The NTFI has two modes of operation; pan and
chop. The pan mode provides the greater sensitivity;
You and other attack team personnel will assist each
however, the NFTI must be kept in motion or the
other as necessary while donning personal protective
image will fade out. The chop mode is best for fire
equipment. You must ensure that your shipmate is
fighting, allowing the user to focus on one area while
properly dressed out. Personal protective equipment is
holding the NFTI still. A blue button on the front of
intended to fit slightly loosely, especially gloves. This
the NFTI allows you to change modes. Prior to
ensures that your skin has room to move somewhat
compartment entry, you must ensure the NFTI is in
inside this clothing. It also helps to keep hotter areas of
the chop mode.
the clothing from remaining in constant contact with
When using the NFTI, it has been proven that slow,
your skin. This practice also reduces the likelihood of
steady advancement, along with periodic scanning of
heat stress by allowing some air movement within the
the scene during an approach, helps the operator judge
confines of the fire-fighter's ensemble (FFE).
distances better. A side-to-side scan also provides
important information on hazards in the area and the
best direction in which to proceed. An occasional
vertical scan will detect hazards above deck level, i.e.
When donning an OBA or SCBA, you should
cableway or overhead fires.
examine it and ensure it has not been damaged while in
storage. Your OBA canister should not show any sign
FIRE-FIGHTERS ENSEMBLE (FFE).-- The
of damage, which may prevent you from properly
fire-fighter's ensemble (FFE) consists of fire-fighter's
inserting or removing it. The copper foil seal must be in
c o v e r a l l s , f i r e - f i g h t e r 's h o o d , d a m a g e
place. If the canister is not in good shape, replace it
control/fire-fighter's helmet, fire-fighter's gloves, and
with a new one before entering the space.
fireman's boots, all designed to protect the fire fighter
from the heat generated by a growing (pre-flashover)
NFTI.-- If the naval fire-fighter's thermal imager
fire. For a flashover or fully-developed fire, the FFE
(NFTI) will be used, it must be warmed up in
provides only a few seconds of protection for escape.
accordance with the manufacturer's technical manual.
The fire-fighter's glove size should be selected for a
Because it is very fragile, only qualified personnel will
loose hand and finger fit to reduce heat transfer from
handle the NFTI. Most team leaders carry a spare
c o n t i n u o u s m a t e r i a l c o n t a c t a n d a l l ow g l ove
battery for the NFTI. Helmet lights, handheld radios,
adjustment at hot points. Additional hand protection
voice amplifiers, and handheld firefinders are among
can be gained by wearing a flash glove as an extra inner
the equipment that should be checked prior to re-entry.
liner to an over-sized fire-fighter's glove. While
Damage Controlmen maintain and test this equipment
waiting to enter the fire area, the FFE coveralls should
in accordance with PMS or with the manufacturer's
only be donned to the waist, tying the coverall arms
around the waist.
The NFTI is a device that allows the user to see
through dense smoke and light steam by sensing the
Accessing the Space
difference in infrared radiation given off by objects
with a temperature difference of at least 4 degrees
Fahrenheit. A small television-type monitor is built
accessing the affected compartment, to provide a safe
into the back of the NFTI, and displays these variations
area from which fire fighters can attack the fire.
in temperature as a black and white image. Hotter
Electrical isolation must be complete prior to
objects will appear lighter on the screen than cooler
re-entry; the only exception is lighting. The on-scene
objects. The NFTI has multiple uses, including
leader will decide whether to secure compartment
locating the seat of a fire, locating injured personnel,
lighting. Complete electrical isolation helps to
and searching for hangfires and hotspots.
decrease the number of ignition sources inside the
compartment. Mechanical isolation does not have to
The NFTI is battery-operated and displays five
be complete prior to re-entry; however, it does
light emitting diodes (LEDs) when fully charged. A
provide greater safety for firefighters.
good practice is to change the battery when more than
one light goes out during use. To conserve battery
Prior to space re-entry, there may be evidence that
power, turn the NFTI off when not in use, and allow
Halon and bilge sprinkling was not effective. If
secondary Halon is available it should be used, and
1 minute for warmup prior to use.