Helmet cameras add extra eyes to the MBFD - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Helmet cameras add extra eyes to the MBFD

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When it comes to saving your life, the Myrtle Beach Fire Department has an extra set of eyes on their helmets.

Fire Station One, has two cameras, which can attach to different helmets. The officer in charge at the structure fire wears one, to capture the action.

It's more than just a camera, it's a tool to help save more lives.

It gives you a chance to see a dangerous situation, from a firefighter's perspective. The idea is to show you the video, so you're extra vigilant about taking steps to prevent fires.

"Sometimes people don't understand how hard it is to see in a fire, especially for someone who's in a fire that's not a firefighter,” Myrtle Beach Fire Department Public Information Officer Christian Sliker said. "It gives more an idea of what it's like to be inside if you're not a firefighter, the threats and the dangers that you find inside of a fire it's unreal."

The video and audio are also recorded, so the fire chief and training staff can go back and watch it to learn from each scenario to be better prepared for the next fire.

"I turn around and think what can I do to help the next family so once they determine the cause of the fire I will turn around and try and find any kind of education I can to make sure it doesn't happen again,” Sliker said.

The Myrtle Beach Fire Department has helmet two cameras, firefighters have been using for about six months. According to Sliker, each camera can cost anywhere from $200-$500, depending on the model. The department just ordered new mounts for more helmets, with the goal to eventually get more cameras in the future.

These aren't the only cameras the department uses. The safety officers also strap on go pro's which have a wireless feed to an iPad so during a fire the battalion chief can get another view of a fire. Sliker said, this helps with safety, because if they see something questionable in a fire - like a roof about to collapse - they can radio the chief and ask for advice from his view.

Adding technology to the department means more eyes, bringing more awareness, ultimately saving more lives.

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