Cosumnes firefighters in training battle flames in virtual reality

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ELK GROVE, Calif. (KTXL) -- The academy at the Cosumnes Fire Department lasts six months and recruits have always had hands-on training.

But while other departments have used 360 cameras, the Cosumnes Fire Department said it is one of the first fire departments in the world to also use virtual reality to train firefighters.

“We are the first ones to put an entire classroom, an entire academy into virtual reality,” said Cosumnes firefighter Justin Quarisa.

With a 360 capable GoPro, the department can create its own VR videos and put firefighters in a fire without the danger. Without fear, the department said recruits can focus on learning.

“We can show them different things and they are actually absorbing that knowledge at a much better rate,” Quarisa told FOX40.

The headsets come from a company called Pico and the VR software was provided by RiVR.

The VR training is in its infancy but the educational and technological advancements, as well as the health implications, are massive.

“We can put someone in a headset 100 times a year and not a 100 times in a can,” Quarisa explained. “That’s better health, that’s better fitness, that’s better overall, hopefully, training.”

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