According to a 2022 report for the American College of Emergency Physicians, 55% of
physicians taking the survey said they have been physically assaulted while at work, and 79%
have witnessed an assault. Unfortunately, violence and threats are common in medical facilities,
and security must be prepared to protect healthcare providers.

Most hospitals employ a security team, and like traditional law enforcement officers, hospital
security must undergo effective training to perform their duties proficiently.

VirTra is a company that provides advanced training simulators to law enforcement, military,
security, education, and medical industries. Hundreds of organizations across 40 countries use
VirTra simulators. Ascension St. John is the first private healthcare facility to obtain a VirTra
simulator.

The Ascension St. John Health System currently employs over 40 security officers trained in
security procedures, communication, de-escalation, and active shooter events. The safety of
their patients, guests, and associates is a top priority, so these officers must be prepared for
active threats, even if they occur infrequently.

In 2022, Ascension St. John Health System secured the VirTra simulator through the FEMA
Nonprofit Security Grant Program, a program designed to promote emergency preparedness
coordination and collaboration among public and private community representatives and state
and local government agencies. Healthcare industry facilities services provider, Medxcel,
facilitated the grant application, procurement, and installation processes.

“As part of our emergency management program, we help our healthcare locations apply for
federal grants that help pay for damages after a disaster, grants that help reduce risk, such as
hazard mitigation and security grants, and manage the required paperwork and reports.”
explained Scott Cormier, Vice President of Emergency Management, Environment of Care, and
Safety at Medxcel. “In the past six years, we’ve received approval for over $110M worth of
grants. These grants are even more important as healthcare systems continue to recover from
the worldwide impact of COVID-19 and find capital funds are limited.”

The three-screen VirTra V-180® decision-making simulator was installed in January 2024,
allowing users to practice for many interactive scenarios reflective of real-life situations. The
simulator features a large library of scenarios that offer various pathways to resolutions.
Scenarios pivot based on the officer’s responses, and actions and numerous training points can
be covered, including contact and cover, mental health/autism awareness, crisis de-escalation,
active threats, and many more.

Dynamic decision-making scenario-based training allows the security team to practice
numerous skills in a safe environment. Before receiving the simulator, Ascension St. John
Health System security officers would train in a classroom, practice handcuffing techniques or
spend time at a shooting range.

“We can implement frequent training in scenarios representing our environment. This is a
tremendous asset and allows all security officers within the Ascension St. John Health System
to ensure patient and associate safety.” Darrel Long, Director of Security for Ascension
Oklahoma stated.

Not only will the security team benefit from this system, but other staff members will be able to
experience situations, potential outcomes, and de-escalation techniques. By understanding the
possibilities of what could occur and how to respond, the rest of the hospital team can see how
the actions employed by the security team ensure a safe environment.

About VirTra, Inc.
VirTra (Nasdaq: VTSI) is a global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators and
firearms training simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial
markets. The company’s patented technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense
training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship, and related training that
mimics real-world situations. VirTra’s mission is to save and improve lives worldwide through
practical and highly effective virtual reality and simulator technology. Learn more about the
company at www.VirTra.com.

About Medxcel
As the largest sole provider of healthcare facilities services in the U.S., Medxcel delivers
operational savings, reduces supply chain costs, and increases compliance scores by
optimizing current resources and improving the overall healthcare environment.

About Ascension St. John
Ascension St. John operates six hospitals and more than 90 healthcare clinics and facilities in
eastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. Ascension St. John employs approximately 4,500
associates. In fiscal year 2023 (July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023), Ascension St. John
provided more than $79 million in total community benefit and unpaid costs of Medicare
services, including care of individuals living in poverty. Serving Oklahoma for 98 years.
Ascension is a faith-based healthcare organization committed to delivering compassionate,
personalized care to all, with special attention to persons living in poverty and those most
vulnerable. Ascension is one of the leading non-profit and Catholic health systems in the U.S.,
operating 2,600 sites of care – including 142 hospitals and more than 40 senior living facilities –
in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Download a pdf copy here:

Virtra_ASJ Case Study 2024

CHANDLER, Ariz. — April 18, 2024 — VirTra, Inc. (Nasdaq: VTSI) (“VirTra” or the “Company”), a global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators, firearms training simulators for the law enforcement and military markets, today announced a $5.9 million order for prototypes to support the U.S. Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System (“IVAS”) program. This order represents an important continuation in VirTra’s engagement with the IVAS program. VirTra will recognize revenue in three phases with reliability testing, soldier assessment, and final hardware deliveries, all scheduled in 2024.

