RescueSim Used for Tunnel Operator Training

For its compulsory yearly training, the department for Roads & Tunnels of The Hague (Holland) has organized three large scale tunnel incident exercises using the RescueSim virtual incident management simulator developed by VSTEP. The Goal is  to train tunnel operators for specific tunnel emergency response procedures and improve communication with the emergency services.

RescueSim is a virtual incident training simulator that allows emergency and safety professionals to realistically train any thinkable incident in a safe virtual 3D environment. Both mono-and multidisciplinary training is possible.

The tunnel incident exercises took place on November 21, 22, and 27 in the control room of the Hubertus Tunnel. Each exercise consisted of two sessions in which six tunnel operators were trained in emergency procedures, incident response and communication during various tunnel disasters including tunnel fires, smoke hazards and traffic accidents.

Using RescueSim, accidents and incident scenarios were simulated on the control room screens. These incidents only occurred in the virtual simulation, in the real tunnel there were no accidents at that time. With the virtual incidents taking place on their screens, the tunnel operators could train all necessary incident procedures and communications exactly as they would in real life. To ensure maximum realism for the tunnel operators, the Hubertus Tunnel  was closed for traffic which allowed the operators to activate the actual tunnel alarm procedures during the virtual incident training. After going through various emergency scenarios and subsequent evaluation, the exercise was successfully concluded and the Hubertus Tunnel was reopened to all traffic.

Virtual training and simulation of tunnel incidents allows tunnel operators to improve their skills and realistically train the emergency procedures and communication with emergency services in a safe and cost effective way.

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