Requiring Backup Cameras on LAFD Apparatus
Posted by Councilmember Englander on May 29, 2015 at 12:00 PM
Last week, the City Council unanimously approved my motion asking the Los Angeles Fire Department to provide analysis on the feasibility of requiring backup cameras and right turn cameras on newly purchased fire apparatus and the cost of installing these types of safety devices on apparatus currently in the fleet.
The apparatus maintained by the Fire Department (LAFD) are the largest vehicles in the City's fleet, and care must be taken when backing them up, making turns, or maneuvering through crowds, in order to ensure that emergency personnel can arrive on scene in a safe manner. The size of these apparatus, as well as the locations of blind spots, can make this a dangerous task, especially if individuals behind or around an apparatus are unaware that it is going to move.
As technology improves, it is important for the City to adapt in ways that improve service delivery and safety. Over the last few years, there have been remarkable technological advancements in side and rear facing cameras for all types of vehicles, including fire apparatus. The addition of this type of safety equipment enables an operator to clearly see what is around them and nearly eliminates blind spots. This technology gives fire personnel operating apparatus the ability to efficiently maneuver their apparatus in a safe manner, in all types of environments. In addition to cameras, microphones and loudspeakers connected to apparatus can enable fire personnel to quickly alert individuals around the apparatus when it is going to move.
The Los Angeles Fire Department started outfitting its fire engines with backup cameras in 2005. Today, half of all fire vehicles are equipped with cameras and the Department continues to work toward retrofitting all trucks and ambulances with the lifesaving technology. The report back will include cost estimates and an installation schedule for implementing this technology on all apparatus currently in the fleet.
- Mitchell Englander, Councilmember Twelfth District