The order includes bolt kits and magazines and high-pressure air fill stations for the IVAS program specifications with Microsoft as the prime contractor. In its role as the prime contractor, Microsoft ensures cohesive project delivery, integrating VirTra’s training hardware with the objectives of the IVAS program. The recoil hardware has been engineered with a focus on intense environmental conditions, performance and reliability. To achieve uninterrupted and realistic recoil feedback, the fill stations utilize high-pressure air (HPA) technology reaching 3,000 psi. The hardware has been engineered for a realistic training experience for our military personnel.

John Givens, CEO of VirTra, stated, “This additional prototype contract award, in support of the IVAS program, is a testament to the reliability and performance of our technology. This series of awards has implemented new features and tuned our design to meet the rigorous requirements of the program. Our enhanced production capabilities and investment in new technologies have solidified our contract execution by improving quality and capacity.”

Over the past two years, VirTra has significantly expanded its production capacity and improved operating efficiencies, while refining its hardware designs. These advancements highlight the Company’s readiness for mass production and commitment to fulfilling the U.S. Army’s expanding needs. In support of this effort, Microsoft has scheduled on-location Soldier Assessments at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, in 2024.

The U.S. Army’s requirements highlight the industry’s shift towards more advanced and immersive training experiences for servicemembers. VirTra’s recoil hardware will provide enhanced training capabilities and readiness to support improved standards for military training and set the stage for future advancements in defense technology.

For more information about VirTra’s advanced recoil kits and other innovative training solutions, please visit VirTra’s website: https://www.virtra.com/tool/military-recoil-kits/

About Integrated Visual Augmentation System (“IVAS”) Program

The Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) provides a single platform that allows the Soldier to Fight, Rehearse, and Train. It leverages tactical Mixed Reality to increase the Warfighter’s battlefield awareness and ability to rapidly identify potential threats and take decisive action. The IVAS enables tactical planning, networked information sharing, and an augmented reality Synthetic Training Environment (STE) that will enable Warfighters to fight 25 “bloodless battles” before engaging the enemy.

The Army is developing IVAS to respond to an erosion in close combat capability relative to pacing threats identified in the 2018 National Defense Strategy via a Middle Tier Acquisition (MTA) Rapid Prototype pathway. IVAS integrates next generation 24/7 situational awareness tools and high-resolution simulations to deliver a single platform that improves Soldier sensing, decision making, target acquisition, and target engagement. These capabilities will provide the increased lethality, mobility, and situational awareness necessary to achieve overmatch against our current and future adversaries.

About VirTra, Inc.

VirTra (Nasdaq: VTSI) is a global provider of judgmental use of force training simulators and firearms training simulators for the law enforcement, military, educational and commercial markets. The company’s patented technologies, software, and scenarios provide intense training for de-escalation, judgmental use-of-force, marksmanship, and related training that mimics real-world situations. VirTra’s mission is to save and improve lives worldwide through practical and highly effective virtual reality and simulator technology. Learn more about the company at www.VirTra.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

The information in this discussion contains forward-looking statements and information within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are subject to the “safe harbor” created by those sections. The words “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “expects,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” “should,” “could,” “predicts,” “potential,” “continue,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements that we make. The forward-looking statements are applicable only as of the date on which they are made, and we do not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements in this document are made based on our current expectations, forecasts, estimates and assumptions, and involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause results or events to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. In evaluating these statements, you should specifically consider various factors, uncertainties and risks that could affect our future results or operations. These factors, uncertainties and risks may cause our actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement set forth in the reports we file with or furnish to the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). You should carefully consider these risks and uncertainties described and other information contained in the reports we file with or furnish to the SEC before making any investment decision with respect to our securities. All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement.

