The Virtual HAZMAT Response Academy: Advanced Training Technology for HAZMAT Responders Using Next-Generation Internet

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1R43ES026848-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43ES026848
Amount: $99,926.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 113
Solicitation Number: ES15-008
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-06-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2017-10-31
Small Business Information
29 GREENSWARD DRIVE, Grantham, NH, 03753-5443
DUNS: 968029434
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 JOSEPH HENDERSON
 (603) 865-5286
 henjosv@gmail.com
Business Contact
 JOSEPH HENDERSON
Phone: (603) 558-0315
Email: henjosv@gmail.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
DESCRIPTION provided by applicant This proposal addresses topics of interest to the NIEHS Advanced Training Technologies ATT Program to andquot develop ATT products that will support high quality health and safety training for hazardous materials workers emergency responders and skilled support personnel andquot We propose to develop a Web based Virtual HAZMAT Response Academy VHRA with long term objectives to to increase public health and safety during and following terrorist attacks and other incidents involving the use of hazardous materials HAZMAT to protect the health and safety of first responders who must respond to such incidents and to apply emerging methods of using the internet mobile computing and interactive games for the training of personnel involved in HAZMAT response This will be accomplished by adapting and extending an existing computer based training course on HAZMAT response during terrorist attacks and general HAZMAT incidents so that it can be readily accessed via the internet on desktop portable and tablet computers and for some content smart phones The existing program The Virtual Terrorism Response Academy Ops Plus for WMD HAZMAT VTRA is an extraordinary example of ATT It takes an all hazards approach to HAZMAT response training employing immersive D game simulations of HAZMAT response that include modeling the physical behavior of hazardous materials and HAZMAT instruments as well as requiring decision making under conditions of uncertainty and risk benefit analysis It employs multiple instructional modes from which the learner can choose including complex simulations accompanied by after action reviews interactive lectures topical activities games and interviews with experienced practitioners who relate andquot war storiesandquot and lessons learned Further it is based on existing national standards and guidelines for HAZMAT response and training and was developed with the guidance review and approval of a national team of experts It promotes the concept of andquot Ops Plus andquot personnel trained at the HAZMAT Operations Level who according to NFPA may be further trained to do andquot mission specificandquot tasks during extraordinary circumstances when HAZMAT Technician Level responders are not readily available and Operations Level responders are first on the scene as can often if not usually be the case The specific objective of this Phase I research is to establish methods to adapt and extend the existing stand alone DVD ROM version of VTRA so that it can be used via the internet on the platforms specified above VTRA requires functionality beyond the capabilities of Web technologies currently in common use particularly its use D simulations and HAZMAT and instrument modeling Web based delivery is likely to greatly increase dissemination of the courseware to its target audience first responders in emergency medical services fire service and law enforcement who may be required to perform at an andquot Ops Plusandquot level The main technical question is whether a new Web based version will have functionality and performance that is equivalent to the current standalone version Current performance is uniformly smooth and without objectionable delays in courseware flow For this Phase I proposal one of the radiation event D simulations with selected associated interactive lectures and the general navigational interface will be converted for Web based delivery to desktop portable and tablet computers using emerging Web technologies such as Unity HTML CSS and D WebGL Success will be determined by comparison with the original program using objective measures and subjective evaluations by HAZMAT trained emergency responders and instructors using methods established during development of the original program PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This project is highly relevant to public health in that its long term objectives are to increase public health and safety during and following terrorist attacks and general incidents involving the use of hazardous materials HAZMAT to protect the health and safety of first responders who must respond to such incidents and to apply emerging methods of using the internet mobile computing and interactive games for the training of personnel in public health safety professions This will be accomplished through the application of Advanced Training Technologies ATT to develop and distribute a Web based Virtual HAZMAT Response Academy VHRA This Phase I proposal is particularly relevant in that it entails ground breaking exploration of emerging Web technologies for the development and delivery of Web based ATT programs with advanced designs in this case incorporating immersive D game simulations capable of modeling the behavior of hazardous materials and instruments to detect and quantify them and depicting operational situations requiring risk analysis and decision making by the learner with alternative outcomes and expert after action analysis

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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