Earlier this year Port Metro Vancouver approached NSR and Talon Helicopters with a surplus FLIR unit for use in Search and Rescue. The camera, a SeaFlir II-C stabilized imaging system, utilizes FLIR (forward looking infrared radiometer) technology to locate the heat of an object or person. This life-saving equipment will assist SAR crews in locating subjects in difficult terrain, or where direct line of sight is impaired by tree canopy, shadow, or darkness. Furthermore, it will be available to other SAR teams through mutual aid.
For more information on the donation, see:
See below for pictures of the donation ceremony:
This FLIR unit was previously mounted to a port vessel and configured for maritime use. It has since been retrofitted for helicopter use by Talon Helicopters Engineering Staff and Mark Alfonso, from PLC Electronics Solutions Ltd and a NSR resource member. This took a significant amount of effort by both parties, and we thank them for their dedication to implementing this life-saving tool.
As of December 22nd, 2015, NSR and Talon Helicopters have completed flight testing of the FLIR unit. This involved significant ground testing, and live practice at YVR and at our SAR base in the Seymour Valley. Although the unit itself can be deployed on callouts as of now, training of personnel and fine tuning of the equipment is still required before it is fully operational.