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Virtual Reality Training Programs for Emergency Responders

Print Article Contributed by FSM Staff

DETROIT -- Virtual reality safety training company PIXO VR premiered their training platform for emergency management and first response teams at the Emerging Technologies Symposium for Emergency Solutions hosted by Concordia University Portland, Ore.

PIXO was one of five companies selected to demonstrate the range of virtual reality (VR) options for training emergency responders in effective crisis management.

“Training in virtual reality allows first responders to react in real time to a variety of scenarios,” said Sean Hurwitz, PIXO VR’s CEO. “Virtual reality simulations are the safest and most effective way to reduce injury and eliminate harmful exposure in training. VR is also the most cost-effective way to train for high-risk, low-frequency events.”

PIXO VR’s multi-participant fire control demo allowed first responders attending the Concordia event to experience the power of virtual reality training. The first responders worked in teams to contain a virtual fire caused by an overturned oil truck. Employing proper containment techniques required by OSHA’s HAZWOPER standard, the team successfully prevented the situation from escalating.

“While invaluable, traditional hands-on training exposes participants to injury, and is often too expensive to repeat,” said Tony Fletcher, Division chief of Training, Vancouver Fire Department, Vancouver, WA. “The value of virtual reality training like PIXO’s is that it exposes participants to realistic experiences without putting them in danger, and it’s easy and cost effective to repeat.”
Emergency responders face a broad spectrum of situations ranging from man-made incidents to natural disasters. Preparedness is essential for their safety and effectiveness. Since traditional training methods are potentially dangerous and cost-prohibitive, many organizations use field instruction sparingly. That can leave first responders ill-prepared.

Virtual reality training designed by PIXO VR enables emergency personnel to conduct a wide array of multi-modal, multi-agency and multi-jurisdictional exercises. It’s a safe and cost-effective way to teach or maintain proficiency in high-risk disciplines.

“The quality of PIXO’s simulation is impressive especially in its display of fire dynamics in a realistic environment,” said Rick Huffman, director, Center for Emergency Solutions, Concordia University-Portland. “The high-resolution 360-degree immersion into a high-risk, low-frequency emergency allows users to experience unprecedented situational awareness and instruction.”

“Over the next few years, we expect virtual reality to become the primary training medium for emergency management personnel,” said Hurwitz. “Through PIXO VR’s platform, firefighters will experience countless virtual training scenarios where they can interact with responsive simulations of heat, wind, smoke, and fluid dynamics, without risk. They will act and react realistically while developing the muscle memory necessary to be more decisive in emergencies.”

 

 

 

 

 

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