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Seattle Fire gifted 78 thermal imaging cameras

A firefighter holds in his right hand a small red device the shape of a cell phone that's display shows images of a fire through a smoky window.
A Seattle Fire captain uses the new thermal imaging camera to show what firefighters can see when using it in smoky conditions.

Seattle Fire Foundation makes public safety investment with purchase of thermal imaging cameras. The $73,000 cash donation will help enhance Seattle firefighter safety and effectiveness.

The Seattle Fire Foundation announced on Feb. 7, 2024, the purchase of 78 thermal imaging cameras for the Seattle Fire Department. The purchase was funded by a $73,000 gift from The James D. and Sherry Raisbeck Foundation and will help enhance firefighter safety and effectiveness.

“These cameras are a vital piece of equipment to help firefighters protect themselves and the citizens of Seattle,” said Steve Elsoe, Seattle Fire Foundation board chair. “Our foundation’s mission is to help provide essential tools like this to keep our firefighters safe and improve their ability to better protect us all. We are very grateful to Sherry Raisbeck for helping us make this happen.”

Seattle philanthropist, Sherry Raisbeck, said the decision to donate was an easy one to make.

“When I learned how thermal imaging cameras can help search for victims and firefighters keep track of one another in a burning building, I knew this was something I wanted to support. I’m thrilled that I could help in this way.”

New thermal imagers on each engine
Prior to the donation, the department’s 33 fire engines each had one thermal imager. Now, each engine will have two more, and the on-duty battalion chiefs will also be outfitted with the devices.

“These cameras will be a tremendous boost to the safety of our department,” said Harold Scoggins, Seattle Fire Chief. “They will help firefighters see through smoke and monitor the fire’s spread, so they can quickly visualize their plan of attack, locate hot spots and ultimately save lives. With the help of Seattle Fire Foundation and generous donors like Sherry Raisbeck, we are creating a safer, stronger Seattle.”

About Seattle Fire Foundation
The mission of the Seattle Fire Foundation (SFF) is to support and provide critical resources for the advancement of the Seattle Fire Department (SFD). We strive to bring communities together, raise awareness of SFD critical needs, and increase participation from the citizens of Seattle in supporting the Seattle Fire Foundation. In partnership with our generous donors, we strive to help keep Seattle firefighters safe, improve their effectiveness, and invest in programs to improve their health and wellness. For more information , visit:

About Seattle Fire Department
The Seattle Fire Department (SFD) operates 33 fire stations located throughout the city of Seattle, with the mission of saving lives and protecting property through emergency medical services, fire and rescue responses, and fire prevention. More than 1,000 firefighters serve in five battalions operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. SFD staff respond immediately when anyone in the city needs help with professional, effective and compassionate service. In 2023, dispatched to a record-setting 111,319 responses. For more information, visit