Range Finders

Issue 11 and Volume 163.

By MIKE McGREAL JR. After one of my fellow firefighters brought a new range finder to the campsite of a recent hunting trip, I started thinking about this technology and how it might be integrated into the fire service. The Wilmette (IL) Fire Department will be putting a new 95-foot rear-mount tower ladder into service soon; part of this process will involve crews driving around town and observing different buildings. I remember how frustrating it was to misjudge the distance to a building or home and have to take the ladder down and reposition the apparatus. I understand how stressful this is at a fire: Am I too far away or too close to the collapse zone? How far up the high-rise will the aerial ladder reach? There are several applications for range finders. One is for judging the distance from the aerial apparatus to the target; this takes the…

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