You know how critical effective training is to the safety and health of the public as well as limiting trauma and stress to first responders.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are becoming more common in the public and private sectors. If you’re responsible for training first responders, you should be considering this. The reason being – AR/VR training provides an immersive experience for trainers and trainees alike that is more realistic than anything before it in emergency management.
Task and Tools for Emergency Management Training:
- Traditional classroom lecture training
- Live exercises with limited feedback can lead to low retention rates.
- Experiential learning in a virtual environment that provides team analytics.
- See how your performance compares to others in similar situations gives your team confidence.
VR and AR provide a realistic experience that is hard to recreate in the field.
This makes it an excellent tool for emergency medical technicians to be able to train their teams with real-time analytics. This online platform offers training programs with simulations of real-world situations that can be used by individuals or groups.
Explain the importance of performance data in training first responders.
Scott Smith: First responders have one of the most stressful jobs in the country. It’s both physical, cognitive, and emotional.
In addition, they have to perform in high-consequence environments. And this is why training is such an important component of their daily routine.
Our emergency management courses ensure that they’re ready and prepared for some of the most complex stressful events that people can go through. Currently, first responder training is consistent with the didactic lecture-based and then live training.
A lot of the live training is very complicated large events. They’re very complex and difficult to strategize for emergency management and domestic preparedness.
With the data that our emergency management training gives you, your team of emergency responders can become better prepared for real-time situations.
How did ATS research to build AR/VR experiences for first responders?
Scott Smith: We’ve sat at ATS and watched probably 15 live events, and from our experience and observation from interviewing other people, it is difficult for emergency responders to understand how they perform in those spaces.
How in a downed firefighter situation or an active shooter situation a person is responding?
Are they responding appropriately? Are they responding timely? Are they making errors? Are they under stress and just reaching cognitive load before they can make really critical decisions? Do they have emergency preparedness?
And so, having the ability to obtain performance data from each individual is a unique thing that ATS offers that will improve your center for domestic preparedness or emergency management institute.
What are some of the types of performance data available provided?
Scott Smith: We are very passionate about providing a simulation space where first responders will be able to understand how they perform in each of the circumstances that they potentially could be deployed.
For every time they get engaged in that process of national training, meaning that the VR environment will provide data about the individual’s performance every time they moved through the simulation of our national response network.
Our national response framework will give them feedback on tasks and will be able to identify where they were having cognitive overload, meaning where they were having problems or where things were getting too stressful and they just emotionally, physically, and cognitively shut down.
When emergency responders do this, it allows our national response framework to better understand what aspects of this kind of environment they need more training on.
This provides a more robust understanding of an individual’s performance, not only in the simulation for one but over time.
It shows our emergency managers how an individual grows how an individual enhances their performance.
Through our national training, Virtual Reality provides that space where people begin to understand, and shows us an effective way of how the individual responds to a lot of these situations.
Explain the data challenges from traditional or even online training models for first responders.
Scott Smith: Currently the problem with obtaining data on performance for first responders is that traditionally they have two options.
They have the option of didactic online lecture learning, which is basically retention. And it’s a knowledge test that’s typically given once and so what happens with skills and learning is that if you do not replicate them over time consistently, they degrade.
It’s called skill of degradation where skills degrade because they’re not being used and not being challenged and not being recalled. The other problem with online learning is that they’re creating a learning atmosphere about concepts that aren’t being captured in this context from which they’ll need the skills.
For instance, they’re hypothetically talking about an active shooter situation. Whereas when a person gets into an active shooter situation, the context is completely different. An individual requires obtaining skills and learning within the context from which they want to be able to use those skills and that can come from our education division or national training.
The second issue is the live training, the live training is so complex, it’s typically only done once a year. In addition, it really doesn’t give a strong indication of how the person understands the concepts or can deploy the skills required to effectively respond to emergency response situations.
So both conditions currently don’t provide the best atmosphere to collect data and understand human performance during an emergency response, or how a first responder is doing within that kind of space in those kinds of conditions under those kinds of stresses.
How can AR/VR training provide better data for commanders, training leads, and trainees?
Scott Smith: Virtual reality and our HERO platform allow the first responder and commanders to better understand how their cadets or staff can respond in certain conditions. It will allow commanders to be able to track performance over time. That will be able to identify which person is extremely efficient in responding to some of these conditions. That allows individuals, commanders to put their crew together to see how they work.
Do they communicate well? Are they responding to a large event and fluid way to capture and complete all the learning objectives?
The HERO platform allows individuals and commanders to see human performance not only the first time the individual gets into VR simulation but over time, we’ll begin to see how individuals are compared across groups and within groups.
What is the impact of having performance analytics to verify mission readiness?
Scott Smith: It is essential and critical for first responders and commanders who are responding to very high-stress situations to understand here, first responders, police officers, MTs and firefighters, and how they respond to these situations.
Individuals must be mission-ready. And we’re finding out now that first responders have a high probability of post-traumatic stress. This is correlated to the potential lack of preparedness individuals might have in responding to some of these very high-stress situations.
What are new performance metrics that will be available soon within the ATS HERO platform?
Scott Smith: One of the cool things that are going to provide in the future, is the use of biometrics and eye-tracking. This concept will allow ATS to deliver analytics that has never been delivered to first responders before. It will provide data about a person’s stress level and cognitive load, which will indicate various aspects of training where people get stuck and cannot move past.
It will also allow us to deliver a higher order of training to where people can level up and move forward and through training based on skills that they’ve acquired.
See the following to learn more:
- Emergency management and response organizations are looking for new ways to train their staff for complex emergency scenarios. Virtual reality training …
- Virtual Reality (VR), as well as Augmented Reality (AR), offer an immersive experience that can be used as part of the emergency medical response training …
- Prepare your teams with a virtual reality training platform to manage … to conduct human-centered AR/VR Trainings for complex emergencies that are too …