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Thermal Imaging Research Needs for First Responders: Workshop Proceedings



Francine K. Amon, Nelson P. Bryner, Anthony P. Hamins


This workshop provided a forum to discuss the strategies, technologies, procedures, best practices, research and development that can significantly improve thermal imaging technology. The goal of the workshop was to identify barriers that impede advances in the application of thermal imaging technology to emergency response. The program included experts from the first responder community, thermal imaging camera and component manufacturers, fire fighter trainers, and those doing research on thermal imaging, speaking on today s safety challenges. After hearing presentations, the workshop divided into three breakout sessions to discuss the following four questions: What are the research needs for first responders? What performance metrics are needed and how do they differ from current methods? What standards are needed? What technological advances are needed? The results of each groups' deliberations were combined and discussed when the full workshop reconvened. A vote was taken by the representatives from the first responder community and from industry in order to prioritize the issues. Standardized training and certification of personnel was voted to be the most important issue overall, and the most important issue for the group of first responders. This was the second most important issue for the industrial representatives, behind the establishment of an imager performance standard for image quality.
Special Publication (NIST SP) - 1040
Report Number


thermal imaging, first responders, evaluation, heat detection, fire fighting, infrared camera, focal plane array, performance metrics


Amon, F. , Bryner, N. and Hamins, A. (2005), Thermal Imaging Research Needs for First Responders: Workshop Proceedings, Special Publication (NIST SP), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created June 1, 2005, Updated November 10, 2018