Watch: Gardaí Simulate Terror Attack at Dublin’s Docklands

Watch: Gardaí test response to terror attack in simulation at Dublin's Docklands

The Irish-based Gardai engaged with a counter-terrorism exercise in Dublin recently to test their response in the event of a mass casualty terrorist attack. The simulation, codenamed ’Sciath’, involved a number of actors at the Docklands railway station in Dublin’s north inner city and the garda units involved today had not been told ahead of time what would be involved.

Does your simulation program work with local Civil Service Groups to provide simulated training opportunities? The promotional opportunities to develop new business opportunities and showcase your simulation program are clearly evident!

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As part of the simulation, the men inside acted out assaulting a number of people inside the station. Armed officers used stun grenades and blank rounds, shooting one of the suspects and securing the scene. “Today has demonstrated the professionalism and the capability that we have,” Garda Commissioner Nóirín O’Sullivan told reporters after the training exercise was finished. “Incidents like this can happen. We have to make sure that we are ready to respond to those incidents. In the last few days we have given instructions to all of our members and I think we wanted to see how those instructions would work,” she said.

The Commissioner said simulations such as today’s operation are prioritised in high density areas like Dublin city, but she said further exercises will take place in other parts of the country to test response times outside the capital.

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ITTS Provides Realistic Medical Training Services & Products For Military Austere Environments


Retired US Air Force PJ TSgt Keary Miller from Innovative Tactical Training Solutions (ITTS) let me know their 2014 product demo video is now available – and what an awesome video it is! ITTS provides realistic medical simulation products and training services for those engaging in military austere environments. Products available include the Tactical Operations Medical Manikin (TOM), an HH-60 Helicopter CasEvan Ground-based Mobile Simulator, Sensory Control units to manipulate the environment, extrication and armor vehicle hatch devices. You may remember Keary from my video of the TOM Manikin product breakdown, which was shot in the Las Vegas desert – his is an amazing story of heroism as a para-rescue in Afghanistan.

With everything from simulated guns, smoke, helicopters, bleeding trauma manikins and leading retired military experts, ITTS is one of the leaders in this space by far.

About ITTS From Their Website: Innovative Tactical Training Solutions (ITTS) began in 2008. Our mission was to develop and produce realistic training tools that would provide the realism demanded by the military and emergency medical domains. In addition to the realism, we knew that true training tools needed to be a complement to training exercises, not a piece that demanded time and attention. Training sessions are effective, both in cost and in educational value, when they can be repeated with minimal interruption – they must serve the greatest number for the greatest amount of time. 

ITTS specializes in the design and development of effective tactical training simulation equipment for military, law enforcement, and medical organizations. Our primary consideration is to create products with such attention to detail that they add unparalleled realism in creating care under fire, direct threat, active shooters and stressful training scenarios. As an extension of our commitment to enhancing the training environment, ITTS also offers classroom setting instruction, trauma lanes and field training that will allow you to take full advantage of your ITTS product, but also reinforce combat scenario technique.



itts training

ITTS Classroom Training & Product Opportunities

  • Simulation Training
  • Full Mission Profile Scenario
  • Care Under Fire, Direct Threat, Active Shooter, MASCAL scenario and trauma lanes
  • 2-Day Law Enforcement Trauma Training Course
  • TOM Manikin Services & Rental & Purchase
  • Tamikin Services & Rental & Purchase
  • Techline Wearable Wounds
  • CASEVAC Rental
  • Propane Simulators: Blast Simulator & Machine Gun Simulator Rental & Purchase
  • ITTS Simulation Packages

Learn more at the ITTS website!

“VIRTSIM” From Motion Reality Provides Virtual Reality Physical Environment Simulator


VIRTSIM from Motion Reality is a basketball sized arena virtual reality real-time simulator for military combat training. Learners wear special tracking systems and VR googles so that they can be fully immersed in a virtual reality 3d simulated training environment, which allows them to freely move and interact with the space physically.  The implications here are strong for us in medical simulation within military and EMS/Fire Services. The entire 3d environment is digitally recorded for playback debriefing from a multitude of angles so that instructors can provide full perspectives. Currently the system is being utilized for military, police and golfing applications.

From the Motion Reality Website:

VIRTSIM trainees are fully immersed “head-to-toe” in training scenarios requiring the execution of basic individual maneuvers, complex unit tactics, and mission rehearsals.  They are able to train as individuals, in teams, or in full squads. Trainees have complete freedom of movement to run, jump, or crawl throughout the full volume (up to 5,000 square feet – equivalent to a basketball court), unrestricted by wires or tethers. The VIRTSIM system allows training in a range of reconfigurable environments. User-customizable scenarios can be configured within these environments to train individuals in direct action, counter-terrorism, react to contact, or other Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) based on the Current Operating Environment (COE).

military vr simulator

Each trainee’s performance is summarized in a database for the team leader’s easy access. VIRTSIM After Action Report (AAR) capability addresses trainees’ performance ranging from basic individual maneuvers to the more complex nature of team and squad maneuvers and mission rehearsals. This 3D AAR provides playback of all actions and shots from every angle, as well as from each participant’s individual perspective. All trainee body motions and all shots fired by every participant are recorded and displayed, and every training session is automatically catalogued and stored in an accessible database. These sessions are available for replay at any time. Trainers can evaluate weapon discipline, sector responsibility, use of cover, and every shot a trainee has fired, allowing them to address safety concerns and tactical errors throughout the process.

