Creating a high-tech product is the first task of our company. Still, the effective implementation of our system into the daily life of the first responders is also an essential part of the digitalization process of the fire and rescue society.
The main challenge for Unblur and other technological companies is not in a technology itself but in the way we manage, train and onboard people.
To understand how firefighters work today, what difficulties they face in learning new software and how we can make their job safer and faster, we constantly collect customer feedback and conduct professional research.
We are sharing our work to initiate a conversation between all the stakeholders involved in digitalization of Fire Services: end users, strategic decision-makers, researchers, and suppliers. To ensure we all work in a collaborative manner and help firefighters work in a safer environment.
Our research covered responders from the US, the UK, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, ranks from firefighters to chiefs and age group from 20s to late 50s.
Talking about training of new tools we found out that:
– Introducing digital tools means processes will change, which causes resistance in people that have been working in a certain way for long time;
– Not all social groups are receptive to technology in the same way;
– Digital tools, if not designed correctly, can be very complicated to learn and may cause a burden to end users.
All these learnings affect the way we teach and deliver our service. But thanks to the feedback from the representatives of the fire services, we know what steps to take:
1. Use real-life scenarios and previous experiences to facilitate the acceptance and comprehension of the benefits of using this tech.
2. Create a safe learning environment in which people can make mistakes and which can adapt to the learning speeds of various social, educational, and age groups.
3. Focus on repetition. The more we use something, the better people will get at it.
4. Create simple and intuitive tools, that make it easy for Fire Service staff to train other users without depending on complicated manuals, or external trainers.
For instance, for immersive training at London Fire Brigade, we created a Learning platform and an Incident database, which constantly updated. We trained 20 commanders and support managers, which were empowered to deliver training to colleagues instead of constantly depending on external company teaching.
If you would like to learn more about our training implementation in London Fire Brigade, West Midlands Fire Service and other FRSs, please get in touch with us.
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