Thread: Fire Helmet Cameras...
02-02-2014, 05:13 PM #1
Fire Helmet Cameras...
Seems like a lot of fireman are strapping helmet cams to their helmets and uploading footage to youtube nowadays. I wondered if used responsibly how they could benefit my department. I presented the Chief with a SOP I wrote in proposal form and an outline for how the footage was to be used in a post incident critique. He loved the idea and bought 3 HD FireCams. He allowed my crew to pilot this new idea to see how it would work out.
When they came in I strapped one on to my helmet. Im almost always interior pipe man so this cam would give a great view of the interior operations. The next cam I put on my LT's helmet which would give the officers view of the incident. Then the next was a HD DashCam with mount that the engineer would use. Once set up he simply has to push a button then set down pointed at fire ground. This cam is intended to give an overall view of how the incident progresses showing fire growth, knockdown, smoke conditions and change.
I wanted three cams to be able to give personnel a multifocal view of the incident. We all know when we get on scene you get your task then go do it. Yes sometimes it changes and more often than not, changes multiple times but you only get your view and sometimes remembering details isn't easy due to so much information we are computing at any given time. The camera doesn't lie.
So far we have run quite a bit of structure fires with these cams rolling and have proved to be quite useful. After the incident I take the footage home and edit it. The following shift we all sit down and watch it on the projection screen. We are able to start and stop the incident from multiple angles and discuss why certain tactics were used, and what else could have we done differently. It really does do a great job at pointing out strengths and weaknesses and where we can improve in areas, and not just tactics or firefighter safety but also in equipment deficiencies or equipment that we don't have that would have improved our attack.
All footage is stored on the department website so that only fire rescue personnel can view it and it will never be on youtube. All faces and identifying information is blurred out. Cams are only turned on during working fires and extrications.
Curious if your departments allow cams and whats your take on them. I know HIPPA is a concern, and so are the sharks in suits. I think if utilized appropriately they can be a real asset. Our Chief has set down on every one of our critiques and is extremely impressed with the information we are all able to take from them. Not to mention I think he's quite the "A" Shift fan to begin with LOL.
Lets hear some input.
02-02-2014, 09:09 PM #2
We just had a conversation at a wild land leadership conference. Probably could be used as a learning tool. One headache would be that if an incident occurs, even if you did not catch it on your camera, you will probably lose your camera to the courts. Could cause a lot of legal trouble for you and your department.The fire service is about service to our fellow man.
There is a trust that must not be broken and we are the keepers of that trust.
Captain Dave LeBlanc
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