In Cedar Rapids, Iowa a helmet-cam is making news. Cedar Rapids Fire Department Captain Rick Halleran got permission to try one out. A fire on December 8 was captured via the camera and is now the focus of an article in the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
Fire Critic Rhett Fleitz also posted this video and gives his view of how the fireground was handled (I am sure Cedar Rapids Chief Steve Reid had opening night jitters over whether their film would get a good review from the Roger Ebert of the fire service).
Here's what Jeff Raasch at thegazette.com had to say (Thanks to John Halbrook & Tim Nemmers for passing this one on to STATter911.com):
Rookie firefighters in Cedar Rapids have another training aid available after a recent garage fire was captured on video.
The 17-minute video follows Capt. Rick Halleran on Dec. 8 as firefighters work to control the fire at 430 20th St. NW. The captivating footage, shot from Halleran’s helmet, offers a rare firsthand glimpse at some of the tactics firefighters use to extinguish fires.
“We always talk about as a crew bringing the pieces of the puzzle together, and this video does a great job of showing that,” Halleran said.
Halleran said he and other firefighters had seen videos shot from helmet cameras on the Internet, and they got permission from Fire Department administrators to try it themselves.
Firefighters agree that the video will be a very valuable training tool in Cedar Rapids, and possibly other jurisdictions. Halleran called it a “textbook” firefight.
“The big thing we talk about in training is having a coordinated attack,” Halleran said. “Now, you actually have the visuals and the audio.”
Fire Department spokesman Greg Buelow said no medical calls would ever be filmed. He said the helmet camera might be rolling again in the future, if the administration approves.
Buelow said some people who watch the video may question the firefighters’ strategy, but he cautioned any rush to judgment. He said firefighters are trained on how to coordinate the attack and must follow strict regulations.
“This is a great learning tool,” Buelow said. “I hope people appreciate it.”