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Using virtual environments to train firefighters

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3 Author(s)
Tate, D.L. ; Naval Res. Lab., Washington, DC, USA ; Sibert, L. ; King, T.

Using virtual environments for training and mission rehearsal gives US Navy firefighters an edge in fighting real fires. A test run on the ex-USS Shadwell measured the improvement. The results suggest that virtual environments serve effectively for training and mission rehearsal for shipboard firefighting. VE training provides a flexible environment where a firefighter can not only learn an unfamiliar part of the ship, but also practice tactics and procedures for fighting a fire by interacting with simulated smoke and fire without risking lives or property. These tests proved a successful first step in developing a new training technology for shipboard firefighting based on immersive virtual environments. The tests also indicated potential areas for improvement, requiring additional research. User interaction techniques for manipulating objects in VEs need further study, along with usability studies to determine their effectiveness or utility. Other areas that could enhance VE training systems include more natural and intuitive I/O devices such as 3D sound, speech and natural language input, integrated multimedia and hypermedia instruction, and multi user interaction

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 6 )