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Why Augmented Reality Training Is Ideal for High-risk, Low-occurrence Scenarios



High-risk, low-occurrence scenarios are among the most common—and costly—trainings first responders receive. Of course, they’re fully necessary as part of a risk mitigation strategy. These types of scenarios typically require a certain level of technical expertise, and first responders need to be highly proficient in handling them, even if they don’t happen very often. Which makes regular training in them so crucial; the safety of the crew as well as civilians are on the line and one false move could prove disastrous.

When high-risk scenarios happen, it’s essential that the first responders managing the situation gather the important information quickly and make complex decisions based on what they learn. Time to make slow, considered decisions isn’t usually possible in these scenarios. The quicker a responder can identify the problem and know the solution, the safer everyone is.

This requires what’s called “Recognition-primed Decision Making,” where the decision maker recognizes a scenario, has experience in it, and can make better decisions faster based on that experience. Decision makers with less experience tend to rely more on trial and error, but in a crisis, there’s no room for mistakes. When people’s well-being and lives hang in the balance, there’s no opportunity for a “do over.”

Live trainings in these scenarios are often fairly complex and dangerous in and of themselves. Sometimes they can involve putting trainees and the trainer in harm’s way, which seems counterproductive to training objectives.

That’s why augmented reality (AR) training is ideal for high-risk, low-occurrence scenarios. Using specialized headsets, smartphones, and tablets, augmented reality trainings can put the trainee into a hands-on simulation of real events. They can be made to look exactly like a real situation, including real buildings and floor layouts with real physics simulating physical behaviors of fires, chemicals, or other harmful materials.


Augmented reality delivers hands-on simulations enable trainees to gain valuable “hands-on” experience without the risks associated with live trainings. Whereas live trainings with real materials can only be completed a handful of times, augmented reality trainings can be repeated as much as needed until a satisfactory outcome is achieved, all without endangering anyone.

What’s more, because no real materials are used, AR trainings tend to be less expensive. In live trainings, once materials are used, they need to be replenished. But there are no materials in AR, and there’s no need to buy, transport, or store them, potentially saving tens of thousands of dollars in the budget each year.

Lastly, augmented reality trainings can be done anytime and almost anywhere, as long as the participants have internet access. Participants don’t need to go to a specific location at a specific time. Training can be done during down time at the station or even from the comfort of their own home. And that means that training schedules can be developed around staffing needs without having to worry about being understaffed at critical times. What’s more, training can take place as many times as is needed, and not just at specific times during the year.

To be sure, high-risk, low-occurrence scenarios are unpredictable by nature, but the better prepared first responders are, the better they’ll be able to react appropriately and manage the situation safely. Augmented reality is the ideal tool to help them perform at the level the public expects them to.


Want to learn more about adding augmented reality trainings for first responders? Contact us to discuss integrating AR into your mission-critical operations.

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