South Hadley Fire District 2 and Mount Holyoke College Officials Mark Arrival of New Fire Fighting Equipment

For Immediate Release
March 14, 2001

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. -- On Wednesday, March 21, representatives of Fire District 2 and officials of Mount Holyoke College will gather at South Hadley's Fire District 2 at noon to unveil the newest technological evolution in fire fighting: a hand-held thermal imaging system. Used by fire fighters to see through smoke, the thermal imager will improve situation awareness, distance judgement, navigation, and overall safety.

"This technology is going to enable us to get into fires and do our searches more quickly, which in turn will make it safer for the fire fighters and allow for quicker rescues of the victims," said Michael Koske, South Hadley District 2 Fire Chief.

Mount Holyoke College is donating the thermal imaging system.

"We have a wonderful relationship with the South Hadley Fire Department," said Paul Ominsky, Mount Holyoke's Director of Public Safety, "and this new technology benefits both of us."

Mount Holyoke provides a volunteer day-time fire brigade made up of faculty and staff, according to Ominsky. If the town fire alarm goes off, employees respond and help. In return, if there is a fire on Mount Holyoke's campus during the night hours, South Hadley's local volunteer fire fighters come to help the college.

The hand-held thermal imaging system is only one instance of collaboration between Mount Holyoke College and Fire District 2. Each fall, the Fire Department speaks to students about fire safety, and every dormitory has a fire representative that is trained by the local Fire Department. The thermal imager is valued at over $26,000. Fire District 2 is located at 20 Woodbridge in South Hadley.