Hampshire Firefighters Pioneer Body Worn Cameras
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is the first in the country to be handing out body worn cameras to its officers.
The 70 Reveal devices will enable users 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 by peers and other managers, providing an enhanced level of tactical advice and debrief.
However, the video could also be used to record evidence for fire service and police investigations, and have training applications.
It may be a media resource too, giving the public a new insight into the various roles of the modern firefighter.
It is about seeing more and understanding more. Everyone in the service strives to be better. If a picture paints 1,000 words, a video shows 1,000 pictures. “New body worn cameras are going to help every firefighter be the best they can be and embrace the fact we are, as all fire services are, a learning organisation. “That is what the introduction of this new technology is all about; trying to make an already excellent service even better.Operational Technology Manager, Alex Rhodes
A pilot was carried out with nine Reveal cameras and DEMS (digital evidence management software) in October last year, before the current roll-out to middle-level and senior officers.
The footage collected during that period has provided video evidence of a suspected arsonist and been used in an investigation into a boat fire.
There have been numerous other occasions when officers have realised that such a recording would have been useful.