Date: Tuesday, 26.05, 14:15–15:00

Place: C115, Kronstad (OBS: Not the usual room)

Speaker: Ilona Heldal, HiB

Title: Simulation and Serious Games Supporting Education and Training for Emergency Services: Experiences and future directions.



Organizations providing emergency services are facing a shift of paradigm from being closed towards being more open and acting in a larger, more robust and collaborative arena. This is true for all three main authorities involved in public safety and emergency services: the Police Departments, Ambulances, and the Fire Departments. New innovative technologies appear, and promise more suitable, robust and safer collaboration, both for work and for training.

Simulations and Serious Games (SSG) are the most promising technologies for educations and training emergency support. Benefits are enabling remote training, logging, allowing volume training, experiencing higher safety, being environmental friendly, visualizing complex situations with, for example too complex, too dangerous or too the expensive elements. These benefits are not only attractive, but also unique. Nevertheless, the usage of SSG is, still, limited even in countries like Sweden, characterized to be one of the leaders amongcountries engaged in technical innovation and development. Based on a case study on using SSGs in firefighter education and in education for ambulances, basic premises for introduction and efficient use of these technologies are investigated.

The questions leading this study are:

  1.    What are the tangible benefits of the SSG for organizations engaged in emergency services?
  2.     How those public safety agencies who are already using SSG, introduced the technologies in their education?
  3.      How education and training can achieve quality improvements with SSG?

During this seminar I will discuss experiences for introducing SSG in education projects. The findings confirm the benefits of SSGs; however, enhances the need for new methods and new procedures to systematically integrate SSGs in educational plans and in organizational strategies to ensure further development. Routines and tactics, especially for the introductory phases: procurement, and information in the respective organization, alignment to educational aims and integration in processes for planning education are needed. The study shows that educators’ knowledge of new technologies and skills will not spontaneously appear by procuring new technologies and following the introductory courses the developers offer. To have an overall perspective on technology usage, a plan for continuously handling updates and technical support should be considered, together with integrating changes to long-term educational goals.