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San Francisco Fire Chief Bans Helmet-Mounted Cameras For Firefighters

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the politics-trumps-truth dept.

Privacy 209

New submitter niftymitch sends this quote from an article at SFGate: "San Francisco's fire chief has explicitly banned firefighters from using helmet-mounted video cameras after images from a battalion chief's Asiana Airlines crash recording became public and led to questions about first responders' actions leading up to a fire rig running over a survivor. ... Filming the scene may have violated both firefighters' and victims' privacy, Hayes-White said, trumping whatever benefit came from knowing what the footage shows. 'There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount, of greater importance than having a video,' Hayes-White said. Critics, including some within the department, questioned the chief's order and its timing — coming as Johnson's footage raised the possibility of Fire Department liability in the death of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan. .. [Battalion Chief Kevin Smith, president of the employee group that includes Johnson, said,] 'The department seems more concerned with exposure and liability than training and improving efficiency. Helmet cams are the wave of the future - they can be used to improve communication at incidents between firefighters and commanders.'"

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Hah (5, Insightful)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#44622815)

Since when did government care about the right to privacy?

Re:Hah (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622873)

When it became so very important to them...when using it to justify not having any record or documentation of their misdeeds.

Just like everything else people in power pretend to care about.

America! Fuck yeah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622909)

Back-to-back World War champs! Suck it, Eurotards!

America! Fuck yeah!

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622991)

You mean the wars you joined when they were half-fought by us and the russkies and the second time only when the germans had to declare war on you to join? Those wars?

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623033)

Next time we'll just leave you to it yourself, then.

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (-1, Offtopic)

zidium (2550286) | about a year ago | (#44623167)

+1 Oh, how I wish I had mod points!!

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (-1, Offtopic)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about a year ago | (#44623311)

Next time we'll just leave you to it yourself, then.

+1 Oh, how I wish I had mod points!!

...except that we all know that the USA absolutely won't leave it alone. As the USA has anointed itself the global top cop, defender of *freedom*, and great tutor of democracy and super-de-duper gubment, it can't help BUT get involved.

Never mind minor matters such as the Military Indu$trial Complex....

mod points, shmod points: keep your stick on the ice, and your head out of your ass.

cheers,

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623249)

Next time we'll just leave you to it yourself, then.

Except you don't really want to.
We still have that fucking useless NATO thing going on. The US's beachhead into Europe.
We still have thousands of fucking american military personal, and the sixth fleet in Europe.
We still have nuclear american submarines and nuclear warheads stationed in Italy.

Oh how I wish we could kick the americans out of Europe.

But the reality is this, European leaders are fucking scared of building a real European army so we hide ourselves under you fucking americans. And the Americans really don't want to let go of Europe because a unified Europe could pose a strategic threat to the US. Divide et Impera.

Re: America! Fuck yeah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623295)

Enjoy not paying for a military of your own or kindly shut the Fuck up.

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623353)

"Oh how I wish we could kick the americans out of Europe."

Yes well this may or may not be news to you Euroweenie. I wish we would pull our assets out of all of these places too and do it dammned soon as I am sick and fucking tired of paying for your defense. Time for you to start paying your own way.

How do you like that?

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (-1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44623495)

thousands of fucking american military personal,

I see the AC's problem already. No doubt his girlfriend found some of those fucking american personal more
attractive than his basement dwelling self.

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (0)

pupsocket (2853647) | about a year ago | (#44623597)

So I gather you Europeans find manacles of empire a bit, oh, humbling. Well, cheer up. These aren't manacles. India had manacles. Rhodesia. Egypt. Australia. Viet Nam. America today is a dog protecting Europe from its own violent adventures in Imperialism. Perhaps you were taught that disdain for the servants and thugs who do your dirty work is a sign of high breeding? Sorry, it's all ugly, and no one gets to claim nobility.

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (2, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#44623707)

America today is a dog protecting Europe from its own violent adventures in Imperialism.

America is protecting Europe from American violent adventures in imperialism?

Re:America! Fuck yeah! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623093)

Yes, the ones we joined after you Eurotards were getting your asses kicked and you begged us to save you.

