Posted on May. 6, 2021 by Niki Nelson

VirTra’s use-of-force simulators have a vast number of scenarios covering everything from de-escalation to active threats. The scope broadens even more when the number of branching options is considered, allowing multiple ways to reach a resolution. With an average of 85 branching options per scenario, no single event is guaranteed to go a certain way, just like in the field, where dealing with unpredictability is part of the job.

Instructors can drive a scenario in any direction based on the student’s interaction with the on-screen character. Our branching features allow for instructors to manipulate the evolution to achieve any manner of training objective based upon policy, best practices or hot topic training materials like de-escalation, EDP and threat recognition. Trainers can reward good behavior by having a seemingly aggressive character simply become compliant because proper techniques were used by the trainee. On the other hand, students who are not performing well can be encouraged to step up their game and take control of a situation if a trainer sees that he/she is losing control of the situation.

Usually, departmental policy dictates what skillset trainees will be developing during recurrent training. With our branching options, instructors can accomplish departmental training objectives by running each trainee through the same scenario, however using our branching function the scenario can play out differently based on individual performance. If the same scenario with the same pathway to resolution is run multiple times, students learn to “game” and recall what happens next. Giving an instructor to change things up prevents trainees from becoming complacent.

An example of a VirTra scenario is Midnight Madness, where the officer in the simulator is responding to an active threat in a movie theater. They chase an armed male suspect after navigating the theater and seeing injured victims, but in the end, what will the suspect do? Will he give up or will he begin to fire his weapon? Will the trainee fire back in time or be hit by gunfire? What if during the student’s run through the theater, an innocent person pops out and startles the trainee, causing him/her to fire their weapon? Each action has different consequences – just like in reality.

As VirTra aims to create a realistic, immersive experience during training, the content must not be brushed over. Screens and hardware may be impressive, but what the trainee gets out of the experience could save his or her life, as well as the lives of community members.

For more information about VirTra’s intense and effective simulator training options, contact a product specialist.

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