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FORGE: Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District

PLATTEVILLE, Colorado - Firefighters in Colorado have been able to get their hands on a new bit of technology this year, training on triage and size-up while using an augmented reality device. Firefighters with Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District have been working with Aviro Analytics recently to increase their level of training with a focus on fire and EMS incidents.

Lieutenant Joe Bechina said that the augmented reality device and software is being used to help firefighters with triage and fireground size-up. The first minutes of a multi-vehicle, multi-patient accident, or a structure fire, need to be properly and quickly seen and understood to operate as safely as possible and to give direction to other first responders.

“We used to do dry erase board lessons or random structure drills as part of this training. We also had a limited two-dimensional software program, but it wasn’t doing well for us,” said Lieutenant Bechina. “With Forge we now have a more inclusive program that makes it better for training.”

Bechina said they have been using Forge for vehicle accident triage and the 360-degree size-up of buildings. In the simulations for patient triage, users can become proficient in tagging patients as well as having some patient interaction.

For fireground size-up users can choose from pre-selected buildings, residential and commercial, with several stories, and train on fire location, hoseline direction, fire attack, and rescues. “The residential scenarios we went through were very realistic to what we actually have here,” said Bechina.

Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District firefighters staff two stations and cover an area of over 140 square miles. Firefighters respond to all call types, from wildfires to hazardous material incidents. Lieutenant Bechina said that the department follows the national incident command training system and Forge has given them a way to keep firefighters’ skills fresh with the scenarios provided.

“We can create scenarios ahead of time for multiple people to go through,” Bechina said of augmented reality training. “It is cool seeing the progress Forge has made, from the raw tech to now is incredible. Everybody has loved using it so far.”

See the amazing tech in action here: 360 Simulator

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