Progress from the NAFTD on Firefighter Immersive Learning Environment Study at Chicago Summit
As Ken Willette, Executive Director, North American Fire Training Directors (NAFTD) writes, “the military, aviation, and medical disciplines use AR and VR for training with great success. Now comes the question, “Is it right for the fire service?””
To answer this, in 2021, NAFTD and the Fire Protection Research Foundation (FPRA) launched the ‘FILE’ study, FILE being the acronym for Firefighter Immersive Learning Environment.
The overall goal of the 2-year FILE study is to evaluate the application of immersive learning in firefighter training as a tool to reduce risk during training and enhance firefighter safety.
Given our leadership in this space, FLAIM has contributed considerably to this study, both in time given from our team to demonstrate the early adoption use cases of our customer groups, but also by way of the research and focus group material analysed.
Last week, on February 7-8, 2023, an invite-only Summit took place at the Illinois Fire Service Institute, where findings from these focus groups as well as aligned research performed by the University of Illinois, were presented to attendees.
The Summit was attended by a select group of people directly involved in assessing immersive learning technology in the fire service, with key presentations from:
- Dr Lori Moore-Merrell, US Fire Administrator
- Christina Francis, Sr. Staff Fire & Regulatory Specialist, Tesla – “Case Study: Immersive learning to address firefighter training with EV’s, ESS, and lithium-ion batteries”
- Dr Jason Moats, Director of Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX) – “The implications of immersive learning technologies in fire service training”
- P.J. Norwood, Director of Training at Connecticut Fire Academy
The Summit aimed to address the following the following objectives:
- Understanding the current landscape of immersive learning training for fire service training
- To share the results of project research and stakeholder feedback to create a shared vision
- Clarify the value proposition and benefits of adapting immersive learning
- Comparing, illustrating, and citing parallel professions as examples
- Identify and address the barriers in implementing immersive learning in fire service training
- Introduce the immersive learning knowledge base
- To develop recommendations for future direction (i.e., roadmap) to advance the use of immersive learning
Below are some highlights of the Summit, with content thanks to Kevin Sofen, Director of Innovation with our US partner, W.S. Darley and Company.
We’d like to thank Ken Willette and Casey Grant for their leadership to make the FILE Summit event happen. A key deliverable of this project is the development of a roadmap on the use of immersive learning for the fire service and a web knowledge base for it to use as it considers utilising immersive learning in training activities. NAFTD expects to deliver its final report on this study by end of March 2023, with the project scheduled to be completed by August 2023.
Day 1 Highlights
Immersive Learning Summit highlights from day 1 💪💯🔥🚒👩🏼🚒🧑🏾🚒
Day 2 Highlights
It’s really special to see what happens when a lot of brilliant people get together with one common goal in mind #OneVoice #SmartFireFighting #FireService #ImmersiveLearning #Technology #FireFighter
Christina Francis, Sr. Staff Fire & Regulatory Specialist, Tesla, presenting “Case Study: Immersive learning to address firefighter training with EV’s, ESS, and lithium-ion batteries”