Thursday, November 5, 2015

NYU Delivers Interactive Online Firefighter Training

New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering is working with major U.S. urban fire departments to create game-based online simulations to build knowledge on modern firefighting. With the use of the system ALIVE, which stands for advanced learning through integrated visual environments, the new firefighting offerings will include sessions on fire dynamics, fighting fires in buildings constructed using modern lightweight materials and training for urban high rises.

“Firefighters cannot train using live fire on a daily, weekly or even a monthly basis—it’s impractical and too costly,” says Derek Alkonis, director of training for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. “However, firefighters need to understand how fires behave in structures and how assessing fire, heat, smoke and flow path can help them make better strategic and tactical decisions. Programs like ALIVE give us the opportunities to make mistakes without having to suffer real-life consequences.”

NYU reports that the training will be free, interactive, and will quickly and widely disperse accurate information to departments all across the country. “Without this online training, dissemination of this knowledge would be delayed, as we would have to wait for outside instructors to bring the information to the department,” says Ulysses Seal, chief of the Bloomington, MN, Fire Department.

An upcoming health module will center on minimizing cardiovascular risks caused by high stress, hostile temperatures and conditions, and heavy protective equipment. NYU reports the health module on ALIVE will train firefighters to understand the physiological strains of their duties, the factors that increase the risk of sudden cardiovascular events and evidence-based measures that may lessen the likelihood of a cardiac event during or immediately after emergencies.