Both in the UK and in America, fire services are saving tens of thousands by turning to Virtual Reality for their fire safety training.
Using VR fire training to save cost, fuel, water and time
In Raleigh, North Carolina, new recruits are donning VR headsets to test their skills in realistic emergency simulations. The department hails the new training method as faster, safer and cheaper than traditional methods.
The savings are likely to be in the tens of thousands. Training equipment – including CPR mannequins and safety gear – costs up to $50,000, whereas Virtual Reality fire training costs around $2,000. There’s also the added bonus of reduced wear on equipment, as well as environmental benefits. Captain Jake Corker explained: “Previous process involved using an actual truck, stretching hoses, dispersing water to different places. So having this unit actually saves a lot of water, a lot of fuel, wear and tear on our apparatus”.
The department is even considering taking the VR experience to the next level, creating yet more sophisticated, lifelike scenarios. Even with this upgrade, VR remains the cheaper option at less than $13,000.
VR fire training ‘brilliantly supplements’ traditional training for UK force
Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service is paving the way for a new generation of fire safety training in the UK. Using VR, trainees can prepare for emergencies without having to set foot outside the fire station. Usually, multiple staff members would have to travel to training centres, taking them away from their work at the station, with the added cost of travel and accommodation.
Each VR simulation was filmed using up to 166 cameras. The filming focused on a number of real high-risk sites around Leicester. This means recruits can familiarise themselves with the layouts of buildings they may have to attend in future.
As well as the cost benefits, the force has also highlighted the safety benefits of using VR, which comes with far fewer risks. However, Virtual Reality won’t entirely replace traditional training. Watch Manager Paul Speight said the VR programme will “supplement [traditional training] brilliantly”.
Virtual Reality fire training for your employees
It’s not just fire departments who are using VR in fire safety training. Organisations across a number of industries are turning to Virtual Reality to prepare their staff for an emergency, from airline pilots to power workers. Here at Absorb Reality, we can work with organisations across the public and private sectors to design VR training courses to suit almost every need. Using the latest in VR technology, we can deliver sessions onsite or at a location of your choosing. Get in touch to find out how VR training could save you money while reducing safety risks.