Here in the UK, there are very strict gun laws prohibiting easy access to firearms. In the US, however, it’s another matter. Sadly, this means mass shootings are commonplace with schools and workplaces now conducting training so people know what to do in a crisis. Aiding in this endeavour is Pixvana, which has just launched a virtual reality (VR) training experience to prepare businesses for an active shooter in the workplace.
Called the Active Shooter Response training experience, the immersive video is a collaboration between Pixvana and Alexo, a company specialising in tactical training to counter workplace violence. Presenting the video is Alexo’s founder, Drew Hancock, a Seattle police officer and SWAT Supervisor, who teaches critical protocols including two simple acronyms, “OODA” (Observe, Orient, Decide, Act) and “ABC” (Avoid, Barricade, or Combat).
“Virtual reality is extremely effective for teaching situational awareness and life-saving response for an active shooter scenario,” Hancock says in a statement. “Learning response strategies is important, but actually simulating and experiencing different scenarios can increase comprehension and response time, which could be all the difference. VR provides employees with valuable practice that cannot be replicated in typical training. It’s a game-changing technology that can have a real impact for people in moments when it counts the most.”
Hancock takes viewers through important decision-making strategies whilst simulating life-saving tactics for employees. To further aid the learning process, interactive quizzes take place during and after the program, ensuring that employees are confident in their understanding of the curriculum.
“It’s unfortunate that this type of training is now necessary for every company, large and small, and for every employee near and far,” Hancock adds. “However, VR makes it simple for even the most disparate, global organizations to deploy this high-impact training at scale, anytime and anywhere.”
One of the first companies to trial the training programme in Vulcan Inc. a Seattle-based firm which oversees the philanthropic efforts of Microsoft’s late co-founder, Paul Allen. Pixvana claims that early results: “show a 32 percent overall increase in employee readiness for a live shooter event.”