Firefighters in West Yorkshire are to be fitted with body-worn video cameras (BWV) in a pilot scheme.

The pilot scheme has been introduced by West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service with the aim of “overtly capturing video and audio during the course of duty”.

Cameras supplied by Excelerate will be worn by volunteers in a range of roles, including active fire prevention teams, in an effort to both improve operational decision making and reduce what WYFRS described as an increasing number of anti-social behaviour incidents directed towards firefighters.

More than 930 firefighters in England were attacked while on duty in the last 12 months according to latest National Fire Chiefs Council statistics, an annual increase of 4 per cent.

WYFRS area manager for operations support Dave Teggart said “There’s a number of reasons we have decided to trial the use of BWV. Having the recordings of incidents will help us learn from the practices we use and improve operational decision making.

“It will assist us after incidents with learning and development for our staff, plus capture events that can provide evidence to our fire investigation team, and possibly be used for prevention, or educational messages. We’re also hoping it will have a positive impact on anti-social behaviour, and increase the confidence of our staff who know they are recording any incidents in front of them.”

The move from WYFRS follows the introduction of BWV technology by Cleveland FRS in 2018 and investment in drone technology by Avon FRS earlier this year.

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Author: Richard Hook