Enhanced online training for NSW firefighters

Monday, 12 December, 2022 | Supplied by: Vertel

Enhanced online training for NSW firefighters

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has chosen telecommunications carrier Vertel to implement Beaconsim — a Finnish-based operative field communications simulator provider — to deliver enhanced training for first responders.

Firefighters work in hazardous conditions and are exposed to a much greater risk of injury and death than most other workers, so firefighter safety is of paramount importance to FRNSW. Every fire department must have appropriate measures for firefighter safety, including proper training.

FRNSW recognised the need to invest in an online training solution that offered flexible and remote learning opportunities for its firefighters and used real-life scenarios that could strengthen and refresh pre-existing skills. It also had to be accessible from personal devices, including laptops, desktops and mobile phones.

“FRNSW chose Vertel based on its longstanding reputation of delivering best-in-class communications solutions for emergency services,” said Paul Barnes, Director of IT Operations & Communications at FRNSW. “The Vertel team listened to FRNSW’s requirements and, along with its partner Beaconsim, delivered a customised solution that would meet our needs.”

Beaconsim offers fully-fledged solutions for critical communications training and planning for networks including TETRA, LTE, 5G, DMR, digital PMR, Tetrapol, mesh, P25 and proprietary networks. The advanced radio command and control dispatcher simulators are reality-based, easily controlled by the trainer and designed to measure learning.

“With Beaconsim, the online training simulation is specifically tailored to FRNSW,” Barnes said. “Vertel and Beaconsim spent a week onsite looking at the operations and taking videos and recordings to create the best, most relevant online interactive training program. The program is designed so responders must walk through the training step by step before they can move on to the next part of the training.

“The solution ensures that FRNSW receives quality training in a safe, low-stress environment, especially for its first responders who want to increase their level of knowledge. Once training is completed, they can leverage those capabilities in real-life situations where effective communication is sometimes the difference between life and death.”

Tony Hudson, Commercial Director at Vertel, said, “It is critical that FRNSW has confidence in its training program and can ensure that everyone has access to the best training available and has completed it to the best of their ability.

“Vertel has a longstanding history in delivering communications solutions for emergency services. This means we understand the importance of public safety, the safety of emergency services workers and the impact of critical network services going down. Vertel and Beaconsim have delivered a unique solution that helps FRNSW ensure that first responders are trained in the best way to improve operations and minimise risk.”

Barnes added, “The cost-effective training solution is reality-based, measurable and easily controlled by the trainer. Since implementing the advanced radio command and control dispatcher simulator, approximately 20% of FRNSW firefighters have participated in and completed the course, which is also available to new recruits and any firefighter who wants to refresh their knowledge. With simple learning management system (LMS) integration and enhanced scalability, choosing Vertel and Beaconsim was an easy decision for FRNSW.”

Beaconsim CEO Elina Avela concluded, “Through our partnership with Vertel, Beaconsim can offer FRNSW the same quality of training in advanced radio dispatcher command simulation as we have done in many others in locations including Finland, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what technology is implemented — if the responders don’t know how to use it, the whole operation is in jeopardy. That’s why comprehensive and user-focused training programs are so important, along with reliable networks.”

Image credit: iStock.com/EvgeniyShkolenko

Online: www.vertel.com.au
Phone: 1300 837 835
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