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  • I-Witness
Published 20 March 2023
2-min Read

The Emergency Video System is a joint capability used by the SPF and SCDF to allow live video streaming for better situational assessment and decision-making. Here’s how it works!

By: Domnic Dass

photo screengrab of someone videoing an ongoing fight through his emergency video system
A member of the public using the Emergency Video System to capture an ongoing argument through their mobile phone. PHOTO: Roger Yue III

Streaming live from the scene, with the Emergency Video System!

To enhance the capabilities of the Police Operations Command Centre (POCC) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Operations Centre, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and SCDF announced the launch of the Emergency Video System on 20 Mar 2023.

infographic on the emergency video system on what it actually does
Callers can now activate their video function during an emergency call to help operators better assess the situation. GRAPHIC: SPF

The Video Advantage

In recent years, video technology (such as the islandwide Police Camera system) has allowed the SPF to enhance its operational capabilities and better serve the public. Jointly developed by the SPF, SCDF, Home Team Science and Technology Agency and ST Engineering, the Emergency Video System marks another step in this drive.

During certain emergency calls, officers at the POCC and SCDF Operations Centre may face difficulties in understanding an incident, especially if the circumstances are complicated and callers can’t explain them well.

The Emergency Video System addresses such challenges by allowing 999 and 995 callers to stream live footage to the POCC and SCDF Operations Centre from their mobile phones. This allows operators to better assess a situation and provide timely updates to responding officers before they arrive at the scene.

Live footage can also be sent as short clips to responding officers for a better situation awareness prior to arrival at scene. In emergencies involving both the SPF and SCDF, such as a major fire, the live stream and real-time location may also be shared between the POCC and the SCDF Operations Centre.

infographic on the emergency video system and how it works
Once operators determine that a live streamed video is required, a hyperlink will be sent to callers to activate the Emergency Video System. GRAPHIC: SPF

How the Emergency Video System Works

When operators assess that an emergency call is suitable for video activation, they’ll ask the caller for consent to activate the live video streaming. Operators will only initiate the live stream if they assess that the caller isn’t in immediate danger and isn’t directly involved in the incident.

The SMS hyperlink will then be sent via SMS to the caller. The caller must remain on the call so that operators can guide them on how to enable the live stream successfully. At the same time, the caller’s location will also be transmitted by the system to the POCC or SCDF Operations Centre, to facilitate the response of frontliners.

Enhancing Emergency Response to Save Lives

By tapping on the ubiquitous camera tech on our mobile phones, the Emergency Video System empowers callers to the POCC and SCDF Operations Centre with visual and location data of an incident. This enhances the ability of the Operations Centres and first responders to assess a situation and make informed decisions that can save lives.


Check out the video on the Emergency Video System to see it in action!

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