Re:Hah (3, Insightful)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#44623127)

They only care about it when it shows their incompetence or leads to a lawsuit.

Re:Hah (4, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#44623241)

Since when is having a camera for private recording a privacy issue? It's the stupid act of sharing those images publicly that they should be worried about.

Re:Hah (4, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44623595)

Since when is having a camera for private recording a privacy issue? It's the stupid act of sharing those images publicly that they should be worried about.

The wearer was a a public official performing his public duty, and even if it was his own camera, documentation of the event would immediately become evidence once the coroner determines the girl was alive when run-over. Withholding or destroying evidence is also a crime.

Also there is nothing in the story saying it was a private recording. Its likely the fire department purchased the cams.

Re:Hah (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#44623713)

What I meant was - it's not for public broadcast.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623781)

Those cameras would become unwelcome as soon as recordings were used to prove a citizen was involved in illegal activity or was otherwise culpable for damage or injury from an event. Too many people cry foul over having cameras in public recording their actions and you want to mount one on firefighters, whose job sometimes involves breaking doors down without need of a warrant?

I guess... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623357)

when they say "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear" only applies to us private citizens. What's good for the goosed is not, they're arguing good for their gander, and so ironically, they want to hide behind "privacy".

We must respect the privacy of the girl who was run over by the fire truck, (or future victims like her, more to the point) by NOT recording events that could facilitate knowing how she died, or how to prevent other such tragedies in the future. Apparently her 'right to privacy' trumps the right of society for justice, or government accountability, (including government employees).

By this same piss-poor argument, I'm sure a number of people in the LAPD wished someone had respected Rodney King's PRIVACY by not videotaping his brutal beating and (let's face fact, folks,) attempted murder by LAPD thugs... how much better things would be not only for Rodney King, (who would consequently have been denied justice... oh, wait...) but no one would even know the full extent of what happened unless they happened to be there personally.

Someone please make sure whoever is San Francisco's fire chief's boss hears this argument, or THAT person's boss, etc., that this is just a step in the direction of banning video footage being taken AT ALL, with the attendant even free-er reign on the part of government and their employees to misbehave while being paid to do what for want of a better word, let's just call THEIR JOBS.

Re:Hah (1, Redundant)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44623473)

Since when did government care about the right to privacy?

Exactly.

I think its probably time for the State Fire Marshal or other public safety official to step in and MANDATE the cameras on chief's helmets (at the very least) and essentially over-rule this guy before he starts a trend.

This is clearly ass-covering and nothing to do with privacy.

Re:Hah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623771)

As a volunteer firefighter that has worked around paid and volunteer members, I can see why a chief wouldn't want firefighters to have cameras. So much time is spent with everyone wandering around, screwing off, and not getting things done. The problem lies in micromanagement. Firefighters know how to fight fire and get things under control, but the white helmets want to play it safe to the degree of nothing ever getting finished.

Re:Hah (2)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44623795)

"Privacy of the victim" seems really desperate.

You know, because the person who was killed is SUPER concerned about postmortem privacy.

Why is it all brains evaporate when it comes to liability? Take reasonable steps and be reasonably safe. You can't avoid all lawsuits. Accidents happen.

I swear, paranoia that the lawyers are going to get you has cost this nation almost as much as paranoia over terrorists.

It is ALL about liability. (5, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | about a year ago | (#44622825)

This is all about not creating evidence that could cost the government money.

Re:It is ALL about liability. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622907)

That costs taxpayers money.

Re:It is ALL about liability. (5, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#44622971)

We only spend future money. Take that, kids!

Re:It is ALL about liability. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623277)

This is all about not creating evidence that could cost the government money.

I think you mean tax payer money, because that's who foots the bill.

Re:It is ALL about liability. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44623465)

This is all about not creating evidence that could cost the government money.

I think you mean loaned Chinese and Global Banking Cartel money, because that's who foots the bill.

FTFY. Our government hasn't been able to cover their tab with just taxes for a long, long time.

