Karlsruhe district firefighters train in the virtual world

Volunteer firefighters from Linkenheim-Hochstetten (Karlsruhe district) will also undergo virtual fire extinguishing training in the future. According to a spokeswoman for the Vodafone company, firefighters are equipped with so-called virtual reality glasses during these exercises. When using the “VR Firefighters” system, an actual fire is simulated in a digital world, a computer-generated 3D environment, for training purposes.

Basics, special cases and more

The training platform, which is operated by Northdocks GmbH (Monheim, NRW), offers firefighters the opportunity to practice basic training, special cases and other everyday firefighting situations in the virtual environment.

According to Vodafone, the technology is already being used by the Werl (NRW) volunteer fire brigade and the Henkel factory fire brigade. The training license for volunteer firefighters is around 200 euros per month, Linkenheim-Hochstetten received it free of charge for one year. Other firefighters from the Karlsruhe district have already expressed interest. The system was presented on National Firefighters Day in Kehl, which lasts until July 23.

Ministry of the Interior: “simpler, more efficient and more economical!”

In order to digitize the training of firefighters, many different approaches are currently being studied and some are already sold, as announced by the Ministry of the Interior. From the state’s perspective, digital apps can significantly support firefighter training, a spokeswoman said. “Especially when activities are simulated that cannot be represented as a practice situation or only with great effort.” With regard to the pure operation and use of the devices, it will in many cases be easier, more efficient and more economical to train yourself on and with the device.

Whether the purchase of such systems by the responsible municipalities makes sense has to be decided locally and by the municipalities themselves. “We have received a lot of feedback on comparable systems that the costs and effort for introduction, installation and maintenance are not commensurate with the benefits,” the ministry spokeswoman said.

Mathew Baynton

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