DHS, ARL Unveil Virtual Training Platform for First Responders to Active Shooter Incidents

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The Department of Homeland Security‘s science and technology directorate has collaborated with the Army Research Laboratory to deploy a new virtual training platform that works to help first responders coordinate their tactics for active shooter incidents.

DHS said Monday the Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment is a free multiplayer online tool that is based on the Unreal gaming engine and designed to deliver collaborative role-play scenarios to train responders.

“We wanted to create a platform that could instantly be used by response agencies to meet specific training needs, using their own standard operating procedures,” said Milt Nenneman, EDGE program manager for the First Responders Group within the S&T directorate.

FRG co-developed EDGE with the Army Simulation and Training Technology Center, Training and Doctrine Command and Cole Engineering Services.

The virtual environment of the training platform serves to help first responders build on their coordination and communication for active shooter incidents while preventing injuries and casualties, DHS noted.

“When decisions must be made in a matter of seconds, every bit of training helps to save civilian and responder lives,” said William Bryan, acting undersecretary for science and technology at DHS.

Cole Engineering will distribute EDGE and provide technical support to interested response organizations.

EDGE currently uses a hotel active shooter scenario, and DHS said the team will release a new school shooting scenario for the technology in the fall.

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