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Control measure

Closed-circuit television

Control measure knowledge

Closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems can assist fire and rescue services at many stages of an incident including:

  • Providing fire control rooms or personnel en route to an incident with additional information about its type, size and location
  • Providing personnel with information about the area near to the incident, for example:
    • Traffic conditions
    • Presence of people
    • Presence of animals
    • Presence of other emergency responders
  • Providing an incident commander with additional information to improve situational awareness, even if they are remote to the incident
  • Assisting with post-incident investigation
  • Improvement in operational learning

There are many types of CCTV systems, with various capabilities. They are mainly used to ensure the safety and security of premises, people and property, and may be found at locations including:

  • Commercial and residential buildings
  • Roadways and pedestrian walkways
  • Public transport vehicles
  • Emergency responder vehicles

CCTV cameras can also be worn by:

  • Emergency responders
  • Security guards
  • Bailiffs
  • Military personnel

Cameras may be linked to networks or recording facilities, and systems may be monitored by dedicated CCTV control rooms; these may be located in individual premises or at remote locations. The control room may be able to broadcast live or recorded imagery to other users, regardless of their location. CCTV control rooms are often able to adjust the views of individual cameras.

For larger incidents, or in areas with difficult or dangerous terrain such as wildfire incidents, it may be appropriate to use CCTV equipment attached to aerial vehicles such as helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft or drones (classified as a type of unmanned aircraft by the Civil Aviation Authority).

Some CCTV may be able to provide images in radiation spectrums, including infrared, which could provide helpful information in reduced visibility.

CCTV systems that are fitted to fire and rescue service vehicles, or body worn cameras, may act as a deterrent or be useful in capturing evidence; this could include instances of verbal abuse, physical attacks or road traffic collisions.

Arrangements should be made with local CCTV system operators during pre-incident planning, so that requests for their assistance during an incident can be handled efficiently.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Make appropriate arrangements with CCTV system operators and know how to request their assistance

  • Consider using vehicle and body worn cameras

Tactical actions

Fire control personnel should:
  • Consider using CCTV to gather additional information about the incident or its location, and pass relevant information to the incident commander

Incident commanders should:
  • Request access to CCTV footage or to the information gathered through use of CCTV systems

  • Consider requesting the assistance of aerial CCTV resources

  • Consider using CCTV to assist with mobilising to the incident

  • Consider using CCTV to inform situational awareness

  • Access and secure CCTV footage for investigations

  • Consider using CCTV footage to help inform operational learning