EDGE Virtual Training

Published in Resources on 4/2/2018

The Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), developed by DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate, is a game-based training software that allows multiplayers to connect on a simulated training session.

Tagged Under: COOP, Drills, Emergency Response, Emergency Technology, Exercises, Offsite Response, Planning, Readiness Assurance, Site Security, Training

EDGE Virtual Training

Innovative training enhances user engagement and promotes knowledge retention.  Effective training analyzes the end user to ensure the proposed training is appropriate to the audience. Innovative training often engages critical thinking skills through a blended learning approach; combining instructor-led with hands-on training, web-based and virtual instruction at various levels of complexity and experience.

Learning and development teams, world-wide, are using technologies to develop hybrid training platforms. These training platforms engage participants through the use of mobile devices, digital readers, videos, gamification, and virtual reality.    

Virtual Reality (VR) isn’t new. In fact references to virtual reality date back as early as 1860.  VR is an artificial computer-generated scenario created with software that mirrors real life experiences. The user is immersed in an alternate reality they accept as real. It is experienced, primarily, through site and sound.  A person engaged in the virtual world is able to look around, move around in it, and interact with virtual features or items.

VR historically has been used for entertainment, but some leading-edge companies are now using it to deliver vital training. In these virtual worlds, trainees gain invaluable experience through simulated interactions that would otherwise be difficult, or impossible, to emulate in a real-world training environment.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been working on just such a training program for first responders. The Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), developed by DHS’s Science and Technology Directorate, is a game-based training software that allows multiplayers to connect on a simulated training session.  EDGE allows a diversification of responders to assume discipline-based avatars and simultaneously role-play complex response scenarios. EDGE offers a scalable, online training environment for first responders—single agency or across agencies, jurisdictions, and/or disciplines—for a coordinated response to critical incidents.

Instructors can use EDGE to train first-responder teams in a safe, no-fault environment. Scenarios can be modified or re-run as many times as necessary to provide a wide range of training experiences. EDGE provides an after-action review capability where training sessions can be replayed with full pause, rewind, and fast-forward controls to highlight key training points.

The first scenario, an active shooter incident at a local hotel, brings law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, dispatch, and unified command together in a joint response. This EDGE scenario is now available, free of charge, to all U.S. first responder agencies.

Select the links below to take you to the DHS/EDGE page. The first two videos provide information about the training platform, EDGE. The third link provides a demonstration of the VR Active Shooter Scenario.

DHS Enhanced Dynamic Deo-Social Environment (EDGE)

EDGE Virtual Training Revisited

DHS First Responder Group Virtual Training Program: Active Shooter Scenario​




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