Firefighter Training, Tech Zone

How the Cosumnes Fire Department Incorporates Virtual Reality into Its Fire Academy Training

Issue 5 and Volume 173.

By Justin Quarisa, Julie Rider, and Kirk McKinzie Do you remember your fire academy? The intensity of the physical training, the timed pressure to dress in turnouts, raising ladders, forcing the door, and advancing hoselines? The countless hours of classroom learning, waiting for the chance to come face-to-face with the fire? What about gearing up in your turnouts and wearing your self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) for your first exposure to fire? Before heading into the flash can classroom of live fire training, did you experience deep down a daunting feeling and wonder, Do I have a good seal on my mask? Will the intense heat get the best of me? How much am I expected to learn with my adrenaline pumping, heart racing, and heightened senses? Was the instructor’s voice muffled by the Darth Vader-like SCBA noise? Then the fire was ignited, and you were awestruck by dancing flames, the…

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