ITEC 2017: Do First Responders Train?

By Tim Mahon (for

Military training solutions – whether live, virtual or constructive, tend on the whole to be iterative, with repeated training serials over time instilling skills and achieving carefully defined learning objectives. That is largely because training is a core activity for the military: they are not constantly doing their jobs – after all, if they were, we would be in a permanent state of war.

The same does not necessarily apply to all domains, though. Taking the opportunity of ITEC 2017 in Rotterdam this week to talk to a couple of experienced practitioners, it is evident that the challenges in marketing effects-oriented training to non-military markets can be very different: one size most assuredly does not fit all.

Do first responders train? Sure – we do it every single day,” explains Tim Mahoney, Corporate Vice President for Line Operations at Dynamis, a Virginia-based software provider specialising in decision support, planning, organisational development and training issues for the emergency service management market sector.

Clive Morgan, Vice President, Operations at C4I Training & Technology, based in Calgary, Alberta, echoes Mahoney’s observation. “Finding the time for dedicated training is difficult – these guys are busy doing their jobs every day and training is sometimes considered something of a luxury,” he told Mönch at the show. That is an observation – not a criticism, but it prompts something of a re-evaluation in this reporter’s mind.

The use of constructive simulations such as C4I’s MILSIM, aimed at military users seeking intuitive, easy to use and cost-effective command and staff collective training solutions is a relatively easy sell. Requirements are frequently well defined, procurement processes established and budgets – even when constrained – readily identified. The same would seem to be not necessarily the case for the emergency services market. The issue is not that emergency services authorities do not require training – or do not recognise that requirement – but rather that in the past there has not been the same degree of concentration on delivering iterative, repeatable training in the sanem manner as for the armed forces…

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