Monday, April 2nd, 2012 9:04 am
By Jason Zigmont
It seems like everywhere you turn there is an amazing video of a fire response, no matter if it is good or bad. The availability of helmet cams makes a real point of view available for review and learning.
Most times the video is “ooo’d” and “aah’d” at, but is it used effectively as a quality-improvement tool? There are ways that every service can use videos effectively and avoid the common pitfalls.
Video recording of events have been around since the invention of the handheld camera. It was not until the Internet age that videos became regularly available to the public.
Now anyone with a cell phone can take a video of a scene and have it posted on YouTube within minutes. This can air your dirty laundry in public as it becomes hard to control videos that are posted online.
Depending on the video, there may also be HIPAA and privacy concerns (or even legal implications). You may not be able to control video shot by spectators, but it is crucial to control what video is taken department members and how it is used.
Chain of custody
The first step is to outline exactly who is allowed to record events along with what happens to the recording. The best bet is to always have only one designated camera operator on scene, even if that role rotates among members.
That person then becomes responsible for the chain of custody of the video and is responsible if the video gets out. A camera operator with this level of responsibility is needed even for unmanned or helmet cameras.
Your camera operator needs to understand what can and cannot be shot, and also how to immediately secure the videos. Videos that are released to the public — including on sites like Flashover TV — should only be with approval of the chief or the board.
Read the full article on FireRescue1.com.