I will preface this by saying, I am a volunteer fire fighter. Been in the middle of things fighting fires, responding to medical emergencies and training. Sometimes caught on camera, sometimes not.
Should firefighters be rescuing people and fighting fires or d*cking around with their GoPro to get cool Youtube videos?
You haven't watched many fire fighter videos have you? It is extremely rare that the person recording is at all concerned about what they are recording. They are normally just doing their job and catching what gets caught. If they are taking time to get cool shots, it means it is training or the scene is 100% secure and controlled. In an active fire fighting situation or when you have someone on the group they are trying to save their life, it is not normal that any fire chief will turn all hollywood camera man. They catch the video and then share it with other fire fighters in training activities and point out what went well and what went horribly wrong. I have sat through many hours of watching helmet cam video of situations. Almost every single video is 15+ minutes long with 60%+ of the video useless because the camera is pointed at the ground or at something not the fire and the view bounces all over the place because the person is doing their job, not trying to get the good shot. Firefighters are trained to do their jobs not take video. You get in an emergency and your training kicks in and you do what you are trained to do and pay attention to the emergency.
As medical responders, what about HIPPA? Does a person have the right to call for help secure in the knowledge that the rescuer won't be spreading helmet-cam footage of their nude mangled body across the Internet or news?
Fire fighters videos are rarely spread out for public to see without department scrutiny first. If you see something like this, it is more then likely the news media. Also, in a purely medical situation, they usually don't wear helmet cams.
I wonder if "...respond to 1234 Main Apartment 3 for a 34 year old female suicide attempt via overdose..." is broadcasting just a bit too much personal medical info.
No, it is not. Would you rather they do not give a location and the paramedics play a guessing game? I will just drive around until someone flags me down. Or how about, when I arrive, I guess what the problem is and if I guess wrong, have to run back out to the ambulance because I brought the wrong equipment. Maybe I can leave out the age and sex of the person down...guess not because both have a bearing on how you treat the situation. Maybe we do it all via cell phone or wireless ethernet to their laptop? Yeah, not sure much, neither are reliable enough. They broadcast what the need to in order to best handle the situation. They are trained on what to say and how to say it. Communication is one of the most important things in emergency situation. They know what they need to do.