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A team from the University of Illinois at Chicago, School of Public Health CADE (Center for the Advancement of Distance Education) has created a training archipelago called Public Health Preparedness. The island chain offers a variety of urban and rural environments with customized buildings, objects, and scripting tailored to emergency scenarios ranging from pandemic influenza to bio-terrorism and dirty bombs. Training exercises began in late 2006. Current training is primarily in the form of facilitated exercises allowing federal, state, and local workers as well as emergency volunteers to conduct a wide variety of virtual operations in support of Planning, Training, and Evaluation. There are terrific advantages in using Second Life to conduct many exercises virtually instead of live or in other traditional training modes (like tabletops). We predict that within two years a large portion of Emergency Preparedness Training exercises will be conducted virtually.
Date of Conference: 22-24 July 2009