- Associated Press - Friday, March 22, 2019

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Fire Department has deployed 1,000 hand-held thermal imaging cameras that can help firefighters locate victims in smoke-filled rooms or find fire hidden inside walls, attics and crawl spaces.

The new devices are about the size of a smartphone and will be carried by all on-duty firefighters.

Previously, one large thermal imaging device costing upward of $10,000 apiece was carried on each fire apparatus.

The new devices manufactured by Seek Thermal Inc. of Santa Barbara cost $750 each. The acquisition was funded by donations from the non-profit Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation.

Fire Chief Ralph Terrazas says the devices are a game-changer for firefighters working in hazardous conditions.

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