Technology Enhances Programs at PSTC

Students look at a blazing fire, with yellow smoke emanating from it. As resources arrive, they are assigned to a staging area, objectives are developed, and tasks are assigned to manage this ominous event. Suddenly, a missing firefighter is reported. Roll call is conducted, and the "victim" is discovered in the rehab area, being cared for by paramedics. Meanwhile, other students overlook the scene, and begin questioning location of equipment, size of perimeter and when certain tasks occurred. Law enforcement is also on the scene conducting investigations.

New tools at the Public Safety Training Center are making it more realistic for students to practice their tactical and management skills. The recent additions of a expanded, partly mobile critical incident management board, coupled with Aimsonscene Incident Command software and Fire Studio simulation software are giving the instructors the ability to make practice scenarios more realistic, and document actions of commanders.

Fire Studio will allow for buildings on the simulator board to be "burned" and require decisions based on a visual size up of the structure. Aimsonscene is used by more the 450 emergency service agencies across the country to manage emergencies, assure accountability, and document actions. In fact, developers are using it in several areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina.

The new critical incident management board is nearly triple the size of the original board, is the largest in the state and includes school and office buildings, railroad tracks, more hazmat, residential and community locations, water hazards and a rural setting. It will be used in nearly all PSTC classes. Fire Studio can be projected on classroom walls, and the Aimsonscene software can be used to manage the incident, from any computer in the building.