EASTON, Pa. - Thursday was a celebration at the Easton Fire Station, as the department showed off new gear.

MSA Lunars use Bluetooth technology to guide first responders to down firefighters, victims, and fires themselves.

City and county leaders joined some of Easton's newest firefighters to try them out.

Their first day on the job was recently spent at a funeral for a Philadelphia firefighter, showing the dangers of the profession. But these devices are meant to the save lives of those in uniform and those they serve.

"With the edge technology, you see the outline of him clearly," said Easton Fire Chief Henry Hennings.

Inside the Easton Fire Station, Hennings showed 69 News the department's newest tool: the MSA Lunar.

"This is a thermal imaging camera and a tracking accountability device for firefighter safety," said Hennings.

The department is the first in the country to equip every firefighter with one of these gadgets.

They provide a clear picture of what a first responder is walking, or crawling into, when there's zero visibility. It's a portable, cutting-edge system that steers firefighters toward trapped or unconscious victims.

Hennings asked 69 News Reporter Priscilla Liguori to quickly touch the wall.

"You only touched that for a brief second right?" Hennings said.

"Yeah," replied Liguori.

"But you see that it's a different color from your body heat," said Hennings, gesturing to the Lunar screen.

In the thermal imaging mode, Hennings demonstrated how a man, on the stove for seconds, lit right up.

"Not only do you see the flame itself, but you see the heat rising up above," said Hennings. "You can't see that with the naked eye."

That's helpful when, "there could be hidden fire in the walls," said Hennings.

Perhaps the most valuable part of all is, "they serve as a personal alarm for firefighters," said Lt. Terrance Hand of the Easton Fire Department.

"When it goes into alert, it'll scream," said Hennings.

Lunars track every firefighter. If one stops moving, others know to save them. That's a huge upgrade from the tag system typically used.

"You're issued a tag, when you go somewhere, you hand it to the officer," said Hennings. "The problem with that is once you hand that tag to the officer, that's the last time we really know where you're at."

This guides you and preserves precious time.

"Hopefully, we can prevent any type of firefighter fatality," said firefighter Adam Grube of the Easton Fire Department.

"You can see through smoke with these things," said Hand.

It's gear so complex, it's almost hard to believe, so Chief Hennings took 69 News to the Allentown Fire Academy so a crew could experience it themselves.

Liguori and 69 News Photographer Jon Bloch suited up in full firefighter gear and went inside the training tower to try the Lunars out for real.

"I'll just light it," Allentown Asst. Chief Matt Eharth said about a fire in the training tower. "You'll see the place slowly fill with smoke."

Lunars illuminate while pointing at fires of course, but also provide other important clues that could indicate structures are in danger of collapsing.

"Look at the heat above them. That's not fire you're seeing. That's just heat," said Eharth. "If you see this above you, you better start spraying water somewhere or back out."

The devices will be connected to firefighters' breathing tanks, so others can monitor their air pressure.

"Up here is 400 degrees. If you look at the floor, it's 100 degrees," said Eharth. "So that's the difference between being in an oven or being out on a hot day."

That's a reminder for everyone to stay low if ever caught in a blaze.

"If you stand up in here and breathe, it could kill you with just one breath," said Eharth.

The next test was finding a Lunar in Alarm.

Liguori's Lunar said "one firefighter alarms," meaning a firefighter had not moved in 20 seconds.

Hennings showed how firefighters are to point the Lunar in different directions, as they search through a building.

"When it hits the highest percentage, that's the way you want to go," said Hennings.

"One hundred percent," said Liguori, as she located the Lunar in the basement of the building.

It worked.

The tools are expected to be an asset to the entire area, since Easton firefighters will use them at every fire they go to, including when they provide mutual aid. They were paid for mostly by grants.

"Monetarily, I would say that this is absolutely priceless, if you save one life," said Hennings.

Lunars will be rolled out in August, once all firefighters are trained.

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