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Live video footage from scene to aid helicopter emergency medical service dispatch: a feasibility study

ter Avest, E., Lambert, E., de Coverly, R., Tucker, H., Griggs, J., Wilson, M. H., Ghorbangholi, A., Williams, J. and Lyon, R.M. (2019) Live video footage from scene to aid helicopter emergency medical service dispatch: a feasibility study Scandinavian Journal of Trauma, Resuscitation and Emergency Medicine, 27, 55.

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Obtaining accurate information from a 112 caller is key to correct tasking of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS). Being able to view the incident scene via video from a mobile phone may assist HEMS dispatch by providing more accurate information such as mechanism of injury and/or injuries sustained. The objective of this study is to describe the acceptability and feasibility of using live video footage from the mobile phone of a 112 caller as an HEMS dispatch aid.


Live footage is obtained via the 112 caller’s mobile phone camera through the secure GoodSAM app’s Instant-on-scene™ platform. Video footage is streamed directly to the dispatcher, and not stored. During the feasibility trial period, dispatchers noted the purpose for which they used the footage and rated ease of use and any technical- and operational issues they encountered. A subjective assessment of caller acceptance to use video was conducted.


Video footage from scene was attempted for 21 emergency calls. The leading reasons listed by the dispatchers to use live footage were to directly assess the patient (18/21) and to obtain information about the mechanism of injury and the scene (11/21). HEMS dispatchers rated the ease of use with a 4.95 on a 5-point scale (range 4–5). All callers gave permission to stream from their telephone camera. Video footage from scene was successfully obtained in 19 calls, and was used by the dispatcher as an aid to send (5) or stand down (14) a Helicopter Emergency Medical Services team.


Live video footage from a 112 caller can be used to provide dispatchers with more information from the scene of an incident and the clinical condition of the patient(s). The use of mobile phone video was readily accepted by the 112 caller and the technology robust. Further research is warranted to assess the impact video from scene could have on HEMS dispatching.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Authors :
ter Avest, E.
Lambert, E.
de Coverly, R.
Tucker, H.
Griggs, J.
Wilson, M. H.
Ghorbangholi, A.
Date : 8 May 2019
DOI : 10.1186/s13049-019-0632-4
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s). 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS); Dispatch; Video, Trauma
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 14 May 2019 15:09
Last Modified : 14 May 2019 15:09

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