Western Cape ambulance crews to get live-streaming body cams for safety

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The Western Cape plans to equip its ambulance crews with live-streaming video cameras monitored at a central location by operators who can dispatch an "an appropriate support service" when needed, says a Business Insider report. Such body-worn cameras are popular among police forces around the world, who use the systems to investigate claims of police brutality or other abuses by their officers, and in the prosecution of suspects.

But for its emergency medical services (EMS) workers, the overriding need is security, says the Western Cape government. "The procurement of a suitable body-cam (with GPS and panic alert) is an action on the EMS safety plan within the technology focus section," said Deanna Bessick, the communications officer for EMS and the forensic pathology service in the province.

"The application is a response to the ongoing attacks on EMS personnel."

The report says by mid-August the Western Cape had recorded 42 attacks on EMS crews – an increase of 12 on the previous full year. In some areas ambulances are routinely accompanied by police, only to have those escorts attacked, with medical workers caught in the crossfire.

The cameras it envisages using will use a video buffer of at least two minutes, to record the lead up to an event trigger, with night-vision capability and a 143-degree field of view.

 

Full Business Insider report

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