Privacy for the government? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622845)

No, you don't understand. The people have privacy, not government officials acting in their official capacity. The firefighter has no expectation of privacy when they are performing their official duties. This camera ban seems like an attempt to jump on the wave of NSA hate in order to provide cover for future incompetence.

Re:Privacy for the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622889)

Ding Ding! We have a winner! Thank you Captain Obvious!

Re:Privacy for the government? (4, Insightful)

aitikin (909209) | about a year ago | (#44623149)

Yes, but if I'm sleeping naked in my bedroom and my house is on fire and a firefighter comes in to rescue me, I sure as hell do not want footage of me naked being in government computers. This would fall under MY privacy or the individual who the government agent is trying to save's privacy. I'd say that, in general, emergency response (firefighters and paramedics), really probably shouldn't be filming everything.

Re:Privacy for the government? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623211)

Why? Are you deformed, or only have one testicle or something?

Re:Privacy for the government? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44623805)

I'm going to assume AC was making a clever, subtle parody of the “You don't need privacy if you're not doing anything wrong” mentality here.

Re:Privacy for the government? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623431)

Even if this is your position a thermal imaging camera would hide your identity and still be valuable to the firemen. The nudity might be noticeable, but the identity would largely be protected.

Re:Privacy for the government? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623539)

Really? Because when my house is on fire they're allowed to point their helmet cams at my dick as far as I'm concerned, as long as they point the water hose at my house!

Re:Privacy for the government? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623545)

um. The firefighters are going to see you. If you're that worried about it wear pajamas.

I'm glad that they were filming (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623555)

Seven FOIA requests and a wad of cash, and I was able to see my autistic son being abused by government employees.

I am grateful for the cameras.

Re:Privacy for the government? (4, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | about a year ago | (#44623819)

Yes, but if I'm sleeping naked in my bedroom and my house is on fire and a firefighter comes in to rescue me, I sure as hell do not want footage of me naked being in government computers. This would fall under MY privacy or the individual who the government agent is trying to save's privacy. I'd say that, in general, emergency response (firefighters and paramedics), really probably shouldn't be filming everything.

And what if you felt the firefighter did something very inappropriate when they found you naked and you were looking for proof?

To an extent the current issue is that the tech is immature and departments are doing their own ad-hoc deployments.

Done properly the video stored on the memory card is encrypted and access to the keys is strictly controlled. The only way anything gets decrypted is in response to a court order or at least an official logged procedure so neither officers or the public have to worry about random people snooping through the videos.

Re:Privacy for the government? (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#44623635)

This camera ban seems like an attempt to jump on the wave of NSA hate in order to provide cover for future incompetence.

Nothing to do with the NSA, as banning filming in fire department "Facilities" has been banned since 2009. (Probably if you follow that back to the source you will find someone got sued for something that was filmed in a fire station.

Cops have been trying to suppress filming of their actions long before the NSA scandal broke.

This is strictly a liability issue.

They should probaly go back to horse drawn (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622847)

fire trucks too. Seeing as how when a modern rig is used improperly, people can get hurt.

In Other News ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622857)

... the NSA is pushing for those cameras to be required and the data provided to the NSA. The NSA swears the footage recorded is absolutely necessary to better understand terrorist threats and stop the next 911.

If privacy is what matters (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622897)

If privacy is what matters, then require that any firefighter with a camera keep the memory locked in a secure location at the station. Simply banning the cameras, especially after this incident, requires that they don't want to be subject to turning over any evidence. It's class CYA, plain and simple. I don't know who has the power to argue against this. These guys are union; but the union reps can surely see that such things might be used against them as well. They'll probably go along with the ban. The politicians are paid by the unions. Nobody really stands for the people here the way I see it. The people would, IMHO, best be served by having as much information as possible provided that it's properly secured, which is really not that hard to do.

Re:If privacy is what matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623231)

Dammit. I got spell-checked into oblivion again. "requires that they don't" should be "IMPLIES that they don't" and "It's class CYA" should be "It's CLASSIC CYA".

I really need to pay attention to what I'm typing and not assume that a lack of red-lines means it's OK. I think we've all been there.

