SCDF paramedics to be equipped with Body-Worn Cameras from Feb. 1

Paramedics can stop recordings in some cases.

Zhangxin Zheng | January 31, 12:47 pm


Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics will be equipped with Body-Worn Cameras (BWCs) from Feb. 1, 2019 onwards.

The cameras will be implemented progressively, and all paramedics are expected to wear BWCs by 2020.

Image from SCDF

Improve emergency medical services

According to SCDF, the usage of BWCs is to improve the quality and effectiveness of their emergency medical services (EMS).

The BWC recordings will be used for training purposes and to help enhance accountability of paramedics, when interacting with patients.

However, the paramedics have the discretion to stop recordings in instances such as maternity cases to respect the privacy of the patients.

In the future, these BWCs might even have live-streaming capabilities to allow off-site doctors to provide prompt medical advice to paramedics attending to cases on the ground.

Measures to ensure data security

The SCDF also emphasised ‘strict controls and protocols’ to manage the use, collection, storage of BWCs and the recorded data.

Only authorised personnel can handle the recorded data and anyone who misuses BWCs or data will be dealt with severely.

The access to the data will be logged to facilitate audit checks.

The data will also be encrypted for added security and will be deleted after 90 days after recording.

Here’s the full text:

From tomorrow onwards, don’t be surprised if you see our paramedics wearing the Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) when attending to medical cases.

The use of these devices is part of our continuous efforts in improving our emergency medical services (EMS). The BWC recordings will be used for coaching and training purposes, and help us fine-tune our medical procedures. They will also help to provide greater accountability in the interaction between our EMS crew and the patients.

Of course, patients’ privacy is our top priority, for example, there will be no recording whatsoever in maternity cases. Strict controls are also put in place to safeguard the collection and storage of recorded data, and only authorised personnel are allowed to access these recordings. The data will be encrypted for added security, and will be deleted after 90 days from the date of recording. Any officer who misuses the BWC or its data will be dealt with severely.

We look forward to leveraging such technology to serve you better.

Top photo from SCDF 

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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