Body worn cameras
Body worn cameras SCDF/ Facebook

Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) paramedics will be wearing body-worn cameras (BWC) from Friday, February 1 while attending medical cases. This decision was taken to improve the quality and effectiveness of the SCDF's emergency medical services.

As per a statement, the authority said on Thursday that the BWC, which is a device worn over the ear, will be rolled out to all the paramedics by 2020.

The SCDF said that "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" the crew of emergency medical services and the patients.

In addition, they said that in the longer term, it intends to incorporate live-streaming abilities into the cameras, which will allow doctors off-site to medical advice to those paramedics, attending complex cases. But, in certain situations, such as in maternity cases, paramedics will be able to stop recording the procedure.

Assistant Commissioner Yazid Abdullah, who is the director of the SCDF's medical department said that the cameras are part of the efforts to use technology to enhance the emergency ambulance operations as well as to improve the outcome of the process.

He added that at the same time, SCDF has put "in place robust control measures to regulate the use of the body-worn cameras and the recorded data."

Initially, only a few authorised officials will be allowed to handle the collection, storage and use of the data.

"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," the statement added.