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Technology today has given us great tools for training.   One of these is the helmet camera which can provide for great after action revues of incidents.  Even cell phone cameras used by early arriving members can provide for a much better critique by allowing everyone to see what conditions were on arrival.  But as with most tools they are only useful when used correctly.  If cameras are used incorrectly or capture things that we do not want to be made public such as bloody vehicles or the absolute worst a body or patient, and those images are posted to a social media site (facebook, twitter, youtube, etc.) it cause quite and embarrasement for the department and could damage public relations.

So does your department allow the use of any cameras on scene?  How about helmet cameras?  Who is allowed to carry them?  Do you have a written policy regarding the use of cameras or "posting" of images captured on incident scenes?

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We have no "official" policy on helmet cameras so what they dont know wont hurt them.  But with that said i am discreet about who and where i share my videos with.  youtube is easy and safe and they have a private setting that allows the poster to share the video with whoever he chooses and makes it unsearchable.

1. we have 12 hd dash cams, 3 hd helmet cams,1 dig cam. as far as allowed no just the dept cams if snaps are taken on a   cell or others they have to be cleared thru the dept.

2. yes we have 3 of them

3. 1 = chief, 1=asst chief, 1 = radom firemen picked each moth.

4.yes we have a written policy that covers both of those points.



Joe paccerelli said:

1. we have 12 hd dash cams, 3 hd helmet cams,1 dig cam. as far as allowed no just the dept cams if snaps are taken on a   cell or others they have to be cleared thru the dept.

2. yes we have 3 of them

3. 1 = chief, 1=asst chief, 1 = radom firemen picked each moth.

4.yes we have a written policy that covers both of those points.

our you tube site

we also have a youtube page so our local tax payers can see what we do on runs it has gotten great feed back from them, as a side note it also stopped alot of our fire board meetings from flooded with folks asking what we do and why we need funding etc.. also the training points for the fire fighters after a call are priceless

It is a gray area in our department. Right now I believe I am the only one who wears a helmet cam. It only gets turned on for fires, and the occasional training. I keep the videos for my own use, and post them on YouTube as private and unsearchable so I can select who I allow to see the video. My BC is aware of the camera and trusts my judgement with its use. My wish would be to use the footage for critiques and learning from incidents. I believe this is the most valuable use for a helmet camera. That being said, as Ron said they can cause more trouble than anyone wants to deal with,

it was not an easy step as far as the dash cams and helmet cams go but after getting alot of input as to how and when they get used going from 1 dash cam to 12 with helmet cams was not hard.but you hit the nail on the head the videos are for our dept training and after action reviews as a tool to see what went right or wrong as the case maybe.also one of the first things we did was to set rules about no gore shots,no pt info on ems runs etc..basic sop for cams  this is a link to a basic sop posted on firevideo net here is thier link firecamera.net this was kinda what we started with then added more as our dept needed. just something for you all to see

-Our official policy is that no member will use any type of photographic instrument or technology at any time unless they have first been granted permission from the Fire Chief or his designee.  

-This is not just department policy but also a city policy. In fact, a police officer had a cell phone confiscated at the scene of a traffic accident when a supervisor learned that the officer in question had used the phone to take a photo of the accident. 

-The policy may seem a little overboard but it is the city's official position and one that is defended through a concern of lawsuits arising from perceived violations of privacy.

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