"The problem under investigation was the Allen Fire Department (AFD) has not validated that the computer-based simulation lab (SimLab) has prepared company officers for their responsibilities to effectively manage the emergency scene. The purpose of this applied research project was to validate the ability of the SimLab to prepare company officers for emergency scene management. Evaluative research was utilized to answer four research questions: (a) how does SimLab affect AFD company officers' situational awareness; (b) how does SimLab affect emergency scene communications; (c) how does SimLab affect AFD company officers' ability to manage their command assignments; and (d) what are the main objectives that AFD company officers learn from SimLab training? To evaluate these questions, surveys were sent out to all AFD company officers and AFD command officers, a personal interview was conducted with AFD Training Chief and the radio communications for twenty seven structure fires were evaluated. The results of the SimLab evaluation were mixed, with certain skills such as situational awareness and communications showing improvement, whereas other skills, such as air management and fire ground tactics failed to transfer from the SimLab to the emergency scene. The recommended approach for SimLab is to place more emphasis on the proper communications process, ensure all benchmarks are communicated, place more focus on individual command assignments, reevaluate the importance and practicality of certain objectives, establish a standardized post evolution critique and create an evaluation process to be completed by company officers after each SimLab training period."
United States. Federal Emergency Management Agency, Learning Resource Center: http://www.lrc.fema.gov/