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Service départmental-métropolitain d'incendie et de secours

"We have successfully implemented XVR training for executives. Our future plans are to incorporate all SP executive profiles and operational partners, ensuring that all SP managers, professionals, and volunteers have the opportunity to utilize this powerful tool to enhance their skills and field practices."

Service départmental-métropolitain d'incendie et de secours (SDMIS)

The Service départmental-métropolitain d'incendie et de secours (Departmental and metropolitan fire and rescue service Lyon and Rhône, SDMIS) have recently been awarded XVR Centre of Excellence status. SDMIS have been using the XVR Simulation platform since 2014. In just a few years, they have turned into an avid user of XVR On Scene and expanded from 2 licenses to almost a dozen at the time of writing (June 2023). Their mission includes firefighting and fire prevention, public safety education, and generally ensuring the well-being of the population in Lyon and Rhône. XVR On Scene offers them the perfect training tool to prepare their staff and trainees for almost all possible scenarios they might encounter.

We spoke to one of their officers about their journey with XVR. “Our school's objective is to provide training to the 6,000 agents of SDMIS, incorporating new technologies like serious games to ensure accessible and effective training for all personnel. The implementation is done gradually, with expert designers leading the development and reflection processes. Due to high demand and positive feedback, the project keeps expanding, requiring a larger team. The goal is to extend the training courses beyond the school and reach fire services in different regions, which involves creating dedicated teams for scenario design, animation, and exercise instruction,” said Simeon, the responsible captain for implementing XVR into their curriculum.*

“The training courses for executives using serious games have been highly successful, which led to the increase in the number of XVR licenses. The current 11 licenses have a usage rate of nearly 80%, and there is still a growing demand for additional licenses, utilising local environments, scenario creation, and educational animation to train officers. To prevent any shortage, proactive measures are being taken to anticipate future needs and acquire additional licenses.”

SDMIS took a careful and deliberate approach to implement the XVR platform into their existing training curriculum to ensure the successful adoption of the new training method.

“Using a step-by-step approach, we have successfully integrated serious game training for our executives. Inspired by SDIS partners like the 44 (Fire service Loire-Atlantique) and the BSPP (La brigade de sapeurs-pompiers de Paris, The Paris fire brigade), we began with targeted sessions for SPP group leaders, adapting to the challenges posed by the COVID crisis. Building on this success, we are now expanding our training to include column leaders and site leaders in subsequent years, with future plans to incorporate all “sapeur-pompier” (firefighter, SP) executive profiles and operational partners. Balancing the need for training frequency, we aim to ensure that all SP managers, professionals, and volunteers have the opportunity to utilize this powerful tool at least once a year, further enhancing their skills and field practices.”

When it comes to the assessment of XVR training efforts within SDMIS, they have relied on reciprocal observation and frequent exchange until now, but they plan to further develop the review system they have in place.

“The success and effectiveness of our training rely on the rich exchanges between exercise instructors, learners, and fellow trainees. Engaging debates during debriefings demonstrate the audience's investment and dedication. Alongside the deployment of serious game-based training, the SDMIS school actively embraces continuous improvement. Learners provide on-the-spot assessments via smartphones, while collective feedback aids course organizers,” said Simeon. “Results speak for themselves: Learners unanimously appreciate the immersive and dynamic nature of scenarios, eliminating any initial reservations. They value the opportunity to experience realistic situations that traditional training couldn't offer. Looking ahead, we aim to implement post-training assessments to ensure our courses truly enhance the daily lives of SP managers.”

SDMIS also provided the location for an XVR On Scene workshop in January 2023, enabling French XVR users to connect and exchange knowledge and resources.

They told us: “It showcased our commitment to our strong partnership with XVR while fostering collaboration within the user community. Although most users currently work independently, we aim to establish concrete connections and become a driving force in this community. We believe in the potential for synergies and sharing of scenarios, pedagogical practices, and resources among users.”


*For privacy and safety reasons, we have changed the name of our contact to “Simeon”. His real name is known at XVR Simulation. If you wish to get in touch with him, please contact