News from Tony Arbour: London Fire Brigade video streaming app could improve response
New technology could better inform & speed up emergency responses
London Fire Brigade could improve its response to major incidents with a mobile app that allows eyewitnesses to stream live video footage to the control room, a new report shows.
Streaming technology has already been trialled by West Midlands Fire Service and similar apps are currently used in Sacramento, California, and Victoria, Australia.
A new report by Tony Arbour shows the app could quickly direct the most appropriate response to the exact location of a live incident and may help in the investigative process afterwards.
The proposed app could be downloaded by any user but the video streaming element would only be initiated by the control room operator. If the caller did not have the app, the operator could send them a link via text message to initiate the video call.
Modern mobile technology provides substantial benefits that are yet to be fully embraced by the emergency services. This mobile app would enable reliable, accurate information about the type and scale of an incident to reach the control room in real time, speeding up the appropriate response and potentially saving lives. It is clearly a sensible idea to utilise helpful technology that is so readily available and the Mayor of London should be encouraging the creation and adoption of a London-specific app for our city’s fire service.
West Midlands Fire Service began looking into the streaming technology after just one crew was sent to a warehouse fire that ended up needing 200 firefighters and causing £6million worth of damage. A lack of information in the initial 999 call was blamed.
The report recommends the Mayor of London holds a competition among app developers to design London-specific software.
The app could also be used to report non-emergency fire risks and contain useful information such as the location of fire stations.