Toledo Fire Department purchases virtual incident response training simulator

Published:  20 May, 2014

To further enhance its training courses and allow in-depth training for any type of incident, the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department (USA) has purchased and implemented the RescueSim virtual incident command training platform. The agreement follows an extended testing period of the simulator throughout the first quarter 2014.

The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department (TFRD) is currently integrating RescueSim into its Training Curriculum. Lieutenant Victor Ellis and Captain Gregory Tillman from the TFRD have already been successfully trained as simulator instructors by RescueSim developer VSTEP, making them capable to lead all virtual training scenarios and exercise real-time simulator control during virtual incident training.

Serving a population of 284.000, the TFRD has 18 fire stations located strategically throughout the city of Toledo (OH, USA) and is staffed by over 475 professional firefighters. In addition to responding to fires, all Toledo firefighters are trained as Emergency Medical Technicians with 160 also being certified as paramedics. Each year the TFRD responds to over 50,000 calls for emergency service including fire, hazardous materials incidents, water rescue, confined space rescue, and homeland security.

RescueSim is a next gen virtual training tool for emergency responders and Fire and Rescue services that allows emergency crews to virtually train and experience a diverse range of incidents 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 and consider effectiveness during post incident debriefing. Useful for training any thinkable incident, RescueSim also has specialized modules for incidents in ports, airports as well as industrial incidents and motorway/traffic incidents.

Thomas Jaksetic, Deputy Chief of the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department said: ‘RescueSim enables Toledo Fire and Rescue Department members to train in a safe and controlled environment (virtual world) whenever and wherever convenient. Training scenarios are limited only by instructors’ imagination. RescueSim is cost effective. For example, TFRD staff spent $55,600 in grant funds to deliver a mass-casualty full-scale exercise in September 2013. This exercise was a one-day event. RescueSim allows us to create that same exercise and deliver critical training lessons to an unlimited number of personnel an unlimited number of times.

‘I am very excited about introducing RescueSim training technology to TFRD and believe it will become a training standard for Mass Causality, Incident Command, Officer Development, Hazardous Material Response, and Strategic and Tactics training. In addition, RescueSim will enhance table-top and functional exercises for all involved.

‘It was a pleasure working with international sales representative Jeroen Boon. His knowledge of the product and teaching ability is outstanding. I look forward to working with VSTEP sales and support staff to help train our personnel in safe environments.’

For more information about The Toledo Fire and Rescue Department, visit

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