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article imageVirtual reality aids fire service Special

By Tim Sandle     May 21, 2014 in Odd News
Toledo - The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department has implemented a virtual incident response training simulator called RescueSim. The software will allow in-depth training for any possible incident.
The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department (TFRD) has reported that it is currently integrating RescueSim into their Training Curriculum. Digital Journal spoke with the fire department to find out more.
Thomas Jaksetic, Deputy Chief of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department said that two officers, Lieutenant Victor Ellis and Captain Gregory Tillman from the TFRD, have been successfully trained as simulator instructors by RescueSim developer VSTEP. According to Jaksetic, this means that the officers are capable of leading all virtual training scenarios and exercise real-time simulator control during virtual incident training.
Discussing the potential of the application, Jaksetic said: “RescueSim allows Toledo Fire and Rescue Department members to train in a safe and controlled environment (virtual world) whenever and wherever convenient. Training scenarios are limited only by instructors’ imagination.”
RescueSim is a next generation virtual training tool for emergency responders and Fire and Rescue services that allows emergency crews to virtually train and experience a diverse range of incidents as they would in real-life. Firefighters can assess the situation and determine the best response strategy, implement it and then observe the consequences of their decisions and consider effectiveness during post incident debriefing.
As Jaksetic adds: “I am very excited about introducing RescueSim training technology to TFRD and believe it will become a training standard for Mass Causality, Incident Command, Officer Development, Hazardous Material Response, and Strategic and Tactics training. In addition, RescueSim will enhance table top and functional exercises for all involved.”
The main use of the device is for training to address any possible incident. In addition to fire simulations, RescueSim also has specialized modules for incidents in ports, airports as well as industrial incidents and motorway/traffic incidents.
It is also cost effective, as Jaksetic explains: “RescueSim is cost effective. For example, TFRD staff spent $55,600 in grant funds to deliver a Mass Causality full scale exercise in September 2013. This exercise was a one day event. RescueSim allows us to create that same exercise and deliver critical training lessons to an unlimited number of personnel an unlimited number of times.”
TFRD serves a population of 284.000 and the operation has 18 fire stations located strategically throughout the city of Toledo (OH, USA). There are 475 professional firefighters. In addition to responding to fires, all Toledo firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians with 160 also being certified as paramedics. Each year the TFRD responds to over 50,000 calls for emergency service including fire, hazardous materials incidents, water rescue, confined space rescue, and homeland security.
More about Fire service, Training, Virtual reality, Computer simulation
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