Investor Relations Contact:

Matt Glover and Alec Wilson

Gateway Group, Inc.

VTSI@gateway-grp.com

949-574-3860

At the beginning of March, lawmakers passed a spending package which focuses significant resources on training.  You can review detailed information on the spending package here.   Of note, it includes:

  • $20 million to implement the Law Enforcement De-escalation Training Act, which authorizes funds and calls for the DOJ to create grants for law enforcement to fund training costs.  Details on the bill are available here.
  • $10 million under the Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program for improved police responses to those suffering with mental health conditions.

Department of Justice Grants

Several grants at the Department of Justice are about to be released and a couple of opportunities are already accepting applications.

Community Policing Development: De-Escalation Training Solicitation – Coming soon!

The COPS Office is projected to release $15M in grant funding to implement de-escalation training in agencies all across the country.  Last year’s information can be found here.

Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (Byrne JAG) Program – Coming soon!

DOJ will make $103M available through the local solicitation and $210M will be available through the state solicitation. Byrne JAG funds are distributed through a formula and through your state’s State Administering Agency (SAA). Link

VirTra Grant Assistance

Keep in mind that VirTra is a resource for grant assistance! By partnering with PoliceGrantsHelp, we have made it possible for you to receive a FREE 1-hour consultation with grant experts. The experts can then help you find grants that fit and help you write them. To get information on this service, visit this page and fill out the form.

TASER® training is essential for law enforcement, as most police agencies in the country (and around the world) utilize these less lethal devices. However, properly training with live ECWs can be difficult, time intensive, and expensive.

Instead of limited less lethal training, police officers can receive training in the full range of less-lethal tools inside high-fidelity simulators. VirTra’s simulation training is designed to be realistic and to provide transferrable training.

Less Lethal Training

Realism for TASER training is created through a combination of on-screen characters and VirTra’s TASER simulation cartridges.

Your Axon TASER can be utilized in the simulator for training. By replacing the live cartridge with VirTra’s laser-based training cartridge, training can be done safely in your simulator. When officers deploy their ECW, the characters on screen react accordingly. From training in this manner, officers become more comfortable with less lethal options and reduce training scars by using the real tool.

Certified Curriculum for TASER Training and Weapon Transitions

VirTra’s NCP-certified TASER Targeting curriculum for law enforcement provides coursework for instructors to train officers on when to use their TASER and how to aim and deploy properly. A part of V-VICTA® coursework, instructors have access to training manuals, testing material, surveys, and more.

Additionally, the Weapon Transitions course helps officers switch from lethal to less lethal and vice versa. As shown in the video above, the user can switch tools depending on the level of threat presented. This training can help to prevent weapon mix-ups.

Want to learn more about our less lethal training options? Contact a product specialist here! Also, check out our YouTube channel to see other ways of maximizing your training simulator.

*AXON, TASER, X2 and X26P are registered trademarks of AXON ENTERPRISE, INC which can be referenced here.

According to a 2022 report for American College of Emergency Physicians, 55% of physicians taking the survey said they have been physically assaulted while at work. 79% said they have witnessed an assault. Even a quick internet search will show many instances when healthcare workers are assaulted by patients or guests.

Hospitals often have security, whether it is their own officers, private security, or the town’s municipal police. One thing that all of them have in common is they must have effective training to be able to do their jobs well.

How One Private Hospital Began Advanced Training

Ascension St. John hospital in Oklahoma provides different styles of training for their security officers. Some of it includes range training, others include handcuff techniques. They felt there was a gap missing in their training, however.

Just last month, they obtained a V-180® simulator through grant funds, helping them fill what was missing. The simulator enables them to practice various scenarios such as active threats and de-escalation – two skills important for officers of all kinds, from security and SRO’s to state and municipal law enforcement. Check out their media coverage.

