Virtual Reality Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness

Virtual Reality Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness

Virtual Reality Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness 2560 1707 Tecknotrove

The role of VR Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness

No matter what preventive measures you take, it is impossible to avoid emergencies. Fires, earthquakes, or safety incidents at the workplace – you cannot predict when an emergency may strike. How to mitigate risks and minimize losses during emergencies? VR Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness is the answer. Adequate training is the key to handling emergencies with maximum efficiency. In the past, conventional training methods were used to train individuals and disaster response units. But over the years, conventional training methods have proved insufficient. There are several shortcomings to these techniques and the need for the latest technology is felt more than ever. 

Recognizing the need for advanced emergency preparedness training, global organizations like the WHO introduced simulation exercises to train response units at the country, regional, and global levels. Virtual Reality has proven to be effective in providing a realistic training experience for individuals. Disasters strike without warning and VR training prepares individuals to respond to real-life situations without losing their calm. Unfortunately, the number of natural and man-made disasters has increased over the last few years. Examples of man-made disasters include nuclear threats, civil disorders, terrorist attacks, and more. This article will help you understand how VR training is effective for emergency preparedness training

Application of VR Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness

Virtual Reality (VR) can simulate any kind of scenario conveniently. VR facilitates an immersive experience to prepare emergency response teams to manage unprecedented situations. Classroom training or instructional learning cannot prepare disaster response units as they don’t provide a realistic training experience. It is difficult to recreate disaster scenarios for training purposes and there is a lack of skilled professionals to impart disaster response training. VR can bridge these gaps and increase training efficiency. It creates virtual environments where individuals can experience harsh weather, highly stressful situations, fear, and panic in a virtual environment.

Head-mounted displays are a crucial component of the VR training system. They isolate the user from the external world and help individuals respond to situations without distractions. VR can simulate fire and connected effects, road accidents involving multiple vehicles, CBRN/HAzmat incidents, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc. Emergency response teams will know what challenges they might face during evacuation and rehabilitation amidst a crisis with VR training. VR training will impart valuable lessons on the dos and don’ts to follow during a crisis.

What are the drawbacks of conventional training methods?

Recreating emergency scenarios is not possible with conventional training methods. It is neither financially feasible nor safe. Conventional training methods impart theoretical knowledge. They mainly encompass classroom-based instructive teaching and web-based training that includes pre-recorded user-paced presentation material. Trainees are unable to transfer the skills in real-world situations as they don’t have practical experience. Conventional training promotes passive learning. Trainees are taught what to do and what not to do through theory classes. They don’t get an opportunity to experience what the real situation is like. Passively reading or watching videos on emergency preparedness will not equip individuals with any skills. Conventional training only serves the purpose of transferring information to individuals. Knowledge isn’t retained, prompt feedback is missing, remote training is not possible and immersive learning is absent. 

Different emergency scenarios for VR training

Virtual Reality Training in Emergency Preparedenes

VR Simulation Training in Emergency Preparedness has a range of applications. It is useful to create diverse complex scenarios. Let’s look at the different emergency scenarios that VR systems can simulate:

  1. Disasters

    Earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, wildfires, cyclones, storms, and volcanic eruptions can happen at any time. Some regions are more prone to natural disasters than others. Such natural disasters take thousands of lives. VR-based simulations can create these scenarios in a virtual environment. These disasters can be deadly when they happen. VR-based simulations will train individuals to save maximum lives and minimize risks.

  2.  Road accidents

    Road crashes take millions of lives every year. Emergency response units should be able to quickly act and rescue lives in limited time as these are high-stress situations where every minute is precious. VR-based simulations can recreate different types of road crash scenarios.

  3. Chemical and nuclear accidents

    The consequences of chemical and nuclear accidents are extremely damaging. Employees working in such environments need to undergo advanced training. VR-based simulations can place users in nuclear power plant sites virtually and create scenarios like explosions or leakages so they are familiar with such situations.

