"The public calls on us for help, and in this circumstance we're asking them for help, because it's that important." - Chief Dan Griswold, Casper Fire Department
Advancing technology is everywhere; our homes, schools and even our fire stations; or at least it was. Last month all of the Casper fire stations received brand new temperature reading cameras and now fire station one's camera is missing.
The search for the lost $7600 piece of equipment continues into its third day. Now the fire department wants everyone else to keep their eyes open as well.
Chief Dan Griswold said, "The public calls on us for help, and in this circumstance we're asking them for help, because it's that important."
The thermo-cam reads heat signatures of anything in its path and gives the operator a full-screen display. This is a vast improvement from the days of firefighters feeling their way through a fire.
Pat McJunkin, "It was something that certainly worked, but it was much slower than when we utilize this technology where we can actually see through the smoke."
This has a lot of practical uses for the fire department; from locating missing people at night to orchestrating a plan to get a person out of a fire.
The thermo camera makes the process of determining where to go in a burning building even quicker for a fire fighter, and in a burning building: every second counts.
McJunkin said, "It could absolutely be the difference between life and death."
Luckily for the fire department and the citizens they protect there is a plan-B for when this crucial equipment is not accessible, but it's just not the same.
McJunkin said, "We have some older units that do serve as back up, but i do emphasize they are older units."
According to Griswold the thermo-camera is insured and should be either found or replaced in the next two weeks. He said letting down the public is worse than losing the equipment.
"When we purchase this stuff, we do it with the intent of providing better service," Griswold said. "Therefore when we misplace it or lose it; it's a shot to our own pride."
At the end of the day, he said pride is what sends Casper's bravest running into danger to help others.
Griswold urges anyone who knows where the device is to return it to the fire department right away. As he put it, someone's life could depend on it.