Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
September 17, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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September 17, 2014

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Sept, 17, 2014 1B / The volunteers tl~at make Quincy safer pose for a team shot at the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department station on Lawrence Street. The department expresses its community and the years of support given to it. Photo by Maureen Forster II heartfelt gratitude for the ! Donations from community help fire department, purchase new equipment James Wilson Sports Editor couple weeks ago, Quincy Volunteer .....Fire Department - Capt. John Gay came intb the office and said he wanted to show me where all the money the department raised from its pancake breakfasts and drawings went. He definitely piqued my interest. To show me, he went on, would involve dressing me in full ff re gear and having me navigate through a burning building. Now I was intrigued. As for so many others in Plumas County, attending the fire department's pancake breakfasts has become a tradition for me. Every fair parade has to start with a big breakfast at the fire hall. I never put much thought into where that money went, however. I always just figured it helps in some way or another to put out fires, and left it at that. Gay, along with Fire Chief Robbie Cassou, allowed me to see firsthand the newest technology the department bought with the money raised from selling pancakes. The new equipment changes :how the department fights fires. With the use of its new '.thermal-imaging cameras, the department was able to detect the exact location of ithe recent fire on Manzanita Way much more quickly and :efficiently than it had been able to in the past. As I disc}Vered, the cameras have multiple uses. I arrived at the fire station 'the morning of Sept. 5 not sure what to expect. Gay and Cassou greeted me at the door and led me to where the new cameras were kept. They explained what the cameras .can do and how they help in :fire detection. "It's different from your average night vision that you would see on a video camera or a military application," explained Cassou. "This isn't amplifying light, it's using infrared to tell where objects are. In our environment, it works in zero visibility, because there's smoke from ceiling to floor." The department was able to purchase three brand new The Quincy Volunteer Fire Department responds to the Pizza Factory fire last December. The volunteers are always ready to jump out of bed and help however they can. Public contributions to the department have helped purchase new equipment that makes the volunteers" job safer and easier. Photo by James Wilson "It's different from your average night vision that you would see on a video camera or a military application. This isn't amplifying light, it's using infrared to tell where objects are. In our environment, it works in zero visibili ,, because there's smoke from ceiling to floor." Robbie Cassou Fire Chief 0 ~4 Quincy Volunteer Fire Department cameras for $7,500 each. The money to purchase this equipment came directly from donations -- not a cent came from the Quincy Fire Protection District. Heat pops up on the screen as white, while cold appears as black. When a fire does erupt, finding the fire's source becomes much easier. With the Manzanita Way fire, Cassou was able to take the cameras, walk around the building, and actually "see" through the walls to locate the heat source. "When the first engine company got there and pulled the hoses out, we were able to tell them to go right inside the front door, to the first door, hang a right, and the fire would be right in front of them," detailed Cassou. Gay went on to mention the many other uses for the cameras. The department was recently called on a house that had a gas leak. Because gas leaks at a low temperature, the camera pinpointed exactly where the' leak was. The gas registered waited for the flames and on the camera's screen as jet smoke to really start roaring. black. We crawled into the At the American Valley build'rag on our hands and Speedway, cars are often knees. In a real fire situation, fueled by alcohol. Flames standing up and facing the from alcohol fires are intense heat above could cost invisible to the naked eye, a ffn-efighter his life. The first but the camera can see them thing I noticed was my lack based off their heat of vision. Gay was only a few signature. Victims in a fire or feet ahead of me, but the at night can be spotted smoke was so thick I couldn't almost immediately now even spot a semblance of him. with the department's new Then I looked through the technology, thermal-imaging camera. "Well, you ready for this?" There he was, beaming a Gay asked me before leading bright white on the screen. me to the "practice house" Beyond him, and around the the department constructed, corner in a different room, I I suited up in Cassou's suit. could see, was where the fire Gay helped attach one piece was. of the suit at a time to me "Can you find the In'e?" until I could hardly move. It Gay asked me. I nodded and seemed like I was suited up slowly made my way to the enough for a mission to the room with the fire. moon. Finally, a gas mask "Now I'm going to leave hooked to oxygen was flipped you here, and you try to fmd on and I had 30 minutes of air me," Gay said. filtering in. I decided to first try to fmd Cassou went into the him without the help of the building and started a fire camera. After bumbling (clearly one of the perks to around for a while, trying to his job), while Gay and I find the wall to guide myself Feather Publishing Staff writer James Wilson, right, checks out the new technology the fire department acquired before Capt. John Gay, left, takes him intoa burning building to test out the equipment. Photo by Robbie Cassou John Gay demonstrates the uses of one of three new thermal imaging cameras the Quincy Volunteer Fire Department purchased with the money it raised through fundraising efforts. Photo by James Wilson around, I gave up. I opted to now try with the aid of the camera. I looked at the monitor, followed the heat source and was able to spot Gay almost instantly. We eventually left the building and I unlatched all that equipment. Gay informed me that when wet, that equipment can weigh up to 100 pounds. After we got out of the equipment, Gay and Cassou both expressed to me their deep appreciation for the support the community has shown them throughout the years. That support is responsible for the department's first-rate status. The Quincy Volunteer Fire Department is currently in the midst of planning its next big event the llth annual prize drawing. Only 250 tickets will be available for $100 apiece. First prize will be $5,000. Second prize will win one lucky ticket holder $3,000. Seven lucky people will win big. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 25. Tickets have already started selling, so the department suggests buying them soon before they run out. To purchase tickets, mail a check to QVFD at P.O. Box 3816, Quincy, CA 95971. People may also contact John Cullen at 510-304-4604, Cobey Brown at 258-1655 or David Windle at 283-0700.