Body-worn cameras are due to be in action throughout West Midlands Fire Service by early 2017. Seventy-five of the devices have been ordered from supplier Edesix, with training for the frontline firefighters who will use them expected to start before the end of the year. The cameras will be used by officers in charge of incident scenes. Footage will later be used to support learning and development, the sharing of best operational practice, plus fire prevention and safety activities.
Watch Commander Gemma McSweeney, who is managing the project, said, “We’re committed to operational excellence and providing the best possible response and service to the communities of the West Midlands. These cameras will play a key role in helping our firefighters and incident commanders be the best they can be.
“We believe we’re the first fire and rescue service in the country to be rolling out cameras to frontline crews and on this scale. Ten of our fire stations were involved in trial of various cameras, and their feedback helped to inform our decision to award the order to Edesix. We’re now finalising the training package for users and hope to start delivering the training by the end of this year.”
Councillor John Edwards, Chair of West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority, said, “We’re proud to be at the forefront of rolling out this technology. The cameras will help us to maintain excellent levels of service to the West Midlands. They will provide a valuable video resource to support learning and development and, ultimately, firefighter and public safety.”
Richie McBride, Managing Director of Edesix, added, “The use of body-worn cameras for identifying best practice and to complement training is fast becoming fundamental within our emergency services. We are pleased to be bringing these benefits to West Midlands Fire Service, and will be supporting the roll-out of this very exciting deployment over the coming months.”