Thermal Cameras Used at Portland (OR) Airport

When the Asiana jetliner crashed at the San Francisco International Airport, one of the people who died was run over by an airport fire truck — one that didn’t have a thermal imaging camera.

At the Portland (OR), the setup is similar to the one in San Francisco: the primary fire trucks at SFO were equipped with thermal imaging cameras, but the one that ran over the teen was a reserve truck without the camera.

In Portland, three primary response foam trucks have the thermal imaging cameras, but there are two reserve trucks without.
But, the PDX fire and rescue crews do have a number of additional hand-held units available to them.

Aircraft rescue firefighting trucks are using the technology more often.

The Wilsonville-based FLIR company has a number of different cameras used by airport firefighters.

“You know they’ve got to go from one end of the runway to the other –12000 feet — in 90 seconds, so they’re basically a rocket ship on wheels with 45 thousand gallons of foam and water,” said Roy Malmberg of FLIR Systems. “So it’s easy to see in the heat of the moment, gosh, they never did see the gal.”

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