Queensland firefighting goes virtual with new technology

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has showcased the possible future of firefighting at a virtual reality expo held at the Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy (QCESA) today.

Augmented and virtual reality, flight simulators, remotely operated vehicles, robotics and new software programs were all on display, giving firefighters an understanding of potential new tools.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the expo gave senior QFES staff the opportunity to engage and interact with state-of-the-art technology.

“The virtual reality expo showcased new technology from around the world, allowing staff to get hands on and see the practical applications for this technology and what it holds for the future,” Minister Ryan said.

“Demonstrations exhibited the potential for enhancement of firefighting capabilities throughout Queensland and, more importantly, showed how this technology could boost the safety of firefighters in the field.

“The expo has allowed QFES to expand its knowledge of equipment currently available or in development and for exploration of innovative solutions to training and education in the future.”

QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the expo showcased the practical applications for augmented and virtual reality with QFES working with tertiary educators to improve training currently in place for firefighters.

“This is a terrific opportunity for the organisation as we start to see major advancements in technology which will greatly benefit QFES on all levels,” Commissioner Carroll said.

“The world is changing and we must adapt to change with it, which is why it is so important to continuously review and enhance our operational capabilities.

“This technology will allow QFES to implement practical training elements at reduced costs to the organisation, while also exposing firefighters to training scenarios that may not have been safe to conduct previously.  

“This is an exciting prospect for QFES and we look forward to the opportunity this technology will bring into the future.”

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