Stevens Point fire department training with augmented reality software

Their new augmented reality fire extinguisher training allows participants to see what it would be like to extinguish a fire in their office without working with real fire.
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 11:37 AM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - The Stevens Point Fire Department is now using augmented reality to show the importance of fire safety in a way previously not possible. Augmented reality is an interactive experience where real-world environments are enhanced by computer-generated content.

The new augmented reality fire extinguisher training allows users to see what it would be like to extinguish a fire without the presence of actual flames.

“They’re seeing their actual office, their actual factory floor or their actual kitchen. They’re seeing whatever is through the iPad camera. While there’s no live fire, with this prop I think that it’s really going to get people used to what they might see in the actual environment,” Drew Egan the fire marshal for the Stevens Point Fire Department said.

The learning tool utilizes an iPad, an empty fire extinguisher, and QR codes. Through the screen, participants see items on fire and can practice how to put the fire out. Egan calls this the PASS method, which stands for pull the pin, aim, squeeze, and sweep.

The training tool also allows users to place augmented reality objects like oil barrels or wood pallets to showcase different fire types.

Egan said this training allows for his team to become more experienced with diverse fires. He said firefighters are eager to do the training again.

“Some guys like to teach and train others but the cool thing is that everybody’s been kind of interested in this. Some of the guys have been asking me that don’t normally ask me ‘Hey, can you show me how to use that? That’s pretty neat,’ or they’re interested in using the extinguisher themselves.”

In the past, local businesses and groups would have to come to the fire station to get fire extinguisher training. This new tool allows for Egan to travel to businesses and showcase how a fire would react in their environments. Egan already has plans to do training around the community and hopes that through this new tool, more people will take the time to learn this important skill.

If your business is interested in fire extinguisher training, contact the Stevens Point Fire Department for information.

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