A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Photo by: 669 Unit

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Photo by: 669 Unit

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Photo by: 669 Unit

Creative, advanced and unconventional: The Search and Rescue 669 Unit and fire department in “Hatzerim” Airbase adopted the extreme “Go-Pro” Cameras for inquiry and documentation of missions

Tal Giladi | Translated by: Ofri Aharon

Not only do scuba-divers, bikers, skiers and paratroopers use them. The IAF have also adopted the extreme cameras (AKA “Go-Pro” cameras) as an efficient and important tool for inquiry of operations or training. Its compact size, light weight and its high durability to liquids and shaking are advantages that make the small video cameras ideal for military missions. The integration of the camera as an inquiry tool is the start of using unconventional and modern products in the IDF. So whose helmet can hold the extreme camera, and where did the idea come from?

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Photo by: 669 Unit

“With the click of a button you can watch the whole performance”
“Not only do we investigate the flight, but our field as well”, stated Master Sergeant Pini Shickli, the supervisor of the inquiries in the fire department of “Hatzerim” Airbase. “We understood the need for a more advanced investigation. A picture is worth a thousand words, and videos are a great way to show the firefighters footage of themselves to learn and improve from”. Two years ago, the station purchased a number of “Go-Pro” cameras that were installed onto the firefighter’s helmets and the fire trucks, thus they were given a picture of their trainings and scenarios in real time, from within and outside of the arena. After every scenario, the filmed footage is then projected to those who participated in the mission. The commander of the “Hatzerim” Airbase fire department got the idea after visiting a fire department in New York, where he decided that if it works for American Fire Fighters it will work in the IAF.

The extreme cameras have been resting on the Helmets of 669 soldiers, Rescue and Evacuation Unit, since 2007. “The video clips allow us to see every stage of rescue: from the fields, the implementation techniques and transferring the injured person to the hospital”, explains Capt. Shaul, Officer of guidance and development in the unit. “In the inquiry itself, you can zoom in and view every execution with the click of a button: the handwork of the rescue team, the treatment the injured person received and method and harnessing techniques”.

 

“There are things that only the camera sees”
There is no doubt that the cameras are advantageous, and in comparison to other inquiry techniques used in the past everyone agrees that using visual tools raises the level of inquiry and with that level of conclusions and overall functioning. “By using the camera one can measure exact times, an important parameter in big missions of saving lives. We can see what missions take too long, and what stages are conducted easily and relatively quickly, and how it is in comparison to when the mission was previously trained – was there an improvement or is there something that can be done better?”, raises Capt. Amira.

“If I notice that a solider did not deploy the hose the right way, I now have filmed documentation of the act and can explain what he must do better”, emphasized Master Sergeant Shickli. “The firefighters are really excited about it, it makes the inquiry an experience and makes them want to prove themselves because they know they are being filmed”, he added with a smile. “By using the footage, we can involve the commanders that weren’t present in the mission, and other than the technical work shown in the videos, we can see the impressive team dynamics the soldiers have during rescue as everything happens very quickly, in the dark with a lot of noise”, concludes Capt. Shaul. “For example, in Operation ‘Protective Edge’ the cameras were greatly used and it was our opportunity to examine functionality under fire. There are things that only the camera sees that we could not have known any other way”.

 

 

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

Photo by: IAF Fire Deparment | “It makes the inquiry an experience and makes them want to prove themselves”