Imagine being able to train for any possible EMS situation all while doing one of your favorite hobbies. The days of having to create elaborate reenactments of disasters are over. Now you can get the training you need through the use of videos games. Yes video games. Immediate response to crucial circumstances can be the basis of life and death. During terrorist attacks and other accidents, panic is not an option. You have to be able to respond to the accident as fast as you can to rescue lives, to rescue your country and to rescue your faith.
Finding a way to train for these situations has been an issue for many reasons. Ask any governmental officials or chiefs at any fire station or police station and you will hear the same complaint, “There is only so much we can do… and it isn’t enough. How do you create chaos so that we know how to respond to it?” It is one thing to know how to enter a building that is on fire, or remove people from car crashes; it is something else to deal with mass destruction, chaos and panic. SANDIA National Laboratories developed the fastest way to inform people of the facts and possible real time scenarios of a terrorist attack situation or any untoward events.
The number of people that enjoy gaming is increasing every day. Many people use video games as an escape, a way to get away from their life for a little bit and become a hero in another world. EMS personnel are no strangers to being a hero, it comes with the job. Many of you also enjoy video games. This means that the combination of video games and the needed disaster training into one would not only be effective but fun. Simulated real life crisis situations are designed to help the gamer how to react in real time to the chaos in front of him.
SANDIA launched Ground Truth as a virtual game to help you train. The purpose of this virtual environment is to provide you with a platform that allows you and other EMS personnel to get “firsthand experience” in the event of a disaster. Researchers from Sandia commented that it was difficult to create a game that would not only draw in the EMS professional but also retain the strict educational objectives that are needed to give you the training that you need. You go through training on a routine basis to learn how to deal with so many crisis such as fires, car crashes, kidnapping, shootings and so on. Often this means one of your fellow responders is playing the role of the victim… Ground Truthputs you in a “real life” situation dealing with “real people” and your goal is to successful maneuver the situation with as few causalities as possible while you remain calm and focused.
Through careful game planning SANDIA was able to create an EMS video game that operates much like any other PSP game. To make your way through the different levels you have to respond to each situation and circumstance correctly. Using the same platform as Halo or Tour of Duty, Ground Duty proves to be as exciting and adrenaline pumping game. Before the game was available to you for training it was put to the test by expert gamers and scrutinized in many game forums before its release to the public.
The specialists at SCANDIA performed thorough research on how to make sure that the game would leave indelible marks in the brain for you to draw upon if those same circumstances present themselves in the real world. In other words, they needed to make sure that the training you are going through with EMS video games would give you the experience you need to respond correctly in real life. For example, one environment includes the warning, “there is a bomb, evacuate immediately.”
You will need to analyze the situation, the perimeter that may be affected and the ability to get resources is vital to the success of the mission. Your primary goals should be to make sure you are safe, get any causalities out of the way, contact the people that you need in order to get your job done, analyze the situation so that you can inform other EMS personnel where they need to be to effectively resolve the situation with as few casualties as possible.
After getting these done, you have to be able to inform the people in the area about the situation without causing panic. It is very important that there will be no additional casualties because of incorrect information given by you.
In a sense, Ground Truth was developed to let you know about the possible response when untoward events happen. It is developing your skill on how to cope with fear in order to save lives; on how to control the crowd to avoid any commotion; to know the possible exit when something may happen during the event.
Moreover, Ground Truth is a complete simulation with the right people that may come across during these situations. Cars of people are present; police cars, ambulance are there, fire trucks are in the area as well to present a clear and real time scenario of the situation.
Hazmat on the run
Dartmouth College’s Interactive Media Laboratory has developed a Hazmat video game. It has been carefully developed with response systems to give an overview of the responses you may have depending on the situation and where you are at the moment.
The HAZMAT simulation is based in the real world with real people playing in the virtual world. It uses real time equipment that may be used by the responder; giving a real place for you to act on the situation through definite action to save lives and the property in the area. During this simulation, you are also taught how to use the material so that you can apply it in real life.
The combination of video games and teaching techniques to help EMS personnel respond better to terrorist attacks is widely supported by the US government and is duly licensed by the Feds to create a learning hub through the game plan.