Thread: Camera in FH

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    Default Camera in FH

    Does anyone have video cameras (surveillance) in their firehouse? What are your thoughts on the use of them. Pros/cons?

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    We are looking into a camera system for our main station. The dispatcher in the station cannot see the bay on the side of the station and has obstructed views of the two front bays. Cameras would only cover the apparatus floor. We are undecided if we want a recorder.

    There are laws covering what can and cannot be recorded. A check with your town or city attorney could save you lots of headaches down the road.
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    We've got a camera in the truck bay. It was installed when we were having a rash of full portable gasoline containers growing legs and walking off or springing leaks that empty them but don't cause puddles. Everyone knows its there and there's no problem.

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    Yes. We Have A 2 Camera System. We Are A Very Rural Fire Dept. Years Ago We Voted To Purchase Our Own 300 Gallon Diesel Tank And A 200 Gallon Gasoline Tank, Since 24hr Fuel Service Isnt Available In Our Area. The Past Few Fuel Bills Were Very High Compared To The Gallons Logged On Our Fuel Log. So Our Board Bought A Camera System With 1 Camera On The Front Door And The Other On The Fuel Pumps. The Fun Came When We Sat The Member Down And Showed Him The Tape And Then The Door. No Criminal Action Was Taken.

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    I am looking at a simple system for our new hall, but not really for internal loss prevention. I just want some exterior cameras with a small dvr for detterence and detection of snoopers.

    Our hall will be right next to the ski hill's new staff accomodation. Usually a good bunch of kids, but every now and then, a bad apple finds thier way into the bunch.
    Never argue with an Idiot. They drag you down to their level, and then beat you with experience!

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    Cool What Pro's are you trying to get from it?

    What Pro's are you trying to get from it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by firedogross View Post
    What Pro's are you trying to get from it?
    Pros: One or two things....I think that maybe there are things that come up missing in the FH. Number two would be vandalism. Having cameras inside the station might put a stop to these things.

    Cons: Installing a camera system means that you are having problems in the FH.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    Just as locks keep honest men honest, camera's seem to have the same effect.

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    I just want to put an outside webcame looking out of the front lawn and driveway to compliement the live streaming audio from the base radio. We have never encountered a need for one to deter crime.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    We put video cameras in both our stations after we had a thermal camera, a lap top and some gear stolen. We look at them in the way Carey 14 said "keeping honest men, honest and crooks, crooks." Its a sad sign of the times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    Pros: One or two things....I think that maybe there are things that come up missing in the FH. Number two would be vandalism. Having cameras inside the station might put a stop to these things.

    Cons: Installing a camera system means that you are having problems in the FH.
    You have no grasp of physical security. A firehouse contains often MILLIONS of dollars in emergency response assets. Many smaller FD's have ALL of their communities emergency response assets in one place.

    Security cameras are one aspect of a complete physical security plan. The fundamentals of a security system are DETER-DETECT-DELAY. Cameras go a long way towards deterring someone from creating a security breach. They also play a key role in detection. It is not, or at least should not, be thought of as a way to watch or keep tabs on persons within the organization. If you have someone within the organization who is acting in a criminal manner, he is not a "brother", he is a criminal.

    A fire department has an obligation to their taxpayers to be good stewards of the equipment they have been entrusted with. That would make the provisions for physical asset protection to be very important.

    BTW, I think that you will find that case law provides that recording images in common areas to be no problem. You can't obviously put them in bathrooms, private bedrooms, etc. As far as I know, there are NO circumstances under which sound can be recorded.

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    I always laugh when i see places put up cameras for crime prevention, yet they have no alarm system, leave all their doors and windows unsecured, and have no lighting at night. Yea, that camera will do lots of good.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    I never knew there was that much theaft going on in fire stations, not only externally but internally as well. I know of a Fire Chief in another dept around here, he said he was thinking of putting in a security system for his own FF's. He said he has all kinds of stuff going missing, even a PPV fan on one occasion. I think it's pretty bad when you can't even trust your own FF's anymore!

    We haven't had any problems like this to date that I'm aware of.


    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    It is not, or at least should not, be thought of as a way to watch or keep tabs on persons within the organization. If you have someone within the organization who is acting in a criminal manner, he is not a "brother", he is a criminal.
    George, I agree with what you have said. What I am reading is that the problems are being cause by firefighters who have access to the station. Locks and alarms won't stop people who you have given access to. Short of a confession or assigning somebody to keep an eye on suspects 24/7, a camera system would seem to be a good method of catching and/or deterring the firefighters in question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eng34FF View Post
    George, I agree with what you have said. What I am reading is that the problems are being cause by firefighters who have access to the station. Locks and alarms won't stop people who you have given access to. Short of a confession or assigning somebody to keep an eye on suspects 24/7, a camera system would seem to be a good method of catching and/or deterring the firefighters in question.
    1. I said that cameras were part of a security system. Not THE security system.

