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Cheshire Fire Authority and VSTEP renew partnership for virtual incident management platform RescueSim

The virtual training suite at the training centre gives the incident command teams the most realistic training environment possible

The partnership reconfirms RescueSim as the virtual training software of choice

The Cheshire Fire Authority and VSTEP renew their partnership for training of fire & rescue personnel through use of the virtual incident management platform RescueSim. The partnership reconfirms RescueSim as the virtual training software of choice at the high-tech Cheshire Fire Authority training centre in Winsford.

The decision to renew the partnership and continue working with RescueSim was taken by the Fire Authority after careful evaluation of the other virtual incident training programs currently available in the market. Following this comparison, RescueSim was again selected due to its realism, ease of use, excellent customer service and its continuing development and innovation which allows the Cheshire Fire Authority to maintain their status of delivering the best command training in the UK and having the facilities to support this.

VSTEP and the Cheshire Fire Authority have been working together since 2010, when a partnership was signed to use VSTEP’s incident management platform RescueSim to enhance the incident preparation and response training for Fire & Rescue personnel at the state-of-the-art training facility in Winsford. The virtual training suite at the training centre gives the incident command teams the most realistic training environment possible, incorporating a range of innovative features to maximize immersion and training efficiency.

Peter Walsh, Business Development manager UK at VSTEP: “We are extremely proud to continue our technology partnership with the Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service. RescueSim being selected as the virtual incident training platform of choice at the most innovative virtual reality training facility in Europe is a recognition of the enhanced training value our virtual training offers to emergency incident responders. We look forward to continuing this partnership with the Cheshire Fire Authority for many years.”

Cheshire's Chief Fire Officer Paul Hancock acknowledges that while there would always be a need for practical training in using equipment to fight fires and rescue people from vehicles, the use of virtual reality facilities is also a vital element in the future: "Cheshire is now far safer than it used to be with major reductions in the number of fires and incidents we attend. That means far less practical opportunities for staff to develop their skills so our suite is essential in providing a completely safe environment for people to become competent in managing a whole range of emergency incidents,” he said.

RescueSim allows emergency crews to train in virtual environments and experience any incident as they would in real-life. They assess the situation and determine the best response strategy, implement it and then observe the consequences of their decisions. The RescueSim virtual incident training platform is currently used in over 20 countries worldwide and its customer base continues to increase as more emergency services and safety professionals recognise the positive effect virtual training has on their incident response effectiveness and as enhancement of their practical training.

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