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    Default Cameras on Apparatus

    Has anyone had any experience with having video cameras mounted inside of fire apparatus? Perhaps something similiar to what many police cars have in them?

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    not on our fire trucks, but they are becoming more and more common on ambulances around here. Although these are all event triggered. G-Forces, rapid acceleration, or braking will trigger it and it'll save the video from slightly before and after the event.

    If nothing triggers the camera it just keeps recording and over writing the video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAleski View Post
    Has anyone had any experience with having video cameras mounted inside of fire apparatus? Perhaps something similiar to what many police cars have in them?
    Generally speaking, we don't need them. The police do in their job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    Generally speaking, we don't need them. The police do in their job.
    I will have to disagree with you, they are a great tool if (God forbid) an accident should happen and also they can be a great reminder to the engineer's who have a lead foot or like to weave in and out of traffic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    I will have to disagree with you, they are a great tool if (God forbid) an accident should happen and also they can be a great reminder to the engineer's who have a lead foot or like to weave in and out of traffic.

    We have them on all Heavy Apparatus and Ambulances. They have been a great help to several Apparatus Drivers who have had to defend their actions. I like the idea, and I hope it lasts.


    Also, some folks have been know to take a "Standard" Video Camera and some Velcro and make up a "Dash Mount" and film the ride to various and sundry Emergencies................
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    I'm specifically asking if anyone out there knows of any FD's that are running camera systems similiar to the ones PD's use.

    We already have the type cameras mentioned in other posts (the ones that kick on with impact, etc) in our ambulances, but I was asked to research some other type systems.

    As far as not needing them, other than expense, I can't really think of a reason why you wouldn't want them.

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    We actually got a hand me down camera system from our police department. WE have it mounted in our first out engine. Has recorded some great training videos. It is broke now but no immediate plans to fix it due to costs.

    I think if you can afford it, do it. If not for the great training at least for entertainment and historical value.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    We actually got a hand me down camera system from our police department. WE have it mounted in our first out engine. Has recorded some great training videos. It is broke now but no immediate plans to fix it due to costs.

    I think if you can afford it, do it. If not for the great training at least for entertainment and historical value.
    This was exactly our intent with out last apparatus purchase. You can find a mobile DVR system with multiple camera inputs, multiple color cameras and everything you need for under $1000. The issue was getting the builder to install it reasonably. Our bids were between $5-10K for the systems as their not a "known" to the apparatus building industry.

    To us a perfect set up would have include a DVR with one "dash cam and at least on exterior positionable camera for recording the scene. The training video would prove invaluable not to mention the accident recording.

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    A great idea. All apparatus should have them mounted on the dash or near that area. This will help the department 'police' their drivers and could help out if they were involved in an MVA!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by JAleski View Post
    I'm specifically asking if anyone out there knows of any FD's that are running camera systems similiar to the ones PD's use.

    We already have the type cameras mentioned in other posts (the ones that kick on with impact, etc) in our ambulances, but I was asked to research some other type systems.

    As far as not needing them, other than expense, I can't really think of a reason why you wouldn't want them.
    They are getting ready to install a system on my rig. Apparently some company near us that deals in police cams wants to break into the fire side and is installing a system with something like 4 or 6 cameras and a digital recorder for free so they can try it out (not sure if it will be separate video angles or all merged). It will download the video to our network on the wireless connection when we back in the station every time we go on a call and will also have a hard drive on the unit. Yet more electronics to catch fire on the rig.

    I suppose it can have some benefits, they say they can potentially have it set up to see it in the ops center in real time in the event of a tornado or some other disaster when we're out working to see what's going on since it will be able to transmit the digital signal.

    In the mean time, they plan to have it tied to radio traffic so they can also have scene audio for reviews. Who knows, we weren't particularly for it, but they assured us they won't bug our cab, and it's free. Too bad we can't get as many firemen on a rig as cameras.
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    Im skeptical about its application to the fire side unless it points off the side of the truck. If it is off the front bumper it'lll be useless on most responses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nameless View Post
    Im skeptical about its application to the fire side unless it points off the side of the truck. If it is off the front bumper it'lll be useless on most responses.
    We had a rig in the past that had a front only, and it was. I'm not necessarily a big fan of these either, but they will be off the sides to the front and rear, as well as off the front. Should be interesting to say the least.
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    FYRMNK -- would you mind emailing me directly? I'd love to get a bit more info on that system and what vendor is potentially installing it.

    My email:
    jaleski@chfd.org

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    We don't have any now, but about 20 years ago we rigged one on the doghouse of one of our engines to make a video for new drivers. It was one of the early VHS cameras, big and clunky, but it worked for what we were doing.

    The video really came in handy when showing the newbies what kind of rocket-surgeons we encounter while running hot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAleski View Post
    FYRMNK -- would you mind emailing me directly? I'd love to get a bit more info on that system and what vendor is potentially installing it.

    My email:
    jaleski@chfd.org
    Sent you a PM with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2426 View Post
    I will have to disagree with you, they are a great tool if (God forbid) an accident should happen and also they can be a great reminder to the engineer's who have a lead foot or like to weave in and out of traffic.
    And if the camera is pointed at the incident,it could provide a record in case something goes South.Maybe a transmitter with viewscreen so mutual aid officers could see what is happeneing before they got there.
    Then again,it could also be used to show a firefighter strutting across the street to a call right across from the station.All he needed was a diamond tipped cane and a green hat with a long feather to complete the look.

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    In my department, cameras are the best safety tool possible!

    I say that because I've put one in the engine a few times to record some emergency response footage. It seems that none of the lunatics that try to run over us were on the road when I was recording. The camera is a white cloud like that -- turn it on and traffic is light, conditions are good and all of the alarms are false.

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    if you could get a durable outdoor camera and had apparatus with a light tower, it could be useful if you figured out a way to have the camera point where the lights are pointing. That should keep the camera on scene without someone needing to specifically set up the camera.

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    One possible use is to document the scene upon arrival, which could be useful to investigators and/or prosecutors. Only problem would be positioning your apparatus to face the structure upon arrival.

    I have a 2GB SD card for my digital camera (which also does videos) and have taken video of response in the past. I can generally get between 45 mins. to an hour of video and still have room for stills.

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