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Cardiff South Wales

South Wales Firefighters become the first in Wales to trial body worn video cameras

Fire engines

THE PILOT scheme will see firefighters using the devices to capture footage from live incidents for training, incident analysis, and fire investigation.

The footage will assist the Service to evaluate and reflect on their own performance and decisions to see if improvements can be made.

On large or sensitive incidents the footage can be reviewed, providing an enhanced level of tactical advice and debrief. Video footage could also be used to record evidence for Fire Service and Police investigations.

The cameras will be the Reveal D5 model, which is ultra-lightweight, has good battery life and is compact with a strong resilient casing.  The devices will be trialled mainly by Firefighters within the Service’s Operational Development Review Team and will assist in capturing footage for learning and reflection. 

The cameras will also help provide a safe and secure environment at operational incidents, protect the community, and potentially evidence against those who choose to threaten and are abusive towards crews.

Head of Training, Area Manager Dean Loader said: “The introduction of this new technology is a really positive innovation for us. Having these cameras will improve the way we collate situational awareness, carry out incident assessments and make command decisions. The cameras will play a crucial role in the Service, from staff training on the frontline to the capture of evidence in rescues and other situations where public and staff safety is paramount.”

Firefighters using the cameras will be fully trained and will announce they are recording, to inform people nearby that filming is taking place.

The information recorded will be encrypted for security and will only be viewed by authorised personnel. All data will be stored on a secure drive and will be date tagged and routinely deleted after a 60 day retention period in the majority of circumstances.

The trial will run for approximately 9 months and will be reviewed prior to a potential Service-wide roll out.