Using Game Based Simulation ALIVE to Teach Fighting House Fires
Can game based training help fire fighters deal with house fires? Yes. At least this is the answer being put forward by a team of engineers at New York University Tandon School of Engineering. They have developed and deployed a residential firefighting module with the help of five urban fire departments.
This residential firefighting module is the latest training module in an existing simulation tool called ALIVE (Advanced Learning through Integrated Virtual Environments), a training program that has been used by over 50,000 firefighters in all 50 states.
The NYU Tandon Fire Research Group also developed and released previous ALIVE modules. All of the modules teach firefighting skills through game-like simulations of what the individual firefighter might have to do in various scenarios. The modules that concern firefighting scenarios is particularly valuable because extensive training with real fires is too expensive.
The Fire Research Group is developing the residential fire module with help from firefighters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, and Bloomington, Minnesota. The Tandon engineering team is also working with Underwriters Laboratory.
A $1.5 million Assistance to Firefighters Grant award from the Department of Homeland Security is funding ALIVE development and testing. In addition to game development, that grant money will also finance a mobile game app and a training module that helps firefighters avoid the top cause of death on the job – cardiovascular events. The project team is working with experts at Skidmore College and the Illinois Fire Service to develop the cardiac health module. Click here to learn more about gamification in government.
Image credit: flickr