College turns to virtual world to train emergency workers

Faculty members have used virtual settings for weekly office hours.

Bringing firefighters, police officers, nurses, and doctors together for emergency training can be a logistical – and expensive – nightmare, so Algonquin College in Ontario has brought the emergency workers together for practice runs in a 3D virtual setting.

Algonquin, a campus of 18,000 students in Ottawa, has held several practice sessions this year for the myriad experts who come together at the scene of an emergency, where a variety of pressing security and health issues must be addressed, and addressed quickly.

Using avatars in a virtual meeting space, firefighters, for example, interact with police officers at the make-believe scene of a disaster. The interactions, officials said, were realistic and served as worthwhile training for the unpredictable surroundings of an emergency.…Read More

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