Multiple Training Styles for Hospital Security

Whether it is for an encounter requiring lethal force or just an irate subject who needs to be verbally de-escalated, there are scenarios available for hospital security and local officers tasked with protecting a medical facility. Each scenario has multiple branching options that change based on the user’s words and actions. The decision-making process is vital – whether you choose to use a firearm, less-lethal, or verbal communication must be determined in mere seconds.

While VirTra does provide training tools for law enforcement such as non-lethal devices and firearms, much of what officers and security personnel spend time doing is communication. Soft skills and de-escalation tactics can be practiced on VirTra’s screened solutions or the V-XR® extended reality system. VirTra’s screened simulators allow users to utilize the same tools they do on the field and contain hours upon hours of content. The V-XR utilizes volumetric video characters that display facial expressions and other subtle visual cues, plus is an ideal choice for those with a small training space.

Would you like to learn more about how VirTra’s various simulation training options can help hospital staff and security? Contact a specialist here.

 

References

  1. https://www.emergencyphysicians.org/siteassets/emphysicians/all-pdfs/acep-emergency-department-violence-report-2022-abridged.pdf
  2. https://www.newson6.com/story/65bad8ad5f7d255de6ca3d68/ascension-st-john-security-trains-on-de-escalating-situations-with-virtual-reality-simulator

Corrections officers and prison guards face different situations than patrol officers, but they still require effective training to keep themselves and others safe. There are three ways to train the in-custody required skills using VirTra’s research-based simulation training.

Corrections & Jail Assets

By using our Volumetric Capture Studio (V3™), VirTra can capture characters as 3D objects. They can then be inserted into scenarios for either screened or headset-based systems. When using the V-XR® system, characters are displayed in augmented reality. The user can walk around the character and clearly distinguish facial expressions and other subtle visual cues.

The example below depicts an aggressive inmate in an orange jumpsuit. Based on how the user communicates, the subject can either calm down or become further enraged.

Immersive Scenarios

Scenarios such as Teacher’s Pet not only give an option for corrections officers to interact with inmates, but also allow them to practice hostage negotiation. The image below shows the general setting of the scenario with one irate inmate holding a chair and another holding a woman hostage by knifepoint.

Each in-custody scenario has several branching options to resolution. The instructor’s preference or the trainee’s actions can determine how the scenario progresses. Will the subject pull out a gun? Will the hostage taker surrender? All of this depends on how the instructor wants the scenario to evolve or how the trainee communicates.

Additionally, the user can train with all the tools on their belt to make it even more realistic. Sometimes force isn’t needed – but when it is, it is possible to use an ECW device, OC spray, or a firearm.

Scenario Authoring for Custom Content

Want to create your own custom scenarios to suit your agency’s needs? With V-Author®, you can choose from existing panoramic images or take your own panoramic photo to set the scene, then drag and drop characters into the scenario. To create your own in-custody training scenario, there are existing panoramic images that display cells, common areas, and other scenes.

Available Training Solutions for Corrections Officers

Looking for specific training points? Corrections officers can benefit from the following VirTra training solutions:

  • Hostage situation
  • Mess hall / cafeteria
  • Courtroom bailiff
  • Active shooter
  • Aggressive inmates
  • Jail cell
  • Escaped prisoner

Want to start corrections and jail training options for your officers with decision-making simulators? Contact a product specialist to learn more about our jail and prison simulators!

I remember teaching at the police academy and as I was in the middle of telling a story to the class, one of the recruits spouted off, “You’re just making that up! There’s no way that really happened!” My response was simple: “Listen, if I was making it up, I would make up something you’d believe.”

What was the point of me mentioning this story? Well, if you’ve been in law enforcement for more than a day, you probably already figured out that anything can happen, at any time, at any place. Nothing is off limits. And that can include you responding to an active threat or active killer within a place of worship. Mass chaos ensues.

From 2006 – 2016, there were approximately 147 instances of gunfire on church grounds, resulting in 240 wounded and 84 deaths. (Lindner, 2023) The number of incidents occurring inside a place of worship continues to increase. If your jurisdiction includes any type of a place of worship, you need to include these types of locations in your training. Thankfully, VirTra has done the hard work for you!

