The difference between having a fire simulation program versus having a simulation training program can perhaps best be compared with having a car versus having somewhere to go with a car. Having somewhere to go means you have a destination or a purpose in mind. That implies planning how to get there and determining the steps you will take along the way. With no destination or purpose in mind, a drive might simply be for sightseeing or to kill some time.
A simulation program can be either a toy or a tool depending on how it is used. The best use of a simulation program is to enhance an existing training program or add substance to one that is in development. Simulation programs generally cost something and may be included as part of an overall training budget. The best way to justify any training equipment expenditure (including software) is to measure how it contributes to achieving your overall goal or objective. If it simply does cool things, it may not get used very much in the long run. But, if it can complement every aspect of your training, then its value is not just a monetary consideration.
A simulation training program can be used to enhance important areas such as CompanyLevel Training, Continuing Education, Officer Development, Assessment, Validation, Proficiency, your Promotional Process and SOP/SOG Development & Validation. When a training program includes applicable simulations, the lessons or main points being taught are more easily grasped and therefore more readily committed to memory. Critical thinking, decision-making and communication skills are some of the most important skill sets that can be taught. Simulations can be developed that focus on the specifics of each one of them.
If you have a simulation program, is it a regular part of your training program? If it isn’t, ask yourself why not? If your simulation program doesn’t easily accommodate your training goals, take a look at other programs that are more user-friendly. If your simulation program does the job you need it to, then reach out to the developer and see what resources they offer to help you use it. Transforming a simulation program into a simulation training program shouldn’t take a long time or require a lot of effort but the benefits will be immediate and long term.