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Emergency 101 – VR Training

MUPD equips with new virtual reality training simulations

 

by Home Page Staff - August 19, 2019

Welcome to another edition of Emergency 101, hosted by Tioga County Emergency Management Coordinator, Benton Best.

Exciting new opportunities are opening up at Mansfield University in the Public Safety Training Institute (PSTI) program, in addition to the Police Academy. According to Mansfield University Police Department Chief, Scott Henry, the Institute was created in May of 2018. Together, they have been working with a number of different agencies, individuals and groups to become the training facility it is today.

Along with police training, the institute has added EMR and EMT programs – both of which have procured outstanding results.

“Last November we had our first law enforcement EMT class, of which we had eleven students from various agencies,” said Chief Henry. “They did very well. In fact, above and beyond the national average as far as first-time. For example, this past Friday we graduated ten individuals in an EMR class. The national average is 68% for first-time going through that. We had a 90% pass rate.”

The Public Safety Training Institute is now affiliate with the National Fire Academy and Pennsylvania State Police as a training site. They are also working closely with the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC). To today’s date, they’ve utilized approximately 23,000 instructional hours.

The PSTI is also equipping their trainees using innovative technologies to help them address the new and emerging threats that our world is facing. One of these new systems is the virtual reality training program.

“We have looked from an institute and university standpoint, how can we advance our technological side to our educational process?” said Chief Henry. “The first technology that we’ve obtained has been the new virtual reality system. We are the first police academy…in the commonwealth, excluding the state police…none of these other academies or agencies have this technology.”

The virtual reality training system utilizes a computer, virtual reality console, sensors, controllers and headset to render a simulation of events and/or scenarios for trainees to test and practice their education. Sensors placed around a room, in conjunction with handheld controllers, measure the user’s movements and position to simulate what it would look like in real-time from a first-person perspective.

“We may cover a specific topic [in class], for example – use of force. And then we can immediately take them out of that classroom setting and down into the virtual reality room and put them in those various modules for testing and experience…it’s unbelievable.” remarked Chief Henry. “To use that resource before go into any sort of practical scenarios with these recruits, it’s a great in-between. Very exciting.”

Credits:

Idea/Concept: Benton Best

Videography: Ethan Chabala

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Home Page Staff

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by UPMC Susquehanna, Laurel Health Centers

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