Milwaukee FD Reacts to Helmet-Cam Video on YouTube

Deputy Chief Randall Zingler said that there is currently no policy against helmet-cam videos but that the department is now developing one so that similar situation as this one doesn't occur again.


The Milwaukee Fire Department is in the process of developing a new policy after a firefighter posted a helmet-cam video on YouTube of an apartment fire that occurred earlier this week.

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The firefighter who captured the scenes of the blaze at 87th Street and Fond du Lac Avenue on Tuesday that forced several residents to jump from windows to escape the flames will not be punished, fire officials told WISN-TV.

Deputy Chief Randall Zingler said that there is currently no policy against helmet-cam videos and that firefighter did not neglect his duties by wearing the camera.

The problem, he says, is privacy rights.

"The biggest concern we have is a citizen's right to privacy," he told the news station. "If you're at a fire and videotaping something in their personal residence, there's a concern for that."

In the video on YouTube -- which has since been taken down -- the camera mounted on the firefighter's helmet shows him conducting a size-up as he prepares to enter the structure.

Once inside, the video captures flames, smoke and low visibility the firefighter encounters.

While some argue that helmet-cam video can help firefighters train, others believe the dissemination of such videos must be control.

Zingler said that the fire department is now developing a policy for such videos so that a similar situation as this one doesn't occur in the future.