Fire Chief Bans Helmet Cameras



Asiana Airlines crash.

SAN FRANCISCO—A city-wide ban on all San Francisco firefighters from capturing video while attending to on-the-scene emergencies was issued by San Francisco Fire Chief, Joanne Hayes-White in the aftermath of the Asiana Airlines crash.

The crash which occurred at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, included videos and photos that have surfaced on the internet from first-responders and even the victims themselves sharing footage of the catastrophic event.

Critics have pointed the finger at the SFFD for violating the privacy of the plane crash victims and pointed at Battalion Chief Mark Johnson’s helmet camera. The video showed footage of 16-year-old Ye Meng Yuan, reportedly covered with fire-retardant foam and unseen to the firefighter, as she was run over by a fire department rig.

Chief Johnson was head in command of the firefighters and rescue teams, which have raised questions about the orders given to the fire department that lead up to Ye’s death. The National Transportation Safety Board are still closely looking into Ye’s death. The San Mateo County Coroner did report that Ye was alive at the time she was hit.

Firefighters and paramedics nation-wide, rely on helmet-cameras as a training device for firefighters and providing pre-hospital emergency care of a patient for paramedics. The city of San Francisco will join the list of other U.S.cities that have banned helmet cameras next to Houston and Baltimore to protect the privacy rights of victims.

By Alice Perez