Digital training reaches new audiences

Digital training reaches new audiences

As an all-hazard agency, CFS has thousands of volunteers who train hard and consistently throughout the year and risk their lives for their community every day.

Apart from the extensive training we provide on the ground and even in the air, there’s one unique course based at the CFS State Training Centre that recently caught the attention of interstate and international emergency services.

In the Digital Immersive Learning program at Brukunga, firefighting equipment is replaced by a virtual reality headset and joystick to battle different types of fires, attend hazardous materials incidents and even road crash rescues. The UniSA developed technology is a game-changer for the state for improving the accessibility of training in a risk-free environment.

ACT Rural Fire Service recently found out about the dynamic, user-friendly technology and sent a delegation to South Australia to try it out. In one program, the participants are required to respond to a fire approaching a peri-urban area and, as part of their assessment, they need to speak to witnesses and relay important information about a suspected arsonist to police. The witnesses and other avatars featured in the program are actually played and voiced by CFS Simulation and Educational Technology Officer Ant Williams and his team in a nearby control room.

Feedback from ACT participants was that these simulations will help crew leaders improve their cognitive abilities and situational awareness - from first response to getting to an incident and taking command and control.

The State Training Centre has recently received interest from other emergency services in South Australia, Tasmania and even New Zealand with the hope of being able to attend the digital training courses in the future.

4 August 2023