Development contract: “fire service digitalisation – virtual fire extinguishing trainer”

Contract for EDAG signed by district president Hermann-Josef Klüber und Drik Keller.

Safe and rapid action on the part of firefighters when fighting a fire or rescuing the injured from vehicles that have been in accidents is essential, and calls for regular training. In order to be able to provide effective assistance in these emergency situations, firefighters must have perfect command of their equipment, and know the correct tactical procedures and how to apply them.

The digitalisation of the fire brigade by means of innovative virtual reality applications can help to provide regular and practical training for firefighters everywhere – regardless of the actual physical training objects that are available. Examples of such applications are provided by the “virtual fire extinguishing trainer”.

On 4 October, 2021, District President Hermann-Josef Klüber (District President of North-East Hesse) awarded EDAG Productions Solutions GmbH & Co. KG (EDAG PS) an order for the development of a virtual reality application which could be used as a realistic means of training staff to extinguish a fire inside a building. The contract was officially signed by Hermann-Josef Klüber and Dirk Keller (CEO of EDAG PS) at the head office of EDAG PS in Fulda, marking the kick-off of the development project. EDAG PS, one of the world’s leading production engineering suppliers, has for years been focussing on the development of VR applications, for instance for manual painting training, or virtual robot programming.

From left to right: Hermann-Josef Klüber (District President of Kassel) and Dirk Keller (CEO of EDAG Production Solutions GmbH & Co. KG)

Project contents:
In order to practise not only the best way of operating and handling the hose jets, but also the tactical approach, the idea is to simulate an inside fire using the virtual fire extinguishing trainer with VR glasses, which is to be extinguished using a genuine firefighting hose jet, which serves as a controller and is adapted to VR. The hose jet is converted in such a way that the water jet settings (flow rate and spray pattern) and movements (direction and angle) can be transferred to the virtual environment.

The realistic simulation of water, fire and smoke development is also an important component of the virtual fire extinguishing trainer, to make immersion as realistic as possible. To this end, an individual algorithm that follows a phenomenological approach will be developed, to give the firefighter a realistic feeling of the elements.

The following people were involved in the conception of this innovation project:
Erwin Baumann – Head of the State Fire Service School in Hesse
Herrmann-Josef Klüber – District President for North-East Hesse
Thomas Finis – Head of Department 43 (Fire and Civil Protection)
Dirk Keller – CEO of EDAG PS
Nikolai Pappert – Project Manager Smart City – EDAG PS
Benjamin Kolobaric – Head of Visualisation Department – Feynsinn
Christoph Ketzler – Team Leader softWerk Visualisation – Feynsinn

This might also interest you