    2. A criminal is a criminal.

    3. I refuse to believe, based on a few anonymous and unconfirmed internet posts that there is widespread theft and mayhem going on in this nation's firehouses.

    4. Millions of dollars of assets need to be protected and secured, regardless of whether it is career or volunteer.

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    When my old department put in a new station,they got the bells and whistles put in on surveillance.The officers can log onto their PC and open doors,turn on lights,start the coffee maker(all officers meet for lunch at the station)and check the video cameras to see which new guy was recreating the hose bed scene from "Backdraft".
    Only officers had the access code to that part of the computers to prevent practical jokes on someone hanging out at the station.
    I'm not saying we were a bunch of scrubbed angels but we didn't take stuff that would be needed unless someone knew about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    You have no grasp of physical security. A firehouse contains often MILLIONS of dollars in emergency response assets. Many smaller FD's have ALL of their communities emergency response assets in one place.
    I think I have a pretty good grasp. We don't buy high dollar items so, in fact, no can steal them.
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by THEFIRENUT View Post
    I think I have a pretty good grasp. We don't buy high dollar items so, in fact, no can steal them.
    You don't buy high dollar items? You mean like trucks? Or radios? Or SCBA? Or HazMat equipment? Or computers? Or .........

    As I said, you don't have a clue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    You don't buy high dollar items? You mean like trucks? Or radios? Or SCBA? Or HazMat equipment? Or computers? Or .........

    As I said, you don't have a clue.
    Guess I should have put a couple of smileys in my posts. (I even miss spelled no one )

    OK....from my original post, why would you think that I "have no grasp of physical security". I never said that we should not protect our resources. I also never stated that cameras were the end-all to security. All I did say was that if the firehouse was loosing equipment or being vandalized that installing cameras might help the situation. Have a nice day!!!
    Just someone trying to help! (And by the way....Thanks for YOUR help!)

    Aggressive does not have to equal stupid.

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    A couple of us were on a road trip and stopped by a station that had security camera's. We spoke to the chief about them and his comments were that they wished they had done it earlier. Minor items that used to grow legs no longer have them. Out of town firefighters who stop in stations with sticky fingers no longer have them. Part of their station was available for public meetings. People from the public were caught walking out with boots, handlights and hand tools.

    The chief also mentioned that items like chainsaws used to disappear for a day or two and return with a dull blade and socket sets seemed to keep their components a lot longer, and overall horse'n around in the station has been cut back.
    If I'm not here I'm on http://ctfire-ems.com/indexc.php

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    A friendly piece of advice for anyone considering security cameras. Take the time to re-read what George posted above regarding audio recordings.

    You can and will be arrested and charged if you record the conversations of others without their consent. Note that there is a significant difference between "knowledge" and "consent". Even if they know you are doing it, or might do it, you could be liable. Consent in this context has virtually always been held by the courts to mean actual consent, not implied consent.

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    Cameras are good. Just make sure if you install one that you get it professionally done or by somebody that works with this stuff and can back it up. My experience has been that video surveillance systems are one of those things that you get what you pay for.

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    in our firehouse we do have cameras. We have them in the bay area in the hallways, the communications room and outside. It is recorded so if we have any problems we can play it back. It is also known to the members that we have them this way we do not have an issue of invasion.
    After we got them instalded, the stealing of equipment came to an end!!!! We even caught someone on tape who denid it .

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    Default We have them

    Due to some thefts of equipment over the years, we have installed a video system in our station.

    It was not that expensive and covers the entire apparatus floor. There is no sound recording. In this state we have to post a notice on the entrance doors to any facility so equiped advising the use of video or cameras. As far as checking with an attorney, you could save yourself some dollars and use common sense. Most states prohibit cameras in washrooms, locker rooms, etc. I am sure it you check with a company that sells and installs this equipment they will know the law and appropriate codes.

    Lets face it - most stores and ALL banks and credit unions (required by federal law) have them and we think nothing of it.
    Brian K. Savage
    Fire Commissioner
    Swanton, VT

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBoss View Post
    I am sure it you check with a company that sells and installs this equipment they will know the law and appropriate codes.
    Now THAT'S funny.

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