A simulator has been installed at the NSW Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) Training Academy at Dubbo in a bid to help aviation firefighting specialists expand their skills and ensure their safety.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott has inspected the simulator, purchased in response to recommendations from the NSW Bushfire Inquiry.
"The simulator has been developed and designed to simulate specialist aviation roles, allowing trainees and trained aviation personnel to be exposed to difficult scenarios in a controlled virtual environment," he said.
"The simulator, built like the cockpit of a helicopter, uses helmet- mounted virtual reality headsets to allow the students to look in, around and out of an aircraft. This is as close to real as it gets."
Mr Elliott said the new technology followed the installation of four winch simulators.
He said trainees would have "increased learning opportunities to practice and enhance their skills in situations they may not have the opportunity to experience".
The minister, NSW RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers and Dubbo regional mayor Ben Shields met with highly-trained aviation firefighting specialists when inspecting the simulator.
Commissioner Rogers said the NSW RFS had been a leader in aviation firefighting operations for more than 20 years.
"The service manages the whole of government aviation support for fire and flood through its State Air Desk, which over the 2019/2020 Black Summer fires coordinated more than 2400 takings across NSW," he said.
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