XVR Close Up is a new segment in which we will take a closer look at some of our users and their stories. To kick-off this new segment we’ve paid a visit to Giessen, Germany.
The Fire and Rescue service Giessen has been using XVR On Scene for over a year now. They have a fixed training centre with three training pods and provide exercises for all levels of emergency management. Nothing out of the ordinary so far, yet Giessen might serve as a perfect example to other districts in Germany.
We are sitting down with Kreisbrandmeister Wolfgang Then (the Districts Fire Chief). “We saw a clear need to train in a virtual environment. New incident commanders have little experience in the field, and may need to boost their confidence by experiencing situations first hand. Commanding officers needed to learn new procedures to be used in the field. Both can be easily taught and repeated during a virtual training. A colleague who previously worked for the professional firefighters of Frankfurt pointed out the advantages of XVR On Scene to us.”
Wolfgang Then goes on: “Seeing the need was one thing however. In order to get funding we needed to convince the other municipalities to join in. After careful consideration we invited XVR to give a demonstration during the annual meeting of the entire district. Eventually, all 18 municipalities agreed to start using XVR, to which every municipality contributes."
The Giessen fire fighters are creating the scenarios, and lead all trainings on a voluntary basis. Supervision of the training quality and didactics development is supervised by the districts fire inspection. Wolfgang Then: “I believe Giessen is a very good example of how a district like ours can profit from the benefits of VR training.”
Landkreis Giessen has been using XVR for over a year now. “I think we can safely say that we can create every scenario imaginable. Training with XVR allows us to train all levels of command, as often as we want. In either an individual-, group- or hybrid form of training.”
“The Hybrid training is a perfect example of how we combine XVR with more traditional forms of training. The districts entire head of technical operations gets involved in the hybrid training. The commanding officer interacts with XVR displaying the incident. He reports his findings via radio to the Mobile Command Post outside the training facility, in which the head of operations team are performing their training simultaneously.
Wolfgang Then is very pleased to be using XVR: “Training with VR is an active, realistic and captivating way to train. The trainee is fully immersed in the scenario, much more than traditional table top training. We’ve been training more and are able to assess situations better. I’m really happy that we have been able to implement XVR with the support of the entire district.”