Transforming firefighter training with VR: Nathan Smith & Nathan Menzies
Nathan Smith | Senior Instructor, Immersive Learning, Aviation Rescue Fire Fighters (ARFFS)
Nathan Menzies | Training Officer, Aviation Rescue Fire Fighters (ARFFS)
Published on 3 January 2024
In this video, 360ed.tv chats with Nathan Smith and Nathan Menzies from Aviation Rescue Fire Fighting Service (ARFFS), in Melbourne, Australia about immersive learning development and simulation-based technology to deliver training to firefighters.
They discuss the immersive learning strategy of the training academy and how VR is being used to introduce environmental hazards and risks, leveraging theoretical knowledge from trainees and giving them the chance to apply it practically and safely. Now a regulatory requirement for firefighters across the country, Nathan Smith and Nathan Menzies reveal how they’re setting firefighters up for success through this program.
With firefighters facing new challenges owing to emerging technologies including solar panels, electric vehicles and hydrogen, they explain how VR headsets provide an immersive, more effective and safer method of exposure and training for these hazards and walk us through specific use cases by ARFFS.
By collaborating with industry leaders to ensure authentic graphics and bi-directional sound, and inserting trigger points to prompt thought processes and actions, they can bring underlying theory to life, achieving rapid and consistent learner buy-in which cements the learning process.
When evaluating the results of the VR training, Nathan Smith and Nathan Menzies observe that trainee firefighters are better prepared to respond to real-world situations, such as isolating a high-voltage battery from a hybrid vehicle rollover, to managing arcing from a solar event and electrical hazard. They shed light on the challenges and opportunities in developing learning content, and how simulations are evolving as proficiency with the technology increases.
How is the ARFFS creating realistic and impactful simulations that replicate the challenges and scenarios faced by aviation firefighters? Watch the video to learn more.
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