Archive for Firefighting News

Helmet Cameras and Firefighting – Technology Reviewed

If you’ve ever talked to a firefighter, veteran or rookie, you know that it’s experience. An outsider has little reason to understand the intensity of action in the midst of a fire. While most lack sufficient prior knowledge to understand the technical risks of opening a door in a burning building, we can fully understand the meaning of a rush of flame, smoke, and absence of breathable air.  It is remarkable to see as the firefighter sees, to take in the scene from the point of view of the man or woman in the midst of flames and destruction. The helmet mounted camera technology for firefighters can do these things; bring a viewer into the scenes of a fire from the viewpoint of a firefighter.

Firefighters provide many roles; in urban areas, they include emergency medical technicians, and operating critical life support systems.  In rural areas and undeveloped land areas, the job often includes controlling wildfires. The helmet camera technology would prove useful in forest fires. The actions of firefighters in forest blazes are difficult for the public to envision.  It is difficult to imagine such extremes of heat that can ignite a large green tree in a matter of seconds, and which can travel at the speed of winds.

Forest fires are exceptionally difficult in remote areas. Without roads or other access, firefighters must parachute into wilderness areas to effect techniques for stopping fires. Drought conditions in the United States in recent decades have increased the numbers and severity of wildfires and forest fires.

In summary form, one can assemble the day-to-day experiences of a firefighter into a presentation. To present an accurate description, the video must cover technical preparation, equipment maintenance, and facilities maintenance. These routines are necessary for preparedness. It can show that a vital part of the firefighters duties is maintaining the capacity to mobilize on short notice. When fire alarm calls come, and they must travel to a scene to control a fire, the camera can enable a viewer to see the heat and smoke and sense the urgency of the situation. Fires are hazardous scenes, and they take many lives and vast amounts of property in the United States each year.  See the sample video below of what a firefighter can go through as part of their daily routine as viewed through a Helmet Camera:

As an educational tool, the firefighter helmet camera has a potential to raise public understanding and appreciation of the role in public safety.  It is easy to overlook the risks and dangers involved with controlling a force as powerful as fire.  Fires can burn fuels, creosote, household chemical, cooking oils and resemble a furnace.  These fires produce intense heat and spread rapidly.  Some fires smolder and produce little heat or flame, but toxic fumes instead such as fires from smoldering wires.

As a training tool, the helmet mounted camera offers reinforcement for books simulations, and field exercises. The camera can show situational dangers and safety procedures in real-time and real situations. The camera technology offers the benefit of putting students in situations they may later face in the course of their duties. When deployed in training equipment, the camera technology provides a basis for trainee assessment. Both instructors and trainees can review performances in simulations and field exercises.  It can also provide a basis to assess the effectiveness of training methods.