VIRTUAL AND AUGMENTED REALITY IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF FIREFIGHTERS
As technologies rapidly change the world around, many people are interested in how virtual reality will shape learning. Virtual reality (VR) is really poised to change the way that educators teach and students learn both inside and outside of the classroom. While we are just now seeing the beginnings of what will be a full-blown integration of VR into education, it’s clear that virtual reality and also augmented reality (AR) will deliver the modern and innovative study tools. Actually, these students need to be successful in fields that have been difficult to teach using conventional methods, as well as, those that haven’t yet been invented. It’s also likely that the best schools of tomorrow will be defined according to how well the school has adapted its curriculum to current and future technological demands rather than past achievements. Up to 65% of today’s primary school students will work in fields that don’t currently exist. It’s very likely that modern tools based on principles of VR and AR will play a big role in education and training of young people and be introducing them difficult concepts that are more easily explained through innovative ways connected with immersive experiences.
Due to decreasing computer equipment costs and increasing processor speed, computer simulations have become more common over the last decade. Virtual and augmented reality is one new and rapidly growing capability used for computer simulations. As equipment capabilities have progressively grown, the applied uses of such technologies for education and training have become broader even to the educational process. In particular, VR allows full submersion into a virtual environment. As a result, VR with the extension of AR can be used in training situations where it would be too dangerous or logistically impossible to have users participate in an actual event. One of the first things that we must clarify is that virtual reality training is not a replacement for live fire training. Live fire training, experiencing the heat of the fire, is an absolute requirement for firefighters. Virtual reality training should be regarded as a supplement that allows firefighters to stay proficient in tactics and situations that can make live fire training and time in a hot zone more effective.
The authors of the contribution present the current state of education and training of firefighters in accordance with current legislation in the Slovak Republic. One of the main educational institutions focused on the education and training of firefighters and members of fire and rescue services is Department of Fire Engineering, The Faculty of Security Engineering at the University of Žilina. Exactly, the above-mentioned department educates and prepares future professional firefighters. The contribution also present the study course Rescue services, compulsory subjects, the content of subjects, as well as many years standing teaching methods. The staff of Department of Fire Engineering has a really excellent cooperation with rescue practice. This fact positively influences the learning process due to organizing educational excursions, sports competitions and, of course, for better employment of graduates in practice. The authors emphasize the ways in which virtual and augment reality tools can be used in the process of education and training of firefighters.