FAS Training Project for Multi Casualty Incident Response Wins Grant from CDC
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded FAS a grant to begin development of a prototype training system using advanced learning technologies to prepare fire fighters to respond to major emergencies.
"Our work for the CDC will form the essential building blocks for a larger scale, multi-year effort," said Michelle Roper, Information Technologies Manager at FAS. "The project ultimately seeks to capture advances in learning science and information technology to improve the caliber and scope of emergency response training nationwide." This effort is part of FAS' Training Technology Against Terror Project that calls for a national strategy to use advanced technology to help ensure that the training systems put in place today to meet immediate training needs can continuously improve over the next coming years.
In its 2002 report, Training Technology against Terror: Using Advanced Technology to Prepare America's Emergency Medical Personnel and First Responders for a WMD Attack, FAS warns that even with adequate funding, current WMD training programs are inadequate to the task. WMD training demands are dramatically larger in scope and more complex than anything the nation has faced before. Millions of civilian and military medical personnel need to be trained quickly to respond to mass casualty incidents and have continuous access to refresher courses (including "just in time" training during an emergency). The report urges federal leadership to speed the introduction of new information and training technologies to build training systems that can reach first responders quickly with timely information. It calls for training to be tailored to local situations, and for simulated experiences that will raise levels of performance in an actual emergency.
"This is a very exciting milestone for FAS, our Learning Federation project and our partners," said Kay Howell, Vice President of FAS. "The CDC grant is a step towards our vision of a national program to support the research described in our Research Roadmaps ". The roadmaps have been developed with input from nearly 100 experts in learning science and technology. They describe a national research program to develop software tools to enable radically improved ways to teach and learn, including tools for continuous assessment, question and answering systems that stimulate learning, and individualized delivery of content to motivate learners by making the content relevant.