First Responder Situation Reporting in Virtual Reality Training with Evaluation of Cognitive-emotional Stress using Psychophysiological Measures

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Michael SchneebergerLucas PalettaK Wolfgang KallusLilian ReimChristian SchönauerAndreas PeerRichard FeischlGeorg AumayrMartin PszeidaAmir DiniStefan LadstätterAnna WeberAlexander AlmerDietmar Wallner

Abstract: First responders engage in highly stressful situations at the emergency site that may induce stress, fear, panic and a collapse of clear thinking. Staying cognitively under control under these circumstances is a necessary condition to avoid useless risk-taking and particularly to provide accurate situation reports to remote units to be able to organize appropriate support in time. This work applied a flexible virtual reality (VR) training environment with the purpose to investigate the performance of reporting under rather realistically simulated mission conditions. In a pilot study, representative emergency forces of the Austrian volunteer fire brigade and paramedics of the Johanniter organization were subjected to a test program that tested a formalized reporting schema (LEDVV), inducing equivalent strain in both, real environment and VR-based training scenarios. Wearable psychophysiological measuring technology was applied to estimate the cognitive-emotional stress level under both training conditions. The results indicate that both situation reports achieve a rather high level of cognitive-emotional stress and should be thoroughly trained. Furthermore, the results motivate the use of VR environments for the training of stress-resilient decision-making behavior of emergency forces.

Keywords: first responder, virtual reality, Psychophysiological Measures, Cognitive-Emotional Strain

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1001841

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