UK Firefighters Train Using VR Simulations

Earlier today it was reported that in the medical industry surgeons have been using the likes of the Oculus Rift to carry out more accurate surgeries. Now, it has come that firefighters in the UK have been using virtual reality (VR) to train in simulations of real-life scenarios.

According to the Nottingham Post, the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has created a PC-based VR Incident Command Suite which is reportedly set up over two rooms where staff are shown the scenario by projector so they can walk around and interact with it, and the trainers pose as people within the simulation to interact with and speak to.

nottinghamshire vr firefighter

Mark Dooley, Station Manager at the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, said in the report: “The software displays these incidents on a big screen in one of four rooms – trainees then take charge of the situations through a virtual character in the programme, using a remote control handset.

“Despite the fact it’s only virtual, making it completely safe for our staff, it is as close to the real thing as you can get. The scenarios are the same as they would be in real life and the decision making process for Incident Commanders is therefore exactly the same.”

Dooley went on to say that it is important to have more training resources that are cheaper and more effective. “The amount of incidents we’re attending as a service has reduced, there’s been a reduction in all fire services – which can affect peoples’ practical confidence and competence.

“Because we’re attending less incidents, training like this is even more important.”

It isn’t clear which head-mounted display (HMD) is being used, but judging by the room scalability it seems as though the HTC Vive is being used.

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