Firefighting is one of the most mentally and physically demanding professions. All across the country and around the world firefighters are trained to handle a multitude of situations, from residential fires to wildfires, and cruise ships to oil rigs. These men and woman are thrust into locations and situations that in most cases they have never seen or experienced themselves. Not only do they need proper training in controlling fires and hazardous conditions, but the primary goal of all firefighters is personal safety and saving lives. While classroom training is valuable and necessary, having new trainees in the field can be a health risk to themselves and other trainees, even in a controlled environment. No matter how skilled they may be they are still rookies and have a high risk of getting burnt or seriously injured no matter how controlled the situation.
REVAS stands for Rescue, Exposure, Ventilation, Attack, Salvage. This is the process that all firefighters are taught throughout their training and the exact process we followed when creating a web-based training simulation for firefighters. Each step in the process was broken into its own chapter and there are multiple lessons within each chapter. This scenario-based training method allows the user to role-play as an actual firefighter in many different situations, which include: rescuing injured occupants of a collapsed apartment building, properly ventilating a warehouse structure, appropriate methods of handling hazardous materials, and many others.
The most important aspect of the development is the learning process. The simulation is integrated into a custom LMS (learning management system) which tracks users actions and progress allowing the user to see their results and suggestions on improvement. The LMS also gives the instructors the ability to modify the parameters of specific assessment lessons to ensure the user experience is individualized for each learner. Finally, the LMS also allows for updates to be made in real time. The lessons are set up in a modular fashion, which provides the ability to add, edit, and/or delete any of the lessons at any time. If the instructors are finding that students are failing the hazardous materials portion or would like to add an additional lesson on any subject, we can make those updates without interfering with the user experience.
The REVAS process is a proven procedure and following these procedures in the safety of a virtual learning environment allows firefighters and those training to be firefighters, the ability to become the proficient specialist that the job demands. The Firefighting Training Simulation is a prime example of how web-based computer simulated environments can be used to safely and effectively prepare and evaluate individuals in any line of work. This method is effective in providing a safe environment for instructors to educate firefighters before going out into the field to train.