Hephzibah FD sells reflectors to raise money for thermal imager

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, June 22, 2007

HEPHZIBAH, Ga.---Firefighters in Hephzibah want to make sure they can find your house when you need it most, and they say little green reflective signs can help them do it. Now they're selling the signs in order to raise money for cutting edge fire equipment.

"A lot of time the simple thing, just a green reflective sign, you know, helping you pick out the number a little bit easier," said Fire Chief Matt Mercer.

About a thousand homes in Hephzibah are without reflective address signs, but they're easy to get: the department is now selling them, and will make and install the signs for residents.

"It's easy to see, and it's right by this person's driveway, so we know exactly where to turn in at," said Sgt. Brian Tucker.

"At nighttime, your headlights hit these things--I mean, they just jump out at you," Chief Mercer said. "The faster we find the fire, the faster the problem goes away."

"We want to find it on the first time and quick," Sgt. Tucker said.

Funds from the sale of these signs will go towards the purchase of a thermal imaging camera.

Sgt. Tucker says the signs and the camera will both help cut down on the time it takes to find a home, especially in the dark. And in a medical emergency, each passing minute can make the difference between life and death.

"You can't see, so you just have to fill around, but with a thermal imaging camera, it actually shows the image of a body or a person or victim," he said. "If your house is on fire, we can of course see the flames pretty easily, but for someone having a medical emergency inside, if your address isn't posted it's very hard to find it in some cases."

"Even though we're a lot smaller than some of the neighboring departments, we are trying to provide the same amount of service," Chief Mercer said. "Anything that helps the citizens, that's we're all about."

If you live in Hephzibah and want to buy one of those reflective signs, call (706) 592-4511.

If you do not need one of those signs, but would like to donate to the Hephzibah Fire Department for that new thermal imaging equipment, you can call them at that number as well.

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