Firefighters Use Helmet Cam Video As Training Tool in Bucks County
By Todd Quinones
BRISTOL Twp., Pa., (CBS) — In what is apparently a growing trend, more and more firefighters are wearing cameras as they respond to fires.
It is some of the most intense firefighting video you’ll see.
Firefighters up on the roof of the Racquet Club Apartments in Levittown last summer surrounded by smoke and flames (See Previous Story).
It was all recorded last summer by a camera attached to John Shipp’s helmet.
The four-alarm fire was an early test for his camera that was built to withstand the heat from superheated gasses in fires.
“It’s a high heat camera especially made for and designed by firefighters,” Lt. John Shipp said.
The 23-year-old Lieutenant is with the Third District Fire Company of Bristol Township.
He spent $200 of his own money to buy the camera.
His camera was rolling again early Easter Sunday morning.
He and fellow volunteers battled this house fire on Plumtree Road.
Chief Ray Finnell sees the camera as a training tool.
“It helps us critique the calls, what did we do right, what did we do wrong, what can we do better,” Chief Finnell said.
The cause of Sunday’s fire is under investigation.
Bristol Township Fire Marshal Kevin Dippolito says firefighters wearing cameras can provide clues to track down how a fire started.
“To see where the fire was located, where it was traveling, what was the smoke condition at the time of their arrival,” Dippolito said.
The camera is the size of a small flashlight and it turns on with just the press of a button.
Chief Finnell says in Bucks County alone in the past year he’s seen about a dozen firefighters wearing a helmet camera.