MASON CITY, Iowa - Besides the helmet and hose, there is one high tech tool that is an essential for every firefighter. The thermal imaging camera allows firefighters to see through dense smoke and towering flames to locate someone who is trapped. It can even locate a body that may have been thrown from a car in a hard to see area.
Mason City Fire Department was just awarded a $1,000 grant by Alliant Energy to purchase a new camera, which will replace an older unit they are currently using. According to Rebecca Gisel from Alliant Energy, the money comes from their Hometown Safety grants, which they use to promote safety in the communties they serve.
At today's event, another grant was given for another essential firefighting tool. Alliant Energy gave $10,000 to the North Central Regional Emergency Response Commission. Those funds will be used to buy gas monitoring devices, which firefighters wear when they go into unknown situations. These sniffers can detect natural gas or carbon monoxide. Four volunteer fire departments will be the recipients of these gas detectors. Mason City is the headquarters for NCRERC's hazardous materials unit. The commission serves 10 counties in North Iowa.