Inside an inferno: A firefighter's helmet cam view

(WXYZ) - When the alarm bell rings, firefighters jump into action.  It's a dangerous job. 

One local fire department is using helmet cams to not only document their work, but also, to save lives.

On a recent April afternoon, Highland Park firefighters rush to a house fire on Beresford Street.  From the cab of the fire engine, they could see the cloud of black smoke.  A short time later, they arrive to a house engulfed in flames.  Helmet cams capture each and every frantic moment.

The video is dramatic.  Documenting each and every dangerous movement, as firefighters make their way inot the burning inferno.  It's the side of fire fighting few get to see, until now.

"It's completely black when you are in there." said Highland Park Fire Chief Derek Hillman. "You can't see a couple inches in front of your face.  You see the fire, then all of a sudden, it's nothing but smoke."

Highland Park started using helmet cams in 2012.  One of the firefighters with the small department documented a year on the job and posted the video on Youtube.

It's gone viral, with more than one million views.  Firefighters from across the country have logged on to watch the guys from Highland Park in action.  It's a department made up of men dedicated to the job, despite few resources and low pay.

"It's overwhelming at times to have outside departments come and say, wow, we saw this and we saw that." said Chief Hillman.  "We've received gear from outside departments trying to help us our because they know the situation."

While the helmet cams capture dramatic moments, it's what's done after the fire is out that really counts.  Entering a burning building and coming out alive requires countless hours of training.  Real life moments recorded with helmet cams are saving lives.

"We can show new guys these videos and they can look back at it and say, ok, what were you doing at this point and ask questions.  Some outside departments will actually look at it and say they use it for training." said Chief Hillman.

You can find more video documenting the brave work of the Highland Park Firefighters below: 

 

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