Thermal Imaging Camera Show the Dangers of Cold Weather

When it’s this cold, within minutes your fingers and even parts of your face could start to lose blood. 8news anchor, Ava-joye Burnett did a demonstration on Thursday, and the before and after pictures were drastically different.

The camera picks up a person’s body heat, making it easier for firefighters to find someone who may be trapped in a burning building. For this particular demonstration, we used the device to see just how much heat a firefighter’s body would lose after she’s been outside for 15 minutes.

After being outside for 15 minutes, the thermal imaging camera showed a noticeable difference. The camera could not pick up certain parts of the firefighter’s body. This is because blood had already left areas of her body, area like her fingers.

“You can barely see her hands now. it’s like they are a dark gray. So like we said before, the body’s natural reaction is to shoot blood away from the extremities to the core. So it’s going to protect and preserve the heart and the brain,” says Shaun Whitely, a firefighter with the Richmond fire department.

“If you are going to be out in this, you have to be prepared, you have to obviously keep your hands and your feet and your face and your head as much covered as possible,” says Whitely.

Dr. Christopher Dietz, the medical director for the Woodman Road location of Patient First also addressed the issue of hypothermia. Dr. Dietz says frostbites could become an issue in these extremely cold temperatures.

“You would see some grayish color tissue towards the tips of the fingers or the toes,” says Dietz.

Everyone is also being warned not to venture out on frozen bodies of water. In the unfortunate circumstance someone falls into freezing water, Dr. Dietz says hypothermia can set in within minutes.

“You are actually not even able to think very clearly, you can have a difficult time moving,” says Dietz.

Firefighters are also warning people to avoid frozen bodies of water. 8news anchor Ava-joye Burnett spoke with a rescue squad as they drilled for water rescue on the canal downtown.

“You shouldn’t assume any ice in this area is safe for you to walk out on,” says Lt. Mike Oprandy. “This is a common scenario, somebody may be walking out on the ice, thinking that it’s solid all the way through, then break in through.”

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