Re:If privacy is what matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623319)

yeh they should be work keeping the video private if that is their concern, the problem is that they know that for every camera there is 10 ambulance chasing layers looking to make a payday

I get to bust this one out again. (5, Insightful)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#44622913)

Fuck you, you fucking fucks!

The only reason you could want to ban cameras is to hide your mistakes. You have no expectation of privacy in public, especially when you're working to protect and serve the public. If anything, this shows why cameras should be MANDATORY . With cameras on every responder and 360 degrees of coverage from the top of every vehicle. If you screw up, you need to know it, determine liability, see what led to the mistake(s), and develop ways to avoid screwing up like that in the future.

SF's fire chief needs a swift kick in the groin.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44623039)

Given that a firefighters' job description includes "Rush into assorted private buildings with all due speed and an axe because they are on fire and/or contain somebody the paramedics are performing emergency maintenance on" there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about the process for handling some of the footage they generate (I, for one, would be deeply vexed if somebody's helmet-cam of 'sleepy-looking guy runs out of house in underwear' turned me into a youtube star...); but the notion that those concerns rise to the level of banning cameras seems like transparent CYA, especially given the training utility of having a record of past fuckups to work with.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623273)

"The training utility of having a record of past fuckups to work with" has nothing to do with any of this.
They're worried about video being released publicly, whether for the reasons they give or those the critics claim.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about a year ago | (#44623441)

Fuck-ups seem like a thing that will happen. There's not a lot of standard shit in a burning building; you're dealing with a lot of non-standard, not-to-code things like doors that are jammed into warped frames and on fire.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44623739)

That would be why having field video would seem like a useful training tool: not because you can eliminate 100% of error; but because you don't want Joe The New Guy to encounter any more totally unexpected things than necessary, under conditions where fast responses count.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about a year ago | (#44623837)

(I, for one, would be deeply vexed if somebody's helmet-cam of 'sleepy-looking guy runs out of house in underwear' turned me into a youtube star...

There is a ton of absolute inane shit that is on youtube, but I think even youtubers wouldn't be too interested in that.

Now if your underwear was on fire while that happened, or got hit in the nuts, yeah, they'd probably eat that up.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#44623045)

You have no expectation of privacy in public, especially when you're working to protect and serve the public.

It's a good thing firefighters never go into private buildings to take care of sensitive matters like medical care.

Oh wait...

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (2, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44623229)

Under HIPPA, such video recording is not illegal. However it must be treated as protected patient information if the patient can be identified from the video. It is what happens to that video that can land the person responsible in legal hot water.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623375)

You'll understand if I don't accept advice about HIPAA from someone who can't even get the acronym right.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year ago | (#44623377)

I'm not saying that the policy is good or bad.

My parent, however, was saying that there's no privacy concern at all, which of course is complete BS.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (2)

flink (18449) | about a year ago | (#44623783)

Under HIPPA, such video recording is not illegal. However it must be treated as protected patient information if the patient can be identified from the video. It is what happens to that video that can land the person responsible in legal hot water.

You are making the assumption that the firefighter is a HIPAA covered entity, and that the video of them performing their duty constitutes a medical record. Both of those are pretty big assumptions.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | about a year ago | (#44623313)

It's a good thing the footage from these helmet-mounted cameras is posted to YouTube in real-time. That means there's no time for the chief and the appropriate members of the city's legal department to review the footage and choose what to release to the public and/or the news media, what to hold onto in case of legal action against the city and/or the fire department or to use as training footage, and what to erase.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44623567)

It also means that any privacy violations (or HIPAA violations, as mentioned above), go live without anyone having a chance to review beforehand.

This sword, it has 2 edges.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | about a year ago | (#44623079)

I was thinking of more of a 2x4 to the groin but if one is wearing those fancy firefighter boots that would be acceptable as well.

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (4, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | about a year ago | (#44623117)

I have repeatedly requested camera views from publicly owned but privately operated buses in the southern suburbs of the Minneapolis/St Paul metro area.