There are 4 new active threat/active killer scenarios that all take place within a place of worship. The scenarios will be installed on your VirTra system during your next service update (if you have an active service plan).

“Mass Chaos” starts off with a growing number of 911 calls reporting an active shooter in a church. The calls continue, until they come to an incredibly loud crescendo, leading to the emergency dispatch to officers.

The scenario opens to the exterior of a church with law enforcement moving to stop the threat, and parishioners attempting to flee the scene. Within this multi-incident scenario, officers will have to make split-second decisions on who may or may not be a threat. They will also be tested on shot placement, accountability and maintaining their areas of responsibility. Single engagements, non-engagements and even hostage situations can all be used within the scenario.

The three other scenarios that are being released have all been made using “Mass Chaos” as a base. It has been subdivided into scenarios titled “Church Crisis,” “Holy Moly” and “Holy Hostage.”

These smaller scenarios utilize single engagements from the “Mass Chaos” incident, as well as additional assets using our V-Author® character library. We’ve also filmed an additional walk-up video for “Holy Hostage” to make it a more unique and unpredictable training event for the students to go through.

These scenarios combine an amazing blend of realistic radio traffic, panicked church goers and special effects that will raise the heartrate of even your most veteran officers. If you add VirTra’s V-Threat-Fire® device to the training, you’ll have added real-world consequences to the simulation.

VirTra is always looking to add new content to our training simulators. Look out for Mass Chaos, Church Crisis, Holy Hostage and Holy Moly during your next update!

Stay Safe!

 

References

Lindner, J. (2023, December 20). Church Shooting Statistics: Market Report & Data. Retrieved from Gitnux: htps://gitnux.org/church-shootng-statistics/

With all the conditions and variables that occur on the field, shouldn’t your training reflect as many of them as possible? Not every room has lights on or available, and the sun is down for about half of each day. It is for this reason that VirTra made sure that low light training is available for both marksmanship training and scenario training.

Training Benefits

We don’t realize the benefits of a well-lit space until we are without one. In the dark, stress levels go up and even with the beam of a flashlight, there are still areas we cannot see. Looking for a subject that is on the move and possibly dangerous in a dark place is a great way to increase officers’ cognitive load and help them make the right decisions under stress.

Additional training points include using a handheld flashlight while suddenly having to get your lethal or less-lethal tool. What if you have to transition weapons while holding your handheld flashlight? Going from lethal to less-lethal or vice versa is a vital skill to practice, with even more challenge if it is done in low light.

Low Light in Scenarios

Many people are only familiar with the variable light settings in V-Marksmanship. In fact, you can make any scenario a low light one. For example, in the new Mass Chaos active threat scenario, you can dim or eliminate light as if the power went out, adding an extra element of uncertainty.

Of course, to combat this just as one would in real life, users can pull out their flashlight. VirTra’s V-G2X handheld flashlights utilize laser technology to light up the direction it is pointed in. V-Lux™ technology allows the beam to smoothly go from screen to screen for agencies with multi-screen systems. More than one flashlight can be used at a time, making it just as useful for training multiple officers at once.

Low Light in Marksmanship

Along with the variable weather conditions, wind speed/direction, and layout of our simulated ranges, instructors can also control the lighting. It can be nighttime on the range in your VirTra simulator, with the only light to rely on being your rifle-mounted flashlight.

Just like with the handheld flashlight, the V-TLR-7A rail mounted flashlight allows for efficient transitions between screens without interruptions. Since both lights utilize the OEM housing, there will not be training scars as it perfectly replicates one of the popular rail mounted flashlights.

Situations do not often occur under perfect conditions. Make sure your officers are prepared for low light events – plus many others that VirTra has available. Talk to a specialist to incorporate a VirTra simulator into your agency’s training regimen.

Are you new to VirTra simulator training? If you want to jump right into effective training but feel overwhelmed, there is an option to help you instruct your class.

VirTra – Virtual Instructor, typically shortened to V-VI™, is designed to provide a thorough understanding of the training content on your simulator. A virtual instructor will appear onscreen and highlight important training details in the selected scenario.

