I just recently got a grant awarded to us that I wrote months ago.  The money will be used on a thermal imager which we do not have but need desperately.  I am trying to catch my department up to the 21st century of firefighting, BUT, the grant was only $1,800.  I brought it up to the membership at a meeting and they all agreed that we needed one, and I was able to approve an additional $1,800 from each the department, rescue squad, and commisioners.  I have a quote from a local vendor for an MSA 5600 HD camera with truck mounted charger unit for $6,400, is this a good price?  Does anyone use the MSA brand TIC's and are they a good unit?  What does everyone else use for TIC?

Thanks in advance.  If anyone has a TIC they are selling or getting rid of let me know, our department is small and has an old ambulance we need to replace and 3 firefighters that need new turnouts as well, I was looking for a $15,000 grant but $1,800 is better than what we had!!  Im taking baby steps to try and get what we need, and the grants just are not coming in as hoped.


Brian Jones

Captain, Carlisle FD, NY

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Hey Brian,

We had an MSA TIC with my old department. I can't remember the model but it was only a couple years old and they were pretty nice. I didn't use it on any incidents but did train on it and liked it alot. As with most MSA products, it was funtionable and durable. I would definitely recomend it. I have also seen the Argus TIC's on demo with my current fd and they were pretty nice too. Worth taking a look at.

Good luck!

Hey Brain.

The department i was with before i moved to charlotte was useing the msa tics and the department im with now uses msa so it seems to be the best on the market i would go with the msa. Its a big help in search and rescue in a house and also during mop up you can see your hot spots easier if you need to no any other ways u can use the tic jus let me no id be glad to help out..

Good luck

That price is about right for that TIC.  We have a mix of 5400HD2 and 5800s, and we really like them.  They are intuitive, simple to use, and best, the hand grip protects the TIC from damage when crawling on all fours while holding the TIC.



The simple question can be, what is the cost without having a TIC??


For the most part TICs of any mfgr have a place and can be used. To answer the question at hand we have one rig with an MSA TIC.......sorry don't know model right now...hand held, works fine, no issues. The rest of the rigs 6 pumps, 3 trucks, have Bullard TICS....no issues, no problems (although we use non-rechargeble batteries as opposed to vehicle charger)....and there are 3 Argus TICs....older models, yet still work fine.


Overall, go with a TIC, the benefits outweigh the negatives and it really doesn't matter brand.

Thanks for the input guys, I appreciate it.  Do any of you have pictures of you TIC's either in use or not?  Just curious about the model you mentioned John, the Argus?  I have never seen their products before and am curious to see if its bulky or compact like the MSA's.

I agree with you guys and that is how I got permission to use the money to get one.  We are small rural department with an engine, engine tanker (both 2 man cabs) medium rescue, brush truck and ambulance.  We have only 9 or so interior firefighters and most of us are officers, so its hard to accomplish overhaul at fires with minimal staff.  Our last cal was a chimney fire on a night with blustery winds and -5 windchill!!  When the truck got on scene all I had were two exterior firefighters in their 60's!!  I couldnt put one of them on the roof to check the chimney, it would have been real nice to have the TIC so I could check around the flue area and ceiling near the chimney but all we had was a temperature gun.  I finaly got a younger member (our lieutenant) on scene to go up the ladder with the chain, but if we had a fire...we had no one and finding where the fire was would have been a nightmare and we could have lossed the house when it should have been an easy deal...

I used that as leverage and got the membership to agree with me, I also threw in that you could use the TIC for limited wildland search techniques, searching for a heat signature in the brush and trees, and that got the rescue squads attention being we are mostly rural with lots of farmland and wooded areas to search for lost kids and senile farmers!

Everyone should have a TIC in todays fire service, its a necessity.  Hopefully we get ours soon.

Thanks again!

Stay Safe

Just curious about the model you mentioned John, the Argus?  I have never seen their products before and am curious to see if its bulky or compact like the MSA's


The Argus we have is an early model and is pretty big and bulky compared to the newer compact one you see today. I'm pretty sure they have more compact versions available today since most competitors do as well.

Argus is a British company.  I have no experience with their TICs (I've used Scott, MSA, and Bullard) but I would think that their after-market service might be a question to answer prior to purchase.


The other thing is that their TICs have an unusual reverse angle on the handle.  That doesn't look like good ergonomics for a crawling firefighter.  The MSAs with the big pistol-grip and the knuckle guard are the best ergonomics for crawling that I've seen on a TIC.

I've used ISI and MSA, problem we had with the ISI was the screen would freeze if you looked to fast from side to side. The MSA didnt have that problem and we ended up putting one on each of our trucks. Have worked great since wee got them

we have had salesmen come and demonstrate thermal imaging cameras for us,we are a small department also,but we came up with not buying one,the small amount of funds in our yearly budget went for new ppe for our firefighters because without safe firefighters a tic doesn't matter,we do not have all the fancy toys that other departments have but our chief is more concerned that our firefighters are as protected as they can be maybe one day we will be able to afford a tic but we have a way bigger wish list for other items a tic would be near the bottom of the want list

Ian, Have you guys explored the grants available to you?  What state are you in?  I know in New York we have the AFG (Assistance for Firefighters Grant) that has helped a majority of our departments get what they need.  My brothers department (my old one) got this grant and got enough to get a new tanker, and 15 sets of turnouts.  ANother department got a new Ladder Truck and two TIC's.  I have been trying to get our chiefs to write more grants but we have been busy with Hurricane Irene damage and flooding in our county, so we have been busy.  We had 2 departments that got completely flooded out, one lost their station completely the other moved back in but lost equipment and their fund raising building (old pole barn where they had Bingo and BBQ's).

Look for grants in your area, being the way you say you are you could be eligible for big money.  Good luck to you guys and I hope you are able to get some grant monies.

Be safe.


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