Advanced Disaster Management Simulator Features School Violence Scenario

Environmental Tectonics Corp.'s Simulation Division recently announced the delivery of a new training scenario to the Southeastern Pennsylvania regional counterterrorism task force (CTTF) for its Advanced Disaster Management Simulator, ADMS-COMMAND.

Originally delivered in 2006 with the ability to train multi-disciplinary first responder teams in dealing with many types of transportation-related accidents, HAZMAT releases and CBRNE (chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear and explosive) disasters, CTTF's ADMS-COMMAND system has now been upgraded with the ability to train SWAT personnel in mitigating a hostage situation at a suburban high school.

The scenario, designed by CTTF subject matter experts with ETC's ADMS curriculum developers, is an open-ended and dynamic simulation of a six- classroom high school building with more than 100 students, teachers and administrators. The scenario presents a number of armed terrorists who have taken the school hostage. Responders must react appropriately and mitigate the developing situation to best avoid and minimize casualties. Since no ADMS scenarios are pre-scripted, the action and results depend entirely on the choices made by responders during the exercise.

CTTF instructors have the ability to customize exercises on the fly to allow for different types of situations, including varying the number of armed hostage takers, their tactics, the number of hostages and number of casualties. The virtual hostage takers and hostages can be controlled by instructors or entirely by the simulator's artificial intelligence engine in response to the trainee's mitigation efforts. At any time, instructors can make injects like terminating a hostage, cutting facility power, changing weather or evacuating rooms. This scenario also is useful for training school staff and management teams in decision making under stressful conditions while working within emergency management procedures.

"We are excited to progress our system's functionality to include this important training capability, which has been at the forefront of concerns about security in schools for several years. We believe that this type of simulation can be adapted and applied to many other areas where people could be threatened, such as banks, casinos, stadiums, cruise ships and airports,” said Marco van Wijngaarden, president of the Simulation Division. “We're looking forward to cooperation with experts, institutes and universities around the world to further develop scenarios in the public safety domain."

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