These cameras exist both inside and outside of the buses but whenever an issue arises which negatively impact the bus drivers or the system itself, the camera feeds are unavailable, usually due to some sort of unknown malfunction: http://www.lazylightning.org/bus-2-0-directs-mvta-driver-onto-dirt-shoulder [lazylightning.org]

However, when they are not at fault, the videos are available to me right away and without question: http://www.lazylightning.org/mvta-rider-alleges-racism-over-bus-incident [lazylightning.org]

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623121)

All you'll do, is get a lot of people into hot water, regardless whether they deserve it or not, while the others will let buildings burn and people die to check and see if they're doing everything by the book.

Thing is ... the fire departments worked fine so far, what's changed? Don't they have anything else to pick on? Do the firemen taser people to death, break into homes and destroy property just because they can?

As for privacy ... well, let's see what you say when you get a way from a burning building with half your face melted off and newspapers use your picture to sell their story. After all ... you "have no expectation of privacy in public", right?

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (2)

Andy Somnifac (971725) | about a year ago | (#44623129)

You have no expectation of privacy in public

No, but the public they are rescuing from a private burning building do. Or should they be dressed in their best dinner attire, in the event that they may require emergency assistance?

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623415)

Isn't that why Grandma always said to wear clean underwear?

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623179)

Determining liability is useless, what's more important is understanding and avoiding errors in the future, that's why black boxes are installed in planes. I thought that the "just culture" instead of the "blame culture" so important in aeronautics would leak to the airport firefighting units but evidently it did not...

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#44623265)

Exactly. The only screw up is that someone made this public. They should be focusing on that!

Re:I get to bust this one out again. (3, Informative)

thomst (1640045) | about a year ago | (#44623549)

jtownatpun.net snarled:

The only reason you could want to ban cameras is to hide your mistakes.

Yep. And that that's the reason behind the imbecile SF Fire Chief's ban is so obvious that she's already walking it back [sfgate.com] .

Can you say "Streisand Effect", anybody?"

Yeah, this is a cliche (5, Informative)

Cro Magnon (467622) | about a year ago | (#44622961)

If you don't have anything to hide, why are you against cameras?

Curious ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622985)

'There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount, of greater importance than having a video,'

Funny how only the privacy of policemen and firefighters seems to get serious consideration, while the rest of us can eat shit.

It's especially ironic when the cops do it.

Re:Curious ... (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about a year ago | (#44623291)

There is nothing ironic about those in authority attempting to protect their interests... In fact, just the opposite, I'd be more suspicious if they became truly transparent as a cynical ploy to diffuse the anger against them. They want to make you comfortable with being spied on.

They changed their minds (4, Informative)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year ago | (#44622987)

They (partially) backtracked and may allow cameras:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SFFD-backtracks-may-allow-helmet-cameras-4744090.php [sfgate.com]

In an apparent about-face, San Francisco Fire Department officials said Monday they will revisit restrictions on firefighters' use of helmet-mounted cameras after concluding that footage from the Asiana Airlines crash showed the value of the devices.

Re:They changed their minds (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44623103)

Members of the department are still forbidden to refer to bumper-mounted cameras on any department vehicles as 'the squish cam'.

Re:They changed their minds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623351)

Or the tire mounted splatt! cam... From its POV the world is pink, nothing else, just... pink...

so to prevent lawsuit (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44622995)

HAHA - the victim family sue the ass off the city of San Francisco, so now they have to banned the head cam?

This news is already out of date: (5, Informative)

cryptomancer (158526) | about a year ago | (#44623025)

"In an apparent about-face, San Francisco Fire Department officials said Monday they will revisit restrictions on firefighters' use of helmet-mounted cameras after concluding that footage from the Asiana Airlines crash showed the value of the devices."

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SFFD-backtracks-may-allow-helmet-cameras-4744090.php [sfgate.com]

Re:This news is already out of date: (1)

Beorytis (1014777) | about a year ago | (#44623335)

Good. A sensible decision.

Now the best way to handle the case of Ye Meng Yuan, if SF first responders did in fact accidentaly run her over, is with some kind of restorative justice [wikipedia.org] : Apologize to her family for the accident that happened while working to rescue others. Offer restitution and acknowledge that it is not meant to replace the young woman who is now gone.

