Keywords: simulation, emergency management, incident command, training
Simulation techniques for training emergency response
The Institute for Simulation and Training (IST), University of Central Florida, in conjunction with the US Army and the Orange County (Florida) Fire Rescue Department, have developed and fielded a series of simulation techniques for conducting disaster exercises and training public safety personnel to respond to disasters. Simulator training offers several important advantages, including cost and safety. We are also gathering persuasive evidence that training effectiveness is substantially improved by the use of simulation as compared with traditional field exercises. Our programme is now in its seventh year and has concentrated on training for two main skill domains: emergency management incident command, and emergency medical care performed in the field. We provide a programmatic overview, including descriptions and illustrations of the following projects: Project Plowshares, sponsored by the US Army, involved conversion of a war game simulation to support civilian emergency management exercises; the Combat Trauma Patient Simulator, a project funded by the US Army and the manufacturer (METI), uses a highly realistic medical simulator connected to the internet to model treatment of battlefield casualties; crisis management field exercises have been supported by the use of simulation techniques and technology, in conjunction with the US and Swedish military and local public safety agencies, particularly the Orange County Fire Rescue Department.