The first question you should ask when weighing firearm training options for your agency is, “do all firearms simulators provide the same training value?” The simple answer is no. The purpose of simulation training is to immerse the trainee in an environment as true-to-life as what they may experience in real-world situations.
VirTra understands that there is much more to law enforcement work than simply “shoot don’t shoot” scenarios. As the saying goes, communication is key. It’s one of the best tools available to law enforcement officers, and the reason that – based on the verbal commands of the trainee – there are so many different outcomes to choose from as a scenario progresses. Lethal or less lethal force may be necessary based on trainee communication and scenario progression.
Law enforcement positions carry a high liability to all concerned – both for the officer and the public they serve – and training with the proper use of their tools is essential. It is vital that officers are trained with the most sophisticated, relevant and ever-evolving equipment. When VirTra simulation training is added to an agency’s existing training program, defensive tactics, search and seizure, and report writing are incorporated to provide a truly dynamic training experience.
One of the key features of the VirTra system is that you can accomplish numerous types of training with a single system – such as weapons handling, judgmental use of force and de-escalation. An agency can also enhance a particular skill or ability of a trainee, conduct administrative tests, introduce new policies or design custom scenarios to focus on a specific purpose or “re-certification” in order to measure the successes or failures of the trainee before they are in a real-life situation.
VirTra spares no expense when developing and producing scenarios that have a high attention to detail and incorporate all of the senses. Experienced film crews and vetted actors/actresses are used in all scenarios to produce the highest quality product where no detail is overlooked. By incorporating all of the senses into the VirTra simulator experience, trainees can get the adrenaline rush that occurs in high stress situations where senses become heightened to sounds, smell, touch and even light.
The stage of the VirTra V-300 is designed to vibrate with scenario-specific sound(s) of the training officer’s choosing, such as helicopters, dogs barking, emergency sirens and weather (rain, thunder, snow, wind). The noise level can be as high – or as low – as the training operator desires. Scenarios can also be experienced in any sort of desired light – such as daylight, high noon, sunset, and evening – causing the trainee to have to use a flashlight (which can be seen in the scenario). The operator also has the ability to add props for cover and concealment.
Not only can a trainee be outfitted with an Axon® TASER®, OC spray or a flashlight, they can also be fitted with a Threat-Fire® and recoil kit for the on-duty firearm that they carry. Both the TASER and OC work within the scenario, capturing both the time and placement of “hits.” This allows both the operator and the trainee to use the information to enhance the trainee’s training experience.
When firing a gun, it is important to know what to do in the event of a gun malfunction or something as simple as running out of ammunition. The realistic VirTra simulator provides a safe environment for that training.
The use of the VirTra threat-fire, which is a small box fitted to the trainee’s belt, is designed to “shock” the trainee if the they failed to react to scenario in appropriate manner. The threat-fire is not designed to punish the trainee, but rather stun and surprise them – encouraging the trainee to work through the shock and continue on until the threat has stopped.
In an effort to ensure the VirTra simulator experience is as close to reality as possible, it is essential that the tools have a realistic feel. VirTra recoil kits provide the feel of live firing by doing exactly what its name states – recoil. The barrel of the firearm is removed and a laser kit is dropped in, allowing the trainee to experience the recoil feel of live fire from firing their own duty weapon in the simulator as they proceed through the training exercise. Not only will the gun provide accurate sight view, it will recoil with every pull of the trigger.
Currently, VirTra has recoil kits for the following pistols, rifles and shotguns:
The VirTra realistic recoil accessory allow trainees to experience the feel of recoil from live fire, without the expense, danger, and environmental factors associated with live ammunition. When recoil – combined with sight alignment, breathing exercises, trigger pull, and scenarios or marksmanship – is built into a training program, the trainee is provided every opportunity to succeed and make sure everyone makes it home at the end of the night.
Although there is no exception to live firing qualification, simulation training – either scenario-based or marksmanship – can enhance one’s skill set, improve marksmanship, and build confidence as a cost-effective and proven training asset.