They're already walking this back... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623029)

They are "rethinking"...
http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/SFFD-backtracks-may-allow-helmet-cameras-4744090.php

Make Hayes-White the new DNI (1)

Eternal Vigilance (573501) | about a year ago | (#44623057)

"There comes a time that privacy of the individual is paramount" - Joanne Hayes-White

Joanne Hayes-White and James Clapper should trade jobs.

Police and fire should be recorded constantly (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | about a year ago | (#44623059)

For their protection and ours.

Police more than firemen obviously.

Interpretation of the law for beginners (4, Interesting)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | about a year ago | (#44623113)

laws for government:
smashed your hard drives?
We protected public from chinese data theft!

cell phone stolen by cops while recording cops?
We need it for evidence!

no manslaughter charges for fire chief throttle spaz?
We need to protect your privacy and ours!

laws for citizens
intentionally smashed someones hard drives?
felony assault/reckless endangerment

stolen cell phone left at bar (Apple/Engadget fiasco)?
theft of lost property.

ran over someone at accident scene?
vehicular manslaughter
     

Not anymore (1)

SYSS Mouse (694626) | about a year ago | (#44623115)

Not (Go)Pro anymore...

Fireman's Helmet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623119)

I really don't want a camera strapped to my fireman's helmet, thank you very much. What?

heh heh, you said "invasion of privacy", heh heh (1)

Thud457 (234763) | about a year ago | (#44623573)

I really don't want a camera strapped to my fireman's helmet, thank you very much. What?

fine.

How about the police officer's?
Or the Indian Chief's "bonnet"?

Having a hard time coming up with a suitable double entendre for the Navy guy, so I'll just throw in the phrase "able bodied seaman" for no good reason.

Helmet cam and voice recording for the POTUS (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623181)

Here's an idea: require a helmet cam and a voice recording for the POTUS. 30 years after the person left office, make all recordings public. That's enough time for the secrets, but it will then let people and historians judge the POTUS.

Out of context (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623201)

Local news coverage had this yesterday. They were also clear to say that the ban was already in effect and that all the chief did was reiterate the existing ban that apparently some of the firefighters had been ignoring.

Rearranging the deck chairs... (3, Interesting)

Kazoo the Clown (644526) | about a year ago | (#44623219)

When cameras are outlawed, only outlaws will have cameras.

Doesn't it seem odd that while they're adding more cameras in the streets and using surveillance drones that they're also banning helmet cams? When will they start banning individual business security cameras-- when a police or fire or other government "mistake" is recorded by them? Welcome to the modern age, cameras are ubiquitous. If ANYTHING ought to be continuously recorded on video for posterity, it's GOVERNMENTAL activities.

The First Repsonders names were... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623245)

Whair deFyre
Safe T. First
Hook N. Ladda

It's true! I saw it on KTVU news!

Why not ban bad driving (2)

wiredlogic (135348) | about a year ago | (#44623297)

It would be more effective to ban stupid things like driving through the debris field.

Re:Why not ban bad driving (4, Insightful)

coyote_oww (749758) | about a year ago | (#44623613)

To get at fire inside the aircraft, positioning near the aircraft is necessary. They are going to have to move around.

The real issue is why a girl was left lying on the tarmac by first responders. The general rule is RECEO
Rescue - get any people to safety, first-aid as needed
Exposures - secure/protect any nearby structures or other risks
Confinment - prevent the spread of the fire, limit it's growth
Extinguish - put out the fire
Overhaul - go over the scene to ensure no remaining embers/restart risk, begin investigation

You did these things in this order, back in the day. Someone in need of rescue preempted putting out a fire. So, I would have expected a body on the ground to get priority attention. Someone(s) should have had her on a stretcher and away from the scene as quickly as possible, or at least posted a person to ensure she didn't come to further harm in the melee. Off-hand, it seems the excitement of the fire got priority. After she was covered in foam, it was near inevitable she'd get hit by something moving around the scene.

