Virtual Reality Training for Industrial Firefighting



Sam Ryan, Co-Founder, Parable, Utrecht, The Netherlands


There is a frenzy of movement on deck as another loud explosion erupts from behind you, accelerating a raging chemical fire at the liquid bulk terminal.The clock is ticking and you need to extinguish the fire now. A walkie-talkie blares in your left hand with updates from the land-side fire department, while your right hand opens a valve manifold as you shout to another crew member. The lid comes flying off its hinges from the pressure and strikes you in the leg. It's all over.

You remove the head-mounted display and take a deep breath. The instructor says you failed to pass the training, but then again, everyone does their first time in Virtual Reality (VR).

Your assessment pops up on your mobile phone; below average communication with crew members, failure to remember correct procedures, failure to check pressure levels before opening the valves, inability to tie moment to moment decisions with the big picture. Luckily, the training will repeat next week, and this time you will be mentally ready.

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