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Incident Mgmt & Homeland Security. What makes a virtual world suitable (or not suitable) for preparing for attacks and incidents of any nature. Michael L. Pack, University of Maryland CATT Laboratory. Our Foray Into Virtual Worlds. I-95 Corridor Coalition Consortium of MANY masters:

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Incident mgmt homeland security

Incident Mgmt

& Homeland


What makes a virtual world suitable (or not suitable) for preparing for attacks and incidents of any nature...

Michael L. Pack, University of Maryland CATT Laboratory

Our foray into virtual worlds
Our Foray Into Virtual Worlds

  • I-95 Corridor Coalition

    • Consortium of MANY masters:

      • Law Enforcement

      • Fire & Rescue

      • Towing & Recovery

      • Transportation Management

      • Medical

      • Media

    • For the entire East Coast from Maine down to Florida…

      • More SOPs than you can imagine

      • More institutional barriers than we anticipated

      • More diversity of users, education levels, and cultures than we ever considered

What we see as the advantages
What WE see as the advantages

  • Can be very realistic and engaging (when done well)

  • Can reinforce communication, teamwork, and incident command structure

  • Are safer than other methods of training

  • Can be dynamic

    • Keeps it interesting

    • Affords quick and easy variations to scenarios

  • Can automate performance measures generation, feedback, and iterations

Convincing the masses
Convincing the masses…

  • It’s not just about the “environment/world”

  • We often fail to pay close enough attention to the other aspects of what makes for a successful program

  • The devil is in the details

  • Curriculum, trainers, usability, performance monitoring, etc. can be more important than whiz-bang graphics and features




Potential Clients & Trainees








Where should our focus be directed
Where should our focus be directed?

  • Core Competencies & Curriculum Development

  • Delivery Method

    • Just because you can be geographically separated doesn’t mean you should be separated…

  • Usability! Usability! Usability!!!!

  • System pre-training

  • Trainer/moderator

  • Managing trainee expectations

    • Towing example, FTL shooting example

  • Performance monitoring & After Action Reviews

  • Subsystems




Other applications
Other Applications

  • Field Clients

    • FTA

    • Military

    • Boy Scouts of America-Eagle Scout Project

  • Command & Control

    • Center Communications

  • Design Acceptance

    • Persons with Disabilities


For additional information contact

Michael L. Pack,

Director, CATT Laboratory