The HazMat Guys

In this extra episode, we chat with FLIR about their new innovations – PRIMED and the new G510.

Complete Show Notes

1:05 Episode Introduction

  • FLIR PRIMED is a video series designed for first responders and people on the ground
  • 2-3 minute videos on a variety of subjects – some are sent in by the readers
  • Free downloads called “Hazmat Minutes” are also available – white papers, research, quick guides, drills, etc.
  • Topics include:
    • Radiation
    • Explosives
    • LARA radiation safety
    • Metering
    • Unknown powders
    • Rad particles
  • Goal is to keep it simple with lessons first responders can take with them and use on the job

3:15 Background on Grant Coffey

  • Product manager at FLIR within the FLIR detection line
  • Been with the company for around 9 years
  • Originally worked on the research science side before transitioning into project management
  • Background in analytical and biochemistry and field-able instrumentation in harsh environments
  • Responsible for the meters we carry with us on the rig
  • Their meters center around GC/MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) and are designed for chemical identification
  • Has run a hazmat team in Portland for around 37 years and teaches courses at the fire college
  • Background as a radiation specialist, but has plenty of experience with emergency management

4:00 FLIR’s Role in CBRNE

  • CBRNE stands for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense
  • Very robust in radiation, explosives detection, bio, and many other cutting-edge products
  • Working to couple their monitors with education – it’s crucial that we all know how to use our monitors and meters – this is the point of PRIMED
  • Goal is to motivate first responders to talk about PRIMED topics and use the videos and downloads during training

7:00 Background on Philip Tackett

  • Product manager at FLIR who’s responsible for making sure the products they design provide outstanding chemical detection
  • This commitment to excellence ranges across an entire line of products, employments, and fidelities
  • Includes everything from the detection of chemicals right up to mass spectrometry
  • Predominantly worked on the mass spec side making these units amenable to field use – this is a pretty big challenge

8:20 Biggest Challenges Working with Mass Spec

  • Making the unit workable for everyone, from firefighters and first responders to hazmat technicians and police officers
  • They also have to be firefighter-proof and able to take a beating in the field
  • Units also have to be simple and easy to use so they can be used efficiently on-scene

9:30 FLIR PRIMED’s Intended Audience

  • Goal is to not just be for first responders – they also want to help industry reps, hospitals, environmental companies, manufacturing facilities, and many others
  • They try to tailor all of their PRIMED videos to suit people across industries, from the field to the lab
  • This is why they encourage their audience to provide ideas – helps FLIR provide the most relevant and helpful lessons possible
  • Go to their website and send them an email with input, ideas, and suggestions

12:10 The FLIR G510 (Griffin 510) Meter

  • Person portable GC/MS that’s designed to be carried downrange into a chemical response mission
  • Provides high-class chemical identification right at the site of entrance
  • Based on a quadruple mass analyzer – allows us to integrate to the widest chemical library available
  • FLIR builds their own library based on the NIST Library
  • GC on the front end can take a dirty sample (i.e. homemade drugs or explosives) and separate it by its chemical components
  • Primarily used in lab environments, but FLIR is working to bring mass spec into the field
  • Mass spec units are traditionally large, power-hungry, and expensive, but the G510 eliminates these problems
  • The G510’s target is the first responder, which is why they’ve made it lighter (35 lbs.) and easier to transport
  • Comes in one box and is designed to be carried easily – any necessary attachments also fit inside the box
  • Two on-board lithium ion batteries provide up to 4 hours of battery life – power-up time is around 15 minutes
  • Mass calibration is automatic and takes place at the end of the power-up cycle
  • Telemetry capabilities include built-in Wi-Fi, GPS, and Bluetooth connectivity

18:00 G510 Training and Why It’s Firefighter Friendly

  • Training can be approached in a number of different ways
  • On the operator side, you can be trained on this product in as little as 2 hours
  • Data is maintained in case there needs to be some level of review later in a lab
  • On-board training can take place on the way to a scene in case you need a refresher course on how to use a certain part of the device
  • The G510 IP 65-rated because it provides good water and dust egress protection
  • Vents can be sealed off, which makes decon even easier – you can also wipe or spray it

20:50 The G510 and PPE

  • Product is designed to be as easy to operate as possible when you’re wearing your PPE
  • On-board touchscreen has large buttons and is intended to be operated by someone wearing gloves
  • Vapor inlet is also button-operated, which makes it easy to control in PPE
  • Indicators on the probe itself show the operator the presence of a threat
  • The G510 is designed to be carried easily when you’re wearing your Level A

24:50 What Sets the G510 Apart from Other GC/MS Units?

  • Integration of an active pumping system
    • Traditional units had two large pumping units that were large and power-hungry
    • Other units use passive pumps that have a certain capacity and need to be regenerated periodically
    • Limits the types of inlets available that allow your sample to be analyzed
    • FLIR’s active pumping system has a miniature roughing pump, too – allows them to open up the types of samples that get into the system
    • No more membranes to pass through – samples go directly from the GC/MS to the mass analyzer
    • We can open up to less-volatile materials to see substances like heroin and fentanyl

27:10 Contacting FLIR

Have a question? Send an email to or leave a message on our Haz Mat Guys comment hotline: 843-628-1484

Show Sponsors
Related Episodes