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Simulators to train first responders are being developed in many countries. One has recently been inaugurated in Concordia University.
According to the Skanner, this is a state-of-the-art facility that can create thousands of different training scenarios. This simulator serves as a teaching instrument for Homeland Security students at Concordia and is available for disaster training for other businesses and public agencies.
The simulator features a 43-foot by 10-foot semi-circular display that provides a fully immersive experience as if the incident commander was actually at the scene of an emergency.
Attached to the large display are six video monitor stations which also interact within the simulation. These stations support other active participants like emergency medical personnel who treat injured people.
In a nearby room there is the Emergency Operations Center that also shows the simulation. This room offers training for executives like the chief of police, the fire chief, or the mayor.
These people would not necessarily arrive on the scene first, but would still be responsible for decisions and resources.
There is even a broadcast studio on site for the instructors to create newscasts to deliver disaster information.
The system is designed to train all levels of emergency responders simultaneously and allow for different emergency teams such as police, fire and rescue and hazardous materials crews to work within the same scenario.
Concordia spent $1 million for simulator software and the building modifications. The FBI and the NYPD also use the same simulator software, called the Advanced Disaster Management Simulator (ADMS), but only in discrete stand-alone units.
In addition to the rural scene, there are downtown scenes, shopping malls, seaports, airports, industrial plants and college campus environments. The software is customizable so the instructors can add active elements to the situations such as a debris fire, a multi-vehicle accident; even terrorist attacks.