Serious Games allowing emergency crews to experience the incident as they would in real-life
In recent months, VSTEP a Serious Games developer and provider of virtual training platforms, held a number of regional workshops across The Netherlands to demonstrate the capabilities of its multi-agency emergency response trainer RescueSim.
RescueSim is mono and multidisciplinary training software that prepares public safety and security professionals for real-life incidents in a virtual environment.
RescueSim allows emergency crews to experience the incident as they would in real-life. They assess the situation and determine the best response strategy, implement it and then observe the consequences of their decisions.
The workshops were used to demonstrate the RescueSim application to the emergency services in the context of VITTOS project.
The VITTOS project has started two years ago to develop a new generation of virtual training tools that would allow Emergency services to train for large scale incidents.
VITTOS stands for Virtual Incident Training for Tactical, Operational and Strategic decision making. Purpose of the VITTOS project is to expand the existing RescueSim virtual training platform where any incident or disaster can be simulated in realistic 3D virtual environments.
RescueSim has become commercially available and has been adopted by various safety regions and agencies as their prime training tool for both single and multi-agency training.
The application is modular with interchangeable components (different physical environments can be simulated) scenarios (Operational, Tactical and Strategic levels) and content. The user can customize the scenarios themselves easily, which offers a great freedom in practicing different incident trends.
The project was designed by VSTEP in collaboration with the Port of Rotterdam, Safety Region Rotterdam-Rijnmond and various other emergency services.
RescueSim Offshore Incident Management Module Introduced
Late September, VSTEP released its Offshore Incident Management module for the RescueSim virtual training platform.
The offshore incident management module focuses on disasters and incidents taking place offshore. These incidents can take place on board of different types of vessels, as well as include incidents or disasters on board of oil rig platforms. The new module makes it possible to train specialized offshore incidents and response strategies, including oil rig incidents & on-board fires, as well as search & rescue and evacuation scenarios, all from within the RescueSim platform.
The module contains many offshore specific objects. By placing different vessels and oil rig configurations, a realistic and believable offshore training environment is created.
The Offshore Incident Management module is created specifically for use by Coast Guard, Port authorities, Offshore Safety officers, Vessel commanders and Company incident command teams (dealing with offshore).
Spill Response SIM
The Industrial Fire Journal published an article this quarter about the advantages of virtual training with RescueSim for Oil Spill simulations.
Here are the excerpts!
After the explosions and the subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on the Deepwater Horizon platform, the port industry has shown increased interest in oil spill simulators.
VSTEP is now developing a spill response simulator for the Port of Rotterdam in The Netherlands.
Cristijn Sarvaas, CEO of VSTEP, believes that although small spills happen on a regular basis, the real challenge lies in how port authorities respond to large incidents.
The simulator VSTEP is currently developing calculates the projected course of a spill based on fluid dynamics, dependent on the type of agent, as well as its viscosity, weight and other properties. External factors that determine the course of the spill are tides, weather circumstances and river flow. In this spill simulator the capability of the responsible agency to contain and dispose of the agent is tested.
Cheshire Fire & Rescue Services State-Of-The-Art Training Facility In Winsford, UK
VSTEP has completed a project with the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service in the UK, opening an advanced training centre in Winsford where the emergency services can train for major incidents.
The new facility incorporates VSTEP’s fully customizable virtual reality 3D training platform RescueSim. “The training centre is divided into six different training areas, where incident commanders from all levels can train virtually, exactly as if it were a real life situation.
The training centre is built according to the incident command structure used in the UK. Incidents are approached from four sectors, front, back, left and right. The training rooms (pods) correspond with these sectors and the different screens show what is going on in a specific sector of the incident, according to where the different levels of command – bronze, silver, gold – would be normally stationed.
The students all wear their actual gear, and use the same means of communications (radio, laptop) as they would during a normal incident. In general they conduct the exercise from their own pod but, as in real life, they convene in the command centre for the incident command meeting to determine the best strategy.
Instructors follow the incidents via webcams or walk around during an exercise, monitoring progress on their iPads to receive the best possible overview and assess student capabilities.
Port Incident Management
Ellesmere Port Authority, near Liverpool, is within Cheshire FRS’s jurisdiction, and will also benefit from this new centre, as the authority needs to train its own personnel for the initial response to a major shipping or industrial incident and the handover to the fire service when it arrives.
RescueSim already has an extensive object and environment library, and all it took was to adapt these to the UK. Basically, it depends on the type of client and the training goals that they want to reach with the exercise.
Industrial Incident Management
VSTEP is a leading European developer of simulators and virtual training software. Using interactive 3D technology from the computer gaming industry, VSTEP creates training applications and games that allow people to build their skills in a practical and cost effective way.
The company is headquartered in the bustling business heart of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. VSTEP currently employs over 40 staff members, supplemented with an extensive network of value-added subcontractors. Since its founding in 2002, VSTEP has successfully completed over 40 training applications for leading industry clients and governmental organizations. A pioneer in the creation of innovative games and virtual training, VSTEP has provided solutions for customers like the Royal Dutch Navy, Port of Rotterdam, Falck/Nutec, Shell, DSM, Dutch Railways and many others.