It’s becoming more difficult for firefighters to keep up with an increasingly complex architecture — and how fire spreads throughout newer buildings constructed with composite materials that burn and give off vapors differently than traditional building materials. Lack of updated training can lead to fatalities.
Fortunately, new programs are being implemented to protect our first responders, including 3D fire training to improve operational and training practices. Tablets are the perfect device for this training, particularly if equipped with powerful graphics processors that can rapidly and seamlessly deliver a 3D experience.
3D fire training is a digital program that produces a 3D environment, complete with the physics of our real world. Programs can be used to create different fires and situations, and officers can use the simulation for training. By using these simulations, they are preparing themselves for real-world situations where they may be facing the same threat.
The process of 3D fire training goes as follows:
- Situational awareness. Firefighters view the building and the ongoing or simulated fire and size up the situation accordingly. Tablet tech can allow virtual viewing of the building from the exterior and interior.
- Risk assessment. By dynamically weighing the risks and benefits of different strategies, fire and rescue team members can choose the best possible path through a building and plot escape routes when rescuing persons from a burning building.
- Management of hazardous materials which may be unfamiliar to current personnel. Proactive measures can be implemented to decrease the hazards presented by unburned pyrolysate and flammable products of incomplete combustion.
- Ventilation strategy. Proper ventilation methods can be used to control the situation and reduce the amount of dangerous smoke in the area. 3D imaging can help determine the most likely route of air flow and suggest best next actions for venting floor by floor.
Tactical tablets can help assess the situation and determine which strategies will be most helpful, providing teams in training with a 3D view of potential situations. The trainee can put themselves in this situation mentally, playing out various scenarios and learning how to react in each situation. This type of hands-on training experience can be translated into actionable, lifesaving knowledge in the field.
The key in applying 3D concepts to ventilation strategies and tactics is to deliberately base decisions on what impact both inlets and exhaust openings will have on the fire and the fire environment. Visualizing these situations can be easier on trainees and veteran firefighters when displayed though the heavy graphics capabilities of a DT Research tablet.