San Francisco Chief Bans Helmet Cameras after Airline Crash

Ban on video cameras comes after images from Asiana Airlines crash are shown

 

 
 
 

| Monday, August 19, 2013


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — 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.

JEMS Asiana Airlines Crash Coverage

Hayes-White told the San Francisco Chronicle that she is concerned about the privacy of victims and firefighters.

"There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount, of greater importance than having a video," she said.

The footage recorded by Battalion Chief Mark Johnson's helmet camera shows a Fire Department truck running over 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan while she was lying on the tarmac covered with fire-retardant foam.

Two other passengers died and 180 people were injured when the South Korean airlines' Boeing 777 clipped a seawall while approaching the runway and caught fire.

Images from the video were published in the San Francisco Chronicle, which reported that the footage indicates that Johnson had not been told that Ye was on the ground.

San Francisco police, the San Mateo County coroner and the National Transportation Safety Board are reviewing the footage.

Hayes-White said her 2009 ban on video cameras in facilities was meant to include emergency scenes, but critics inside and outside of the department question the timing.

"The department seems more concerned with exposure and liability than training and improving efficiency," Battalion Chief Kevin Smith told the newspaper. "Helmet cams are the wave of the future — they can be used to improve communication at incidents between firefighters and commanders."

The attorney for Ye's family also criticized the decision.

"Why would anybody not want to know the truth?" asked Anthony Tarricone.

Hayes-White said she's concerned that the fire department could be liable for violating privacy laws. Houston and Baltimore also ban the use of helmet cameras.

"There's a lot of concern related to privacy rights and the city taping without a person being aware of it while responding to medical calls," she said. "A lot of information is sensitive."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Mobile Category: 
News


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, video, San Francisco, public image

 
What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

NAEMT: Transforming EMS

A look inside at the Mobile Healthcare Paramedic system.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Austin-Travis County Community Health Paramedic Program

Overview of program provides operation and referral details.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Flight Paramedic’s Perfect Weekend

Carilion Lifeguard Flight Paramedic shares what would make his perfect weekend.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Honolulu EMS Pilot Program

New program tests change in shift schedule for EMTs and Paramedics.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Numerous Rescues during Arizona Flooding

Severe flooding across the region prompted several rescues.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Colorado Hiker Rescue

Injured hiker spent three hours in a crevice.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Airlift at Swiss Train Derailment

Helicopters used to help reach the injured.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >