Control room operators to get live footage of fires from public’s phones to help save lives

Control room operators will soon be able to receive live footage from the public’s phones at the scene of a fire in Greater Manchester to help firefighters carry out their essential life-saving work.

From Monday (September 20), operators at North West Fire Control (NWFC) will be able to watch live footage streamed from members of the public’s mobile phones at incidents such as fires and use it to help inform how many Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) fire engines and other special appliances are mobilised to the scene. Following the first 999 calls and before firefighters arrive NWFC will be able to review footage from members of the public to make an initial decision on what officers and crews to mobilise.

The technology, called ‘999EYE’, will allow control room operators to assess the severity of the incident before firefighters arrive and ensure crews have the resources they need to tackle it safely and efficiently as well as ensuring the public are kept safe. 

999EYE allows control room operators can ask the public if they can send a link directly to their phone to allow the operator to watch live footage seen through their device’s camera.

Assistant County Fire Officer, Dave Keelan said: “As a modern fire and rescue service we are always looking for new and innovative ways to assist us when we respond to incidents and 999EYE is a fine example of this.

“Our priority when responding to an incident is always to keep the community we serve and our firefighters safe and by getting live images from the scene our colleagues at NWFC will be able to ensure the right resource is sent so we can do this and tackle the incident.

“I’d like to thank the public in advance for their cooperation in helping us to use 999EYE by accessing their phones camera if they are asked to do so.

Ged Basson Senior Operations Manager at NWFC said:999EYE will give our control room operators another tool to understand how an incident in unfolding. By reviewing live images they will have more information available to make a decision about what fire service resources to mobilise.

“We are always looking at how we can use new technology to respond in the most effective and efficient way to incidents. 999EYE is another way that we can keep firefighters and the community safe.”

17/09/2021 13:06 PM