Rotary Club members present a check to Orange Fire Chief Bob Wilson to buy thermal imaging cameras. They are, from left,  club treasurer Howard Gottlieb, club president Stephen Werber, Fire Chief Bob Wilson, John Newburger, club secretary Gayle Schwarz and president-elect Thomas Dittoe. 

The Rotary Club of Chagrin Highlands donated $2,280 to purchase three thermal imaging cameras for the Orange Fire Department.

The request to club president Stephen J. Werber came from Fire Chief Bob Wilson. He sought the club’s support for “a project (to) issue personal thermal imaging cameras to our on-duty staff.” He said the cameras “would be of great benefit to finding trapped victims and their (the on duty staff) own personal safety,” according to a news release from the club.  

Werber, a member of Temple B’nai Abraham in Elyria, presented Wilson’s request to the club board seeking a donation toward the purchase of a single unit. After learning the benefits of the “seek” camera and how its use would benefit the club’s service area – of Beachwood, Orange, Pepper Pike and Woodmere – the club board approved the donation to buy three cameras.

Assistant Chief Daniel Fritz emailed the club on March 28, according to the news release: “Members of the OVFD are extremely grateful for this improvement related to their personal safety and their enhanced ability to search areas of zero visibility for victims trapped in fires.  The benefit of this ... donation extends beyond the borders of Orange Village, as the department responds automatically to all fires in adjacent communities.”  

This improved technology is contained in a cell-phone sized case that allows previously unavailable freedom of movement and the capacity to locate fire inside walls that enables extinguishing fire with less property damage. 

Prior to the formal presentation of the check on May 26, Rotary Club directors were taken on a tour of the fire station. 

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