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San Francisco Fire Chief Bans Helmet-Mounted Cameras For Firefighters 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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San Francisco Fire Chief Bans Helmet-Mounted Cameras For Firefighters

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  • by sl4shd0rk ( 755837 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @04:20PM (#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

  • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @04:20PM (#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: []

    However, when they are not at fault, the videos are available to me right away and without question: []

  • by Kazoo the Clown ( 644526 ) on Tuesday August 20, 2013 @04:29PM (#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.
  • by kermidge ( 2221646 ) on Wednesday August 21, 2013 @05:34AM (#44628257) Journal

    "Troops are stationed in friendly countries simply because they are within striking distance of unfriendly countries." is the nut of it.

    In the main, I think that it's likely past time to bring the bulk of our European forces back, but I'm not a military planner, just someone who's been curious about the situation, nothing more.

    Historically, for the length of the Cold War, everyone's eyes were on the Fulda Gap. The calculus was always the same: The Gap, territory for time, attrition, 30 days. Thirty days for Europe to hold until US could get the bulk of their armor and all the rest in place. (It was ironic in a way that after the fall of the Wall, when ex-Soviet planners were much more free for a while to speak with their Western counterparts, that we learned they'd spent more time thinking about defending than adventuring.)

    Unless one thinks that, given the spate of comments coming out of Putin's Russia for instance, we again have to consider the Gap as a real possibility.

    I got into thinking more on this simply because during the Fifties, living outside of Augsburg, my Dad would get a phone call or a driver with holstered .45 would appear at the door, and he'd be gone for four days to a week. These were not, so far as I or my mother knew, planned exercises. (Parents talk, children listen and compare notes.) A few times we stayed home from school and waited with a packed suitcase. So I got a bit more interested in later years about some of this.

    So, anyway, time to come home. Drones, strategic strikes, reaction forces, airlift, and pre-positioned stores should likely handle the rest, this amateur thinks.

"Well, social relevance is a schtick, like mysteries, social relevance, science fiction..." -- Art Spiegelman