But firefighting rules have changed over the years, so what do i know. Wait for the investigation, then decide whether to get angry or not.

Re:Why not ban bad driving (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#44623843)

Are you sure that's a good idea? It might end up killing more people than it saves. What if it delays their arrival at the aircraft, and more people die as a result? Sometimes there are no good options, only a few bad options.

Privacy? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about a year ago | (#44623355)

Filming the scene may have violated both firefighters' and victims' privacy, ...

Since when are a firefighter's (or Police) actions done in the commission of their duties, especially in a public setting, private? Furthermore, since when are the victim's (or anyone's) public setting actions/circumstances private?

This is a simple debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44623483)

Firefighters have enough equipment to do their job, they don't need additional stuff to get in the way. Also, a camera would require a battery and running into a burning building with a battery is not wise. They should have cameras as a tool, to use where needed. I would say having one required on the clothing is stupid.

Maybe for liability, but I agree (2)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about a year ago | (#44623541)

The last thing I want to see is some "lol cool" video of firefighters trudging through the burning ruins of my life. I think it's bad enough that 911 calls are made public. Those calls are made in desperate, personal times in a victim's life and they get turned into reality tv for the Nancy Grace's of the media. No need to add video to the soundtrack of my life in flames.

Public Servant rights (1)

worldthinker (536300) | about a year ago | (#44623583)

Public Servants in the performance of their duties in public should not expect privacy and indeed should expect that their behavior, demeanor and performance is subject to the public's scrutiny.

My favorite quote... (2)

halexists (2587109) | about a year ago | (#44623627)

by Upton Sinclair applies here:

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

Wi Ronnim Doun (2)

dclozier (1002772) | about a year ago | (#44623651)

Is that a KTVU confirmed driver's name? :D

It's not so simple... (3, Insightful)

linuxwrangler (582055) | about a year ago | (#44623665)

As others have pointed out, the original story is very out-of-date and ignores the fact that the policy has been in-place for a long time.

Privacy vs. public access is not completely black and white. Just a few issues that could be reasonably debated (not on the Interwebs, of course, where no reasonable debate occurs) are:

Should firefighters be rescuing people and fighting fires or d*cking around with their GoPro to get cool Youtube videos?

As medical responders, what about HIPPA? Does a person have the right to call for help secure in the knowledge that the rescuer won't be spreading helmet-cam footage of their nude mangled body across the Internet or news?

I see some similar issues with radio traffic and release of 911 recordings. While I enjoy checking the local goings-on with a scanner I wonder if "...respond to 1234 Main Apartment 3 for a 34 year old female suicide attempt via overdose..." is broadcasting just a bit too much personal medical info.

And don't get me started on search-warrants. The cops *love* to issue press-releases about all the stuff they have recovered even though nobody has been charged or convicted. A couple bricks of .22, a Playboy and the pills from your doctor are "drugs, pornography and thousands of rounds of ammunition" by the time it hits the blotter. It just a bit too much power to smear someone's reputation without trial for my taste.

There are better ways (2)

intermodal (534361) | about a year ago | (#44623677)

When I worked for a municipal department in Texas, we had policies concerning any and all video shot while on duty. First of all, cameras were to be carried by fire trucks. Whether they were helmet-mounted or not was actually kind of a silly question. Second, all photos or videos shot with during incidents had to be reviewed by officers before it could be used for any purpose. Third, and most importantly, it doesn't matter how many years you have been in the service, you keep yourself acutely aware of any cameras in your vicinity and ensure that you only do what you would not be embarrassed to see on the news tonight.

HIPPA (1)

taxtropel (637994) | about a year ago | (#44623709)

Any victim of a fire or other incident to which fire or ems respond are automatically protected by HIPPA. Posting of any video to the public would violate said patients' HIPPA rights.

No augmented reality (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44623731)

No augmented reality [youtube.com] for you my son.

can't do a cover up (1)

renegade600 (204461) | about a year ago | (#44623773)

helmet cams are being banned only because they could not cover up the fact that a fire truck ran over a girl. since there was proof of what happened, they could not lie out of it thus preventing a possible lawsuit.

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