  4. Workplace emergencies

    Workplaces with heavy equipment and sensitive zones are prone to severe accidents. People can be trained to follow the correct sequence of actions when accidents occur at workplaces with VR-based simulations. VR simulations allow you to create any number of scenarios that could possibly happen at the workplace.

  5. Complex and rare scenarios

    VR simulators can simulate uncommon and rare incidents effortlessly. Some situations are so rare that they might never happen. But that doesn’t mean individuals can afford to remain clueless about the right actions to take when such a situation arises. VR proves beneficial for preparing individuals to tackle highly complex and unusual scenarios.

Advantages of VR Disaster Response training

By now, you must have got a fair understanding of the several benefits of VR-based simulation. But let’s quickly go over the five main benefits of VR disaster response training. 

  1. Risk-free

    VR simulation training enables trainees to practice real-life skills in safe environments. They can experience stress, fear, and all kinds of emotions without risking their life in any way.

  2. Comprehensive

    VR Disaster response training facilitates comprehensive training. Individuals can access different pre-designed scenarios, modify scenarios based on their needs and develop the skills essential to handle complex situations

  3. Customized training

    VR allows customization so organizations can design training programs that suit their needs. Different elements like high-rise buildings, dense forests, or the sea can be modified in the virtual environment depending on their needs and preferences.

  4. Efficient

    VR enables both individual and group training. Individuals can undergo remote training and repeat lessons as many times as they want. This saves both time and money.

  5. Scalable

    VR simulation can accommodate more users for training if need be. Depending on the evolving needs, training programs can be scaled up or down.

Application of VR technologies in disaster management

VR can be used for risk analysis, search, and rescue, evacuation, and post-emergency recovery among others. Here is a quick rundown on the applications of VR technologies in disaster management:

  1. Safety training

    Safety training is one of the important applications of VR. VR-based training is highly effective for rescue training and safety operations. VR boosts the interest of the participants and trains individuals on safety procedures to follow so hazards can be thwarted. VR imparts safety knowledge more efficiently as it is interactive.

  2. Human evacuation

    Evacuation is a major part of emergency preparedness. VR training helps disaster response units to make evacuations quicker, easier and safer. VR can be used to analyze individuals’ behavior and their psychological stress during evacuation. These insights are beneficial for designing more effective training programs.

  3. Search and rescue

    VR is useful for training individuals for search and rescue operations. Conducting search and rescue operations in complex environments is extremely challenging. For example, when large buildings collapse, it becomes difficult to rescue people trapped under the rubble. VR trains individuals to quickly and safely conduct rescue operations no matter what the environment is. Crane operators too can create accident scenarios and practice ideal responses with VR-based simulations.

  4. Post emergency recovery

    VR is also useful for post-emergency recovery. Inspecting sites afflicted with damage, understanding the extent of damage, and recovery planning are possible with the help of VR training. Individuals who undergo VR training are in a better position to conduct damage assessment and recovery planning.

Wrapping up

Conventional training formats are not suitable for emergency preparedness training as they cannot provide a realistic experience. Virtual Reality can bridge the gaps in conventional training methods. Effective training is imperative to enhance emergency preparedness efforts worldwide. Simulator-based VR training is immersive and participatory. Conventional training has time, cost, and safety barriers whereas VR-based training is an effective alternative that eliminates these barriers to a significant extent. 

You cannot achieve disaster response skills by simply watching pre-recorded videos. Existing knowledge and skills may not prove useful in the event of an unprecedented situation. Unfamiliar situations can impair decision-making even when individuals have undergone advanced training. VR training exposes individuals to the effects of psychological stress so their decision-making abilities are not compromised in adverse situations. 

CTA

Tecknotrove is a first-rate simulation solutions provider with specialization in a wide spectrum of industries such as aviation, automobile, mining, nuclear, and defense. With over 3 decades of experience and 800 projects under our belt, we have catered to organizations with cutting-edge simulators customized to their needs. Get in touch with us today to learn more about simulators and understand how your organization can leverage our simulators for critical training applications.

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