CRISIS (Critical Incident Management System using an Interactive Simulated Environment) is a 36‐month, 12-partner, FP7 project aimed at developing a train-on‐demand simulation platform, which adapts advance video games technology to train first responders and crisis managers. CRISIS will support both collocated and distributed training across different emergency service organisations. The key problem with existing live training is that it is infrequent and expensive, and planning and coordination require major efforts (including trainees, instructors, observers and role-players).
The project started in May 2010, and is based on iterative user studies at Lisbon Airport, Caiscais Aerodrome (Portugal), Reykjavik Airport (Iceland) and the British Transport Police (UK). We are currently developing challenging training scenarios that will translate into interactive virtual worlds, developed using the Unity3D game engine.
Reconfiguration and Re-purpose: Airports to Stadiums
Through a ‘smart’ interface, users with limited programming ability will be able to configure the simulation (avatars, props and their behaviours) thereby allowing the same engine to be used to train crisis managers at other airports, rail crossings, or even a football stadium.
CRISIS will emphasize real-time cue recognition diagnosis, planning under uncertainty and stress, decision making, information handling, team coordination and human interoperability, rather than just the presentation of a situation and to choose between predefined options.
Secure and Inter-Operable
The Secure Integration Platform will provide a component-based software architecture that would enable rapid integration of existing and new software components.
After-Action Review, Exercise Planning, and Advanced Knowledge Management
Included in CRISIS will be After Action Review and Exercise Planning capability, enabling real-time injects, and rapid trainee performance evaluation. CRISIS will incorporate advanced decision and knowledge management technologies and visualisation techniques to facilitate rapid analysis of After Action Review data (which can originate from many sources).
Variable Uncertainty Framework
CRISIS will use the concept of “variable uncertainty” for recreating the variability and complexity of real-world situations in the simulation world. The variability can be broken down into three dimensions: situational complexity of each event, the total number of events, and predictability of event occurrence. Varying these dimensions will vary the difficulty of situations presented to trainees, from simple drills to advanced exercises.
4D/ID Training Approach
A 4C/ID approach will be used to develop the training plan. The first step is to gather the training requirements, which includes understanding the tasks, complexities and variabilities, and identifying competencies and training gaps. These will then be used to develop a training syllabus, comprising of task classes of increasing difficulty. Each task class contains a series of exercises that need to be planed, which involves setting the difficulty level and identifying the objectives (competencies) to train. Each exercise can then imported into the system by the instructor using a timeline planning interface. Events of varying complexity and randomness can be dropped onto the timeline. The visual interface allows the instructor to make sure each of the training objects are met.
Test-bed for New or Unthinkable Scenarios
It will be possible to also use CRISIS as a test-bed for trailing new or revised procedures, and test plans in new threat scenarios.