A mobile app that would allow eyewitnesses to stream live video footage of major incidents to the London Fire Brigade could help it improve its response, a new report has suggested.
It could quickly direct the most appropriate response to the exact location of a live incident and may help in the investigative process afterwards, claims the report’s author, long-standing Conservative London Assembly Member Tony Arbour .
The new process would open the door to text conversation with operators
Streaming technology has already been trialled by West Midlands Fire Service and similar apps are currently used in Sacramento, California, and Victoria, Australia.
The proposed app could be downloaded by any user but the video streaming element would only be initiated by the control room operator. If the caller did not have the app, the operator could send them a link via text message to initiate the video call.
Mr Arbour said: “Modern mobile technology provides substantial benefits that are yet to be fully embraced by the emergency services.
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“This mobile app would enable reliable, accurate information about the type and scale of an incident to reach the control room in real time, speeding up the appropriate response and potentially saving lives.
“It is clearly a sensible idea to utilise helpful technology that is so readily available and the Mayor of London should be encouraging the creation and adoption of a London-specific app for our city’s fire service.”
His report recommends the Mayor of London holds a competition among app developers to design London-specific software. It could also be used to report non-emergency fire risks and contain useful information such as the location of fire stations.