Australian volunteer firefighters to undergo virtual reality training after devastating bushfire

Source: Xinhua| 2021-01-25 09:18:46|Editor: huaxia

SYDNEY, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- Australian volunteer firefighters will undergo state-of-the-art virtual reality training to help them grow accustomed to a range of different emergency scenarios, officials announced Monday.

Victoria state's Country Fire Authority (CFA) will roll out the training to 30,000 of its volunteers, who played a crucial role in the 2019/20 bushfire season disaster response.

The scale and devastation of Australia's 2019/20 bushfires garnered global attention, causing the loss of five lives and more than 300 homes in Victoria. The fires also burned more than 1.5 million hectares of critical wildlife habitat.

"The launch of the state-wide Virtual Firefighter training program today represents an exciting development in the evolution of firefighting training in Victoria," said Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville.

"We're ensuring our emergency services have the tools and resources they need to keep the community safe."

Similar to flight-simulator technology but designed specifically for firefighters, the Virtual Firefighter training program simulates dangerous fire scenarios such as house fires, grassfires and plane fires, while teaching real-life firefighting skills.

The technology mixes real-life firefighting equipment such as breathing apparatus and hose reels, with sense-perception devices such as heat pads and virtual reality headsets.

"It will give our hard-working volunteer firefighters the ability to extend their skills without exposing them to danger, and allow the CFA to expand its practical training to include more complex scenarios, such as aeroplane fires, without the costs of acting out this scenario in real life," Neville said. Enditem