This system clearly has potential for medics in military situations to better train for evacuations during hostile engagements. As well, Fire and EMS personnel can benefit from practicing rescue scenarios in dangerous situations such as fire consumed buildings.

Learn more at the Motion Reality website!

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Driving Simulators – The Real Deal

When I attended El Camino Fire Academy we had a couple of old engines we used for driving and pumping water in the “yard”.  Before cutting the new recruits loose on these massive vehicles, our instructors took us out to the local race track so we could learn how they handled.  We practiced S-turns, parking, reversing, and emergency stopping.

Fire Driving Simulator

While it was a great way to learn the handling of the Engine, instructors were limited to the various learning situations they could create with cones in the parking lot and the small size of the drill yard.  One thing we definitely would not have opportunity to practice during our 10-week course was advanced emergency driving on public city streets.  What we needed, was a computer simulator to learn the ropes of emergency response driving.

Enter the EMS WORLD EXPO, which I attended about a month ago here in Las Vegas.  It was a fantastic expo with a huge number of learning courses and a great showcase of industry products & services.  While walking the showroom floor, I was thrilled to come across two companies with advanced computer emergency driving simulators – “FAAC” and “Simulation Technology”.  Welcome to the future of driving education!


FAAC driving simulators

I first sat down with Robert Raheb to check out FAAC’s LE-1500 law enforcement series driving simulator.  With 5 massive flatscreens the entire simulator surrounded the field of view of the learner.  While the graphics were not “state-of-the-art” battlefield 3 quality, the representation of the driving environment was indeed life-like.  Robert provided a run-down of the features FAAC simulators utilized:

  • Accurate replication of driving compartment
  • Crown Vic or Charger real dash layouts
  • Realistic handling/steering fidelity
  • Immersive and dynamic environment
  • Geometrically correct virtual world perspective.

With a push of a button on his iPhone, Robert could provide an external perspective to my vehicle demonstrating how instructors could change angles to better communicate situational awareness.  With another button, Robert changed the weather of our scenario from bright and sunny to dark and rainy – explaining that now the tires would skid if I punched it too hard. Of course, FAAC has a whole line of models for your specific emergency training AND municipal needs.

FAAC has a complete range of driving simulators from military, fire/ems, police, public transit, airport driving and more.

Make sure to check out Robert’s white paper entitled “Creating Return on Investment: How One EMS Department Used Simulation to Reduce Liability and Create Systemic Change in its EVOC Program“.  In the paper, Robert suggests that “by introducing students to the unique hazards associated with operating an emergency vehicle in a variety of situations, the program was able to provide real-life experience in a controlled environment that is repeatable, recordable, and immediately available for playback, critique, and instruction”. Learn more about FAAC.

Simulation Technology

Simulation Driving Company

Next I met with Darren Basch from Simulation Technology, a newer company that also had a complete line of driving simulators for emergency and municipal needs.  I was really impressed by their full fire engine cab demo model that was lifted and complete with pump controls, which brought back memories of fire academy.  I was surprised to learn the entire five-screen system was run off just one high-level PC!

Simulation Technology Drive Simulator

Darren put me through a drive course before letting me loose on a Fire response call.  While on the test course, Darren could quickly change the vehicle I was test-driving without needing to reload the entire system – so we could quickly compare skill needs between different vehicles.  When I was put into the response call, motorcycles would cross my engine out of nowhere, trucks would complicate my path-finding and rain would make my field-of-view harder to see. Interestingly, on-screen mirrors reflected what was behind the engine which allowed me to constantly check my physical surroundings as best I could.

Driving Simulator from SimTech

Driving Simulators from Simulation Technology included these unique features:

  • Custom cabs to drive the same cabs you drive every day.
  • Real vehicle dynamics that enable advanced skills training.
  • Actual integration of Manufacturer’s physics data, providing accurate vehicle dynamics.
  • 230 degree field-of-view perspective.
  • Single PC system

Simulation Technology also provides custom Mobile classroom trailers that can house various simulators so your classroom can move to anywhere you need it!  Learn more about Simulation Technology.

The Future

Just like in healthcare simulation with manikins and high-fidelity environments, advanced technology allows for an additional step in the traditional training model: see one, simulate one, do one, and teach one.  It was a lot of fun to sit down with both FAAC and Simulation Technology and learn about the future of driving simulation.