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Your Environment. Your Health.

Prior SBIR E - Learning Awards

Worker Training Program

Table of Contents

The following descriptions of successful applications under previous "SBIR E-Learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response Requests for Applications" were provided by the applicants.

Advanced Training Platform and Methodologies for Emergency Responders and Skilled Workers

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES020135 - 02 Nicolaide, Roberto Javier Nicolalde R&D LLC

There is a need to be able to deliver just-in-time training and reference materials for first responders and skilled support personnel. Mobile computing platforms are becoming ubiquitous and provide an ideal means to reach users at any time in any location. The process of translating existing reference materials into mobile-friendly formats is currently manual and very labor intensive. Nicolalde R&D LLC is well under way to commercialize its mTraining mobile technology and service prototyped during a phase I SBIR from NIEHS. The mTraining technology is an objective and checklist-based method for delivering just-in-time training and reference materials, making it an effective Electronic Performance Support System (EPSS) for providing workers easy access to information after training, and on site prior to or during an assignment. It provides short, incident specific awareness and safety training that can be delivered prior to responding to an emergency situation. The proposed development under this phase II SBIR includes: a) a back-end document processing engine that is able to automatically parse, analyze, mark-up, and organize documents so that their content is easily cross-referenced, linked and re-organized for effective delivery on a mobile training platform or other electronic medium. This will be connected to a server and database architecture to facilitate its operation and support storing and accessing content; b) the front-end interface for the mobile training platform (mTraining) was prototyped in Phase I of this project for delivering training content to emergency responders, skilled support personnel, and volunteers before or during an incident. The improved back-end architecture will support intelligent search capabilities for a large repository of training documents with different structures. This capability relies on the document processing engine's ability to semi-automatically extract relevant data and automatically translate this data into a structured format. This data can then be used for display in the mobile application, stored into databases, and automatically populated into ontologies. Throughout this project the participatory-based design paradigm has been used for facilitating the integration of user requirements and the fast prototyping and testing of design alternatives. This approach will continue to be utilized in Phase 2 of the project. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed research and development will advance the field of environmental health and safety training by bringing to it new and innovative advanced training technologies that are based on the mobile and just-in-time paradigm. Furthermore, the research and development proposed herein will advance the mobile information technology field by developing robust and scalable tools for processing and linking information residing in different source documents that are semantically related.

An Application Enabling Trainers to Rapidly Generate, Customize and Manage Online

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES021638-01 RAMLOLL, RAMESHSHARMA DeepSemaphore LLC

Given the growing body of research results reporting the benefits of using multiuser virtual learning environments (MUVLEs) to support emergency preparedness training, we expect that there will be an increase in the use of MUVLEs to support virtual training exercises for Hazmat Awareness and HAZWOPER courses. Our overriding strategy is to implement an approach that will empower trainers so that they do not need to have recourse to programmers or designers to set up their virtual training exercises. We design and implement a virtual exercise scenario authoring and control application for 3 trainers to use within a multiplayer 3D virtual reality platform. This application has three main functionalities: (1) It will allow trainers to create through point and click operations an interactive 3D virtual diorama a pplication, (2) It will enable trainers to generate an immersive 3D and appropriately scaled up version of the scene described by the diorama and (3) it will provide an intuitive user interface to control events and the behavior of scaled up objects in the immersive 3D virtual learning environment.

An Application for Trainers to Rapidly Create and Control HAZMAT Emergency Response Scenarios in Online Immersive Virtual Environments for Self-Paced and Team Learning

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES021638 - 02 Ramloll, Rameshsharma Deepsemaphore LLC

