Kiwanis and MSUFCU Enable Purchase of Firefighting Cameras

Monday, July 17, 2017, 4:27 pm
Alice Dreger

Front row, left to right: Don Power, Randy Talifarro, Dawn Carson, Eric Rosekrans, Michael Hudson, April Clobes. Courtesy City of East Lansing.

The East Lansing Fire Department (ELFD) formally thanked the Kiwanis Club of East Lansing and the Michigan State Federal Credit Union (MSUFCU) this afternoon for financial gifts totaling $13,000, allowing ELFD to obtain and train with three new thermal-imaging cameras. ELFD Chief Randy Talifarro explained that the specialized cameras can help save the lives of firefighters as well as those they are rescuing.

Today’s event was held in the engine room of Fire Station 1 on Abbot Road. There, ELFD Deputy Chief Dawn Carson explained that the idea of this particular gift emerged following provision by the Kiwanis last Christmas of dinner for East Lansing emergency service personnel working on the holiday. That dinner had been organized by Don Power.

A check for $6,500 was presented for the credit union by MSUFCU President and CEO April Clobes and Board Member Michael Hudson. East Lansing Kiwanis Foundation President Eric Rosekrans, Senior Vice President with commercial real estate service company CBRE/Martin, presented another check for $6,500 from the Kiwanis. Rosekrans explained to me before the presentations that ELFD had made a formal request to the Kiwanis Foundation Board and MSUFCU to obtain the funds to replace outdated equipment.

According to the City of East Lansing’s press release on the grants, “In addition to the purchase of the two new cameras, the funding support also covers an orientation from the distributor, two truck chargers, two extra batteries and a five-year full warranty on each camera and battery. ELFD’s previous thermal imaging cameras were old and beginning to malfunction. The new cameras are lighter, contain a higher resolution picture and have enhanced abilities to locate civilians and hidden fires within structures.”

Deputy Chief Carson said in advance of the event, “Possessing the proper tools and equipment can make the difference between a life saved and a life lost when searching structures with high life safety concerns, such as student housing or senior living facilities.” The cameras can also be used to “quickly locate lost individuals or victims ejected from motor vehicles at an accident scene,” according to the City’s materials on the cameras.

City Councilmembers Erik Altmann and Susan Woods attended today’s event. Woods told ELi before the event that she finds the ELFD “wonderful. They’ve done a fabulous job. We have great leadership, and that [Chief Talifarro] has to share his position with the Lansing Fire Department is a real testament to his dedication.” (Talifarro is Chief of both departments.)

Note: The Kiwanis Club will be holding its 60th Annual Community Chicken Barbecue this Thursday, July 20, in Patriarche Park from 4:30-7:30. The event fundraises for the Kiwanis Club’s support of community projects and offers both eat-in-the-park and take-out dinner options.


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