Wildfire training with Safety Regions Twente and IJsselland

In September this year, Dutch Safety Regions Twente and IJsselland conducted their yearly wildfire exercise for incident commanders at the barracks in Nijverdal. Using the XVR On Scene wildfire module, participants were able to exercise fighting wildfires as well as communication with other (roleplayed) agencies. Combined with a live exercise, all participants agreed that this was a very beneficial way of training.

Staff from the Twente Fire Brigade remodeled the Forest and Heath environment to resemble a real-life location at the Hellendoornse Berg in Overijssel. For optimal realism, the environment contained the actual pathways and entry points, so that what the participants saw on the screen accurately reflected the area maps. The scenario depicted a heath fire with an already-burnt area, and a wildfire that would spread according to a preset path according to weather conditions, wind direction and speed, and dryness. Incident commanders of different levels and with different command areas had to work together to put the fire out. Later in the day, they could build on their learning experience with a live exercise in approximately the same area used to model the virtual scenario.

The virtual exercise had a total of 30 participants. Each incident commander was supported by a colleague throughout the exercise, while other colleagues played the role of other first responders, such as police and water tender. Colleagues specialised in wildfires from Safety Region Noord- en Oost-Gelderland attended to support the day