San Francisco Chief Bans Helmet Cameras after Airline Crash
Ban on video cameras comes after images from Asiana Airlines crash are shown

A San Francisco Fire Department ban on video cameras now explicitly includes helmet-mounted devices that film emergency scenes, according to Chief Joanne Hayes-White. The edict comes after images taken in the aftermath of the July 6 Asiana Airlines crash at the San Francisco airport led to questions about first responders' actions, which resulted in a survivor being run over by a fire truck. Read More.

Good idea or knee-jerk reaction?

What is your departmen't policy on helmet cameras?

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Really? The FF did the department a favor? You sure you don't want to rethink or rephrase that statement?

@ Don and Tim.

The evidence in that case was there regardless of the video or not, Coroner stated the fact before the video surfaced. The fire chief had admitted the act in her press release pretty early on so she isn't trying to hide it.  The difference will be the amount of physical evidence that is made available for the lawyers and that adds up to more zeros on a settlement. Straight forward management of liability.


I am more interested to know how and why it made it to the Chronicle and what was the owner's motive?  It wasn't a video that would shine a positive light like a great save or grab.


This is exactly why so many fire department's have developed a social media policy (that everything recorded by any person, obtained while on duty is property of the fire department and none of it will be released on any media platform without written consent of the fire chief.  Heck many are flat out banning helmet cameras all together because firefighters can't follow the rules.  Many argue they are a great learning tool, you tube is loaded with videos of them. How about a family learning that there was a video (from the inside) and it may show lack of speed or a poorly excuted search of a fatal fire? Lawyers love them.  I suspect SF will learn that the hard way after this is settled.


My department's policy is they are not allowed at all.     

I sympathize with both sides of the issue.

Any video or photographs of an incident can be valuable training tools, but there are other ways to produce those learning experiences.

The liability is just too great when a tragedy like this occurs. And like FETC states, there are always going to be knotheads who can't play by the rules. Reference the 2010 discussion about the Georgia incident in which a former employee recorded graphic images of a wreck victim. That's an extreme example, but a perfect one.

I have to lean towards agreement with a ban on helmet cams and still cameras, including phones, in the hands of firefighters on incidents. They are a distraction and a tremendous liability risk for everyone involved.

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