Our USAR team is looking forward to the arrival in the country soon of the first three of six new high-tech search cameras.

The selection of the cameras followed a comprehensive process by a USAR and Fire and Emergency Procurement project team aimed at identifying the best equipment for our needs. 

The team looked both nationally and internationally at all options and then selected three cameras to trial in a variety of scenarios in Christchurch. 

Project team leader and USAR Technician, Chris Kennedy, said the camera that was chosen – the ‘First Look 360’ – was the clear winner. 

“The First Look 360 is an incredibly advanced camera for the type of incidents we now attend, from collapsed buildings to underwater work. It provides quicker, more accurate information transfer from the incident ground to those making decisions.

 “This is world leading technology, with a platform that allows us to update quickly as technology changes.” 

Craig Monrad, National USAR Operations Manager said the research, trials and selection process were a credit to Chris Kennedy, Wendy Thompson, Procurement Manager along with the selection panel representing the three USAR teams.

 “They made sure we got the right equipment that is fit for purpose and ensured a fiscally responsible purchase for the long term. This is another important step in our move to more advanced technology, improving our ability to better serve the community.” 

The second lot of three cameras are due in the next financial year. Here are some photos from the trials.


L to R: Chris Calveley, Steve Robinson, Tim Stilborn, Grant Bristow, Chris Kennedy


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