With 3,000 City managers to train for a variety of secondary emergency responder roles, SPS has expanded the online training curricula for the NYC Office of Emergency Management. Some of these new cutting edge online courses replace those in the classroom, providing comprehensive and highly interactive online courses for those assigned as Evacuation Center and Hurricane Shelter Managers. The courses cover everything from setting up the facility and assigning staff to dealing with difficult situations in emergency sheltering.
The new online courses also cover the Logistics Center, the City’s procurement arm during emergencies, and the Lead Team for the Family Assistance Center for mass casualty events. These courses use a backdrop of simulated emergency scenarios based on real life events. The courses bring the plans to life through the use of video and engaging graphic interactivies and guide learners through critical decision making.
SPS has employed a new state-of-the-art technology, using the virtual world platform of Second Life, to develop a 3D learning environment for training Hurricane Shelter Managers. Based on an actual middle school designed as an emergency shelter, learners guide their avatar through the virtual facility, selecting rooms for shelter areas, moving emergency supplies into place, assigning and directing staff and managing the facility through the storm. This 3D learning environment allows for multiple players and can be repurposed for other emergency simulations. Initial feedback from test users has been highly positive and use of this training medium is being explored for further possibilities.
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