SCDF Paramedics To Be Equipped With Body-Worn Cameras
31 January 2019
From 1 February 2019, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics will be progressively equipped with Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs). SCDF expects to roll out the BWCs to all paramedics by 2020. The BWC is a compact device worn over the ear.
The use of the BWCs will improve the quality and effectiveness of SCDF’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS). SCDF will use the BWC recordings for coaching and training purposes. The recordings will also be used to help SCDF fine-tune its medical procedures. The BWCs will help provide for greater accountability with regard to the interactions between ambulance crew members and EMS patients. In the long term, SCDF intends to incorporate live-streaming capabilities into the BWCs, which will allow off-site doctors to provide medical advice to paramedics attending to complex cases on the ground, where necessary.
Paramedics will stop recording in certain situations to respect the privacy of patients, such as maternity cases.
SCDF has put in place strict controls and protocols to manage the use of the BWCs, and to safeguard the use, collection and storage of the recorded data. Only authorised personnel will be allowed to handle the collection, storage and use of the data. Any access to the data will be logged to enable audit checks. The data will been crypted for added security. SCDF will also ensure that the data is deleted after 90 days from the date of recording, unless there is justification to retain it, for example to assist Police investigations. Any officer who misuses the BWCs or data will be dealt with severely.
Assistant Commissioner Yazid Abdullah, Director of SCDF’s Medical Department said: “The deployment of BWCs will allow SCDF to deliver better medical care and accountability to patients. This is part of our efforts to use technology to enhance our emergency ambulance operations and improve patient outcomes. At the same time, we have put in place robust control measures to regulate the use of the BWCs and the recorded data”.