VirTra is excited to announce the V-Threat-Fire®: the third generation of powerful, consequence-inducing devices! This accessory is simple: attach the small device to the belt area of the trainee and when a psychological representation of an attack is necessary—say, simulated return fire, dog bites or explosions—instructors can activate the device. Instructors can choose whether the V-Threat-Fire emits an electric impulse from 0.2 seconds to 1 second, thus adding stress and realistic, safe ‘return fire’ or other negative consequences to the training simulator.

What Makes V-Threat-Fire Unique

One of the most unique abilities about the V-Threat-Fire is the vibration ability. The V-Threat-Fire can also deliver vibrations only, allowing instructors to provide feedback without the electric impulse. Both the vibration and electric impulse versions are strong enough to penetrate through multiple layers of clothing for easy training with miniscule risk of any injury.

Regardless of which mode is selected, the V-Threat-Fire is safe and simple. For instructors, there is no need to focus on aiming, maintaining protective gear or cleaning up. This is because the V-Threat-Fire is activated via the Instructor’s Station, the same place where the training scenario is managed. Now, instructors can devote their visual focus to training—no need to visually multi-task.

Why V-Threat-Fire is Superior in Training

Not all consequence devices are created equal, and as such, instructors need to be aware of the stress-inducing device they select. Below are a few of the more popular, and reasons to be wary:

  • Fired Projectiles: Firing projectiles—whether through a shoot-back cannon or hand-held cannon—is dangerous. Even with safety equipment on, small projectiles could hit trainees in sensitive areas like the eyes, be a tripping hazard if the trainee is moving around the simulator and requires cleanup after each use.
  • Loud Noises: Sound devices emit a piercing sound designed to over-simulate the senses, with some reaching sound levels up to 120 decibels. The Hearing Health Foundation states that sound 115 dB or higher can damage a person’s hearing within under 30 seconds of exposure to the noise.
  • Flashing Lights: According to the CDC, flashing lights can be hazardous, as about 1.8% of American adults experience epilepsy. In rare cases, trainees may not know they are epileptic until experiencing a seizure caused by flashing lights.

While other companies attempt to create distraction or consequence devices, none are without serious side effects or potential personal harm. The best way to create stress and implement immediate consequences is through V-Threat-Fire’s vibrations or electric impulse. This provides all the stress of the real-world without requiring extra protective equipment, breaking training immersion or causing additional harm.

Contact a Sales representative to learn more about implementing V-Threat-Fire into your current training regimen!

As you have likely heard, VirTra is launching the new V-Threat-Fire: the third generation of consequence-inducing simulation accessories! This device is incredibly powerful, delivering vibrations or electric impulses to simulate return fire, dog bites, explosions or other harmful effects in the training simulator.

The reason VirTra focuses on creating realistic consequence devices is because of the stress or the arousal state it creates. An officer’s critical decision-making and problem-solving skills become muddled in stress-filled atmospheres until the officer learns the skills involved with stress inoculation. However, learning to control one’s reactions to stress and minimizing its effects takes time. And if the training environment doesn’t provide stress, then an officer must try to learn stress inoculation in the field—a dangerous, difficult practice.

The Psychological Effect

The V-Threat-Fire is a small accessory that attaches to the trainee’s belt. Knowing that this device can release strong vibrations or electric impulses immediately immerses trainees in a stress-induced environment, thus providing a critical aspect to stress inoculation.

Instructors have great control as to what kind of stress to provide, as this device can emit impulses from 0.2 to 1 second from up to 50ft away. Since the device is activated via the Instructor’s Station—the same place where training scenario are ran—instructors can completely devote their attention to training as trainees move around the simulator.

In addition to adding psychological stress, V-Threat-Fire increases realism by completing the interaction loop. Think about it this way: trainees engage with simulated subjects, who are now able to safely physically engage back, changing one-sided interaction to a full circle. Instructors can supply that interaction through the shocks or vibrations of the V-Threat-Fire, prompting trainees to take training more seriously.

Getting Started with V-Threat-Fire

Stress is a powerful psychological tool that, when created by V-Threat-Fire, can prepare trainees to perform effectively in difficult situations in the field. Proper implementation helps teach stress inoculation, preparing officers for life in the field.

To learn more about using V-Threat-Fire in conjunction with your training simulator, contact a VirTra specialist. Or visit us this weekend at IACP!

Stress is an essential addition to a trainee’s regime. Critical decision-making and problem solving become more difficult in a stress-induced atmosphere and requires plenty of practice to learn how to navigate these situations. If a law enforcement trainee cannot learn to execute the correct actions in a controlled environment, what are the chances they will in the unpredictable environment of the field?

There are multiple ways to introduce stress. However, keep in mind that these stressors should only be added after trainees are competent in the desired action or rule. Failure to understand a technique before the pressure is added will only result in confusion.

Motivation During Simulation Training

Administering pain, or threatening to, causes trainees to become anxious and compliant. Instructors can use this to their advantage, as physical pain removes the resistance of “I have to.” Use of force training is filled with commands which leaves students thinking “I have to complete this scenario” rather than “I am excited to learn from and engage in this scenario”.

Physical pain replaces this resistance with motivation while adding an extra layer of stress. Pain forces trainees to become engaged with the training scenario and teaches them to complete the exercise while overcoming the distraction due to the perceived risk of pain.

VirTra’s use of force simulations offer a pain element through the Threat-Fire®, a small box that clips onto a trainee’s belt. When activated by the instructor, the Threat-Fire releases a small electronic impulse that adds real-world consequences to the simulations. This effectively adds stress and emotion to the wearer while enhancing the effectiveness of simulation training.

Fear of Failure

Instructors can use their trainee’s fear of failure to their advantage. People are painfully familiar with negative emotions caused by failing—disappointment, anger, frustration, sadness—and strive to avoid these emotions. Add this to the idea of failing in front of peers and more negative emotions are added—embarrassment, shame—another avoidance.

Start by having trainees perform an exercise in front of their peers and watch as the added pressure sparks fear, motivation or anxiety. Overcoming this fear requires a significant amount of practice for both trainees and instructors, as instructors must learn to work with reactions ranging from forgetfulness to confidence.

Fear of failure comes with other training benefits. Continuing with the idea of performing in front of a class, students in the audience are inspired to learn from the mistakes and correct choices of those who have gone before. As students make the conscious decision to perform a certain way, even if it is to avoid embarrassment in front of an audience, the lesson is better remembered.

Simulator Training & Competition

Using competition as a stress-inducer is tricky, as the amount of stress created depends on the student. The goal of training competitions is to force trainees to focus on and complete a situation, to master corresponding physical and mental skills, with the added pressure to perform better than a competitor. The problem is that some trainees thrive in competition whereas others become flustered.

The type of pressure built also depends on the type of competition. Will the winner be the student who completes a scenario the quickest or the one who does a better job overall? If time is of the ultimate essence, students may forget a step as they race to the end. On the other hand, the stress of knowing they must follow a checklist of instructions perfectly, heightened by a competition, may cause forgetfulness. Practice placing trainees in a variety of competitions so they learn from different types of stress.

Stress and heightened emotion are powerful tools in the classroom. These components ensure trainees understand how to perform in the high-emotion situations they may face in the field. VirTra simulations are a great resource for adding stress while teaching students through a variety of situational outcomes. Contact us to learn more.

Train hard, stay safe and keep it consistent.

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