Donations fund new camera

HUDSON – The town’s fire department is now equipped with its second thermal-imaging camera, thanks to donations from residents and local businesses.

Fire officials began collecting donations for a new camera as part of an agreement reached when town leaders approved the purchase of the department’s first camera in 2001, Fire Chief Shawn Murray said.

The first camera, which is housed at fire headquarters on Library Street, cost approximately $16,000 at that time, Murray said.

This time, fire officials purchased a new camera for $9,000 and upgraded the department’s first camera for an additional $800, Murray said.

The new camera will be housed at Engine 4 on Burns Hill Road, he said.

The cameras detect thermal energy, helping firefighters to find fires, live bodies, and other sources of heat that are hidden by smoke, in walls, and behind other visual barriers.

“When we don’t have a camera, we have to crawl around on the floor and physically search for a person,” Murray said.

The cameras are also a valuable tool at nighttime crash scenes, allowing police and firefighters to scan woods and brush to assure all victims have been accounted for, he said.