Mo. county to install cameras in ambulances

The district will use video and audio recordings for safety and quality review purposes, such as accident and injury investigations


By Sue Sterling
The Daily Star-Journal

WARRENSBURG, Mo. — Johnson County ambulances are getting cameras, Chief Shane Lockard said.

He said the district bought cameras last year from Pro-Vision for $6,760 but delayed installation until receiving three new ambulances.

Cameras focus on the ambulance travel path, driver and patient compartment. Another offers a view of what is behind the vehicle.

The cameras record whenever the vehicle moves, Lockard said, but will not broadcast and no one can log in.

Video can be retrieved during an investigation “to see if there’s anything we can learn from it,” Lockard said.

Cameras are “for safety and quality assurance purposes,” he said, and strict patient confidentiality will be observed.

“The patient side will never become public record,” he said.

The district will use video and audio recordings for safety and quality review purposes, such as accident and injury investigations; clinic quality and patient safety investigations; employee performance investigations; and complaints. Videos will be kept separately and privately, Lockard said.

“If we’re looking at a driving incident, we don’t have to view (the video from the patient compartment),” he said.

Viewing tapes is labor intensive, Lockard said, and will not become routine.

The backside camera helps the driver see if there is a person or object behind the vehicle while backing.

The driver can see the paramedic and patient compartment while driving, he said.

Lockard said camera use is a growing trend with cameras in use by surrounding districts.

Staff has been “very supportive,” he said.

“They understand what we’re doing. We’ve discussed it for about a year,” Lockard said.

Tapes will be kept for a minimum of 30 days and then will be recorded over.

If needed, he said, tapes can be pulled out and saved for investigators.

The policy adds to an existing camera and video policy, Lockard said.

“We’ve tried to address every legal issue,” he said.

Copyright 2016 The Daily Star-Journal

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