 1970. What has her counterpart, McCarthy, done? Other than holding Eric Cantor’s hat and lyin’ and denyin’ on Congalton’s show?

So you are giving Lois Capps credit for all of the improvements made to highway 101 over the past 41 years? I had no idea she has been in office that long! My god, she must be really OLD. No wonder she can’t tell the difference between a “yes” and “no” button anymore.

If you’re going to get far-out like that,then I’m going to give Kevin McCarthy credit for having highways 41 & 46 paved and expanded to two lanes. My grandparents can remember when 41 & 46 were one lane and unpaved.

That must mean she’s also to blame for the failed engineering of the south bound side of the grade that’s getting another multi million dollar tax payer funded repair . Before the grade widening was even complete there was talk of a guaranteed to fail southbound side. Looks like they were right.

Seems like a big waste of tax dollars. Besides, what does it have to do w/Homeland Security?

What does it have to do with the Department of Homeland Security? Isn’t it obvious that it’s a very important tool in keeping terrorists from infiltrating our country through the ultra porous City ofSan Luis Obispo? Seriously, though: it’s none of the federal government’s business what the City of SLO does with its fire department budget. It has nothing to do with the Department of Homeland Security. Finally, either Capps provided this as political pork or she had nothing to do with it, in which case the DHS or City should be announcing it. It stinks at multiple levels.

“It’s none of the federal government’s business what the City of SLO does with its fire department budget. ”

It is when they are providing the grant money. Wouldn’t ensuring the grant money is properly spent help fight the “political pork”?

“It has nothing to do with the Department of Homeland Security.”

Really? You might want to review the definition of security: ‘The state of being free from danger or threat.’ Are you saying that fires do not pose a danger or threat? Try telling that to the family of the woman who died in a recent house fire in SLO. A device that helps to more quickly locate and rescue fire victims has everything to do with homeland security!

“It stinks at multiple levels.”

It’s a pity we can’t allow you to opt out of benefiting from this “stinky” awful thermal imaging device.

Just so you’ll understand this time, I’ll go really slowly. The point is that this is not an appropriate expenditure of federal money. Are the devices a great benefit to the department? Sure, on the city’s dime. Residents of New Mexico and New Hampshire should not have to pay for this. It’s still not a proper function of the feds, it’s still not what DHS was intended for, and it still stinks of politics.

Very well said, srichison.

I agree with “srichson.” How exactly does an upper-middle class community in the Central Coast of California qualify for $49k in federal “Homeland Security” funds for it’s fire department, when SLO city itself just spent $750k to replace two blocks of downtown sidewalk that wasn’t broken? And just last year spent $1.4 million on a new tiller truck?

I know when you apply for grants in the private sector, you usually have to justify the need. How does one make the spendthrift city of SLO look “needy?” That must be one he11 of a grant writer. Wouldn’t these new thermal cameras have better benefited a larger inner-city fire department that responds to larger buildings that are more densely populated?

Speaking of a waste of tax dollars, I saw this article tonight in the LA Times about a woman who won $1million in the Michigan lottery and is still collecting her $200 a month WELFARE benefits.,0,3643323.story

She is 24 years old and feels she has paid her dues and deserves the public assistance…again, there are NO words…

Did Lois Capps actually do any lobbying for this money, or was she at all instrumental in the grant application or approval process? Or does she just get to announce the fact that SLOFD was awarded federal grant monies because she is serving as the current bench warmer of our local congressional seat?

Capps seems to be having difficulty in simply making yes/no votes in congress recently (aka: “pressing the right or wrong button”), I can’t imagine anyone actually tasking her (or trusting her) to lobby for grant money. I can’t really imagine Capps doing anything that Pelosi doesn’t point her in the direction of, and give her specific directions on how to accomplish.