Numerous scenarios have a V-VI option which can be activated by the click of a button. Categories include:

  • High risk vehicle stops
  • Emotionally disturbed person (EDP)
  • Domestic violence
  • Ambushes
  • Tourniquet application
  • And more

Additionally, instructors can view specific considerations to look for when an officer is using the simulator. By utilizing this “train the trainer” feature, instructors can fully understand the purpose of the training event and the actions student officers should take when going through the scenario.

Additional Training

VirTra also recommends courses for both new and experienced instructors and operators. Whether it is to learn best practices on a new simulator or get the advanced ins-and-outs of simulator operation, there are courses instructed by experts available.

ATCC – Advanced Trainer Certification Course – is designed for trainers with a minimum of six months of experience using their VirTra simulator. It is fast-paced and spans across 5 days, taking place at VirTra’s Training Center at the Chandler, AZ headquarters.

VirTra Master Class is a newly developed course that helps new users learn skills beyond basic operation and “button-ology.” Students will learn how to conduct debrief sessions, build training events, and become familiar with the VirTra simulator’s capabilities.

Check out our available training courses here, or contact a product specialist to learn more.

Written by Lon Bartel of VirTra

Published by Law Officer here

As part of the 2024 SHOT Show Law Enforcement Education Program Force Science’s Von Kliem and I reinforced the benefits of random practice over block practice in law enforcement skills training.  Graduates of VirTra’s Advanced Trainer Certification Course or the Force Science Methods of Instruction Course are familiar with the research detailing the advantages of random practice for skill development. For those yet to be exposed to these advanced concepts, this article will outline the importance of random practice and its transformative effects on law enforcement training.

The Traditional Approach: Block Practice

Law enforcement training has primarily relied on block practice for decades.  In block practice, a single skill or technique is repeated repetitively before moving on to the next. This path allows the trainee to improve at each repetition of the skill, and most will show improvement over time. While block practice has short term benefits, it falls short in preparing officers for the dynamic and unpredictable nature of real-world policing. Block practice can lead to rote memorization and the illusion of proficiency, but it fails to prepare officers to adapt and apply skills in complex situations.

Random Practice

Random practice involves mixing and varying skill sets in training sessions. With random practice, officers must constantly shift their focus and adapt to different demands, a process that more closely replicates real-life challenges. This method enhances skill transfer, promotes critical thinking, and improves decision-making. Although practice sessions will predictably involve more frequent errors and improper skill choices, the long-term benefits are undeniable.

Advantages of Random Practice for Law Enforcement Training

Adaptability: Random practice better simulates the unpredictable nature of law enforcement situations, preparing officers to respond effectively and swiftly in various scenarios. Instead of telling officers to deploy to a location where they will “draw and fire two rounds,” officers will be required to evaluate the problem, filter the signals, and identify the relevant information for decision-making and skill selection. Random practice fosters the ability to think on your feet and make split-second decisions, skills that are critical in high-pressure situations.

Retention and Transfer: By practicing a range of skills in a diverse and unexpected manner, officers are better able to retain and transfer their knowledge to new situations. Officers rarely get to execute a set play against a predictable offense.  Instead, they learn to adjust among effective choice options identified and developed with random practice. This promotes a deeper understanding of the skills’ underlying principles, making it easier to apply them in unfamiliar contexts. Random practice challenges officers to think and problem-solve, improving their overall skill set. It helps them recognize patterns, adapt strategies, and develop a well-rounded approach to handling varied and novel situations.

Conclusion: Bringing Awareness to the Potential of Random Practice

Understanding the benefits of random practice begins with education and awareness. Meaning, to facilitate the highest level of performance and ultimately improve public safety, trainers must first familiarize themselves with the latest research and incorporate random practice into their training programs. By challenging officers with various skill choices, trainers can enhance officers’ adaptability, decision-making, and ability to apply techniques effectively. With random practice, we expect to elevate the skill and the transfer of those skills from the training room to the operating environment.  Outcomes that will both protect our officers and the communities they serve.

Join me at SHOT Show next year, where we will continue to discuss the science of learning and the advantages of constraint-led approach to training.