Interactive online multiuser virtual learning environments (MUVLEs) have been shown to be highly effective for the delivery of health and safety training for workers. The return on investment for MUVLEs increases significantly if the latter can be changed easily and inexpensively to match rapidly evolving learning needs. Under Phase I a minimal viable application was successfully developed illustrating our approach for Hazmat and Hazwoper training scenarios. In Phase II we aim to adapt our application for use in 360 immersive virtual environments, advance interactivity of scenario assets of the library in the learning-by-doing space, control and visualization functionalities of the application, validate subject matter content and conduct rigorous assessment of our product through qualitative and quantitative evaluations. Our goal is to provide Hazmat and emergency preparedness trainers with an application that will allow them to rapidly create and modify MUVLEs to match the training scenarios they need for their classes without the necessity to have recourse to a dedicated team of designers and programmers or additional extensive training in domains not relevant to their core professional skills. Subject matter experts need to address changes that are needed to be made in real time to a virtual learning environment in order to adapt to (1) current student skill set, (2) to immediate teaching goals, (3) to various class sizes, (4) to the current student performance evaluation requirements and (5) to the frequent and often, unanticipated, shifts in focus from theory to practice and back, and last but not least (5) to frequent changes in course contents. MUVLEs that resist adaptation tends to limit the creative opportunities for teachers or subject matter experts who need to challenge their students with advanced, unanticipated, engaging and responsive scenarios in the virtual learning environment. Many virtual reality training applications are designed to teach skills that can be encapsulated by well-defined decision trees. Such training experiences while being much needed, and easily repeatable, and useful for practicing skills, tend to be linear and may limit the range of creative solutions that students may come up with to solve a given problem. Our proposed grant application will allow subject matter experts to create and modify MUVLEs in real-time while an exercise is in progress, to create custom training scenarios, and to monitor trainee activities through a common user interface accessible within the virtual learning environment. While our application can be used for staging self-paced, single user virtual training experiences, its strength lies in its ability to support large scale virtual team training exercises. We use the expertise of Hazmat Emergency Response training experts to validate the educational quality of our product. We will segment our extensive library of virtual 3D content into subject specific content packs that will be sold separately and available in a format that can be imported directly into the content generation and management application. Our potential target clients include Hazmat and safety training centers and businesses that require access to custom MUVLEs to support their training. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Interactive online multiuser virtual learning environments (MUVLEs) have been shown to be highly effective for the delivery of health and safety training for workers. Our goal is to provide Hazmat and emergency preparedness trainers with an application that will allow them to rapidly create and modify MUVLEs to match the training scenarios they need for their classes without the necessity to have recourse to a dedicated team of designers and programmers or additional extensive training in domains not relevant to their core professional skills. The grant application we propose will also function as a live control station within the virtual environment, which could be used by a single participant or collaboratively by multiple participants in a team to manage in real time 3D content in the MUVLE while an exercise is in progress.

Cross-training on Roles of Skilled Support Personnel

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013055 - 01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

The specific aim of the research project is to design and develop a training program for use by First Responders on the roles that SSP can play in disasters. If First Responders better understood the jobs that the various construction trades perform, and the skills offered by each trade, the First Responders could better utilize this important resource. The title of the proposed training program is "Cross - training on the Roles of Skilled Support Personnel." It will be provided to First Responder organizations to be used in their regularly scheduled instructor - led training programs. The t raining program will be developed for the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) format. The use of DVDs will enable MetaMedia to incorporate compelling interviews with First Responders and SSP involved in the 9/11 tragedy, instructive computer animations, and engaging interactive exercises to produce an effective training program that successfully transfers knowledge. The aim of the Roles of SSP DVD is to create a training 28 tool to help improve the readiness of the United States to respond to WMD incidents. The task is to create a visually exciting, integrated training solution that will achieve this goal. The DVD training program will represent a technology innovation in instructor - led training. It will take advantage of the unique features of DVD, such as high - quality motion video, interactive branching, multiple audio channels, and low - cost delivery systems to bring real - world situations into the classroom. During Phase 1 of the project, MetaMedia and CPWR will determine the training needs of the target audience, de sign a training tool to meet those needs, and produce a working prototype of the product that will be evaluated in an actual training session. Deliverables for Phase 1 will be a Design Document providing a blueprint for building the training program, a Working Prototype providing up to 30 minutes of training, and an Evaluation Report describing the effectiveness of the Roles of SSP DVD.

CSI: CRASH - Using Immersive Learning and Cross - Platform Mobile Solutions to Addr e ss Accident Investigations

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES020142-01 KIRKLEY, SONNY E WisdomTools Enterprises, Inc

This SBIR project, Case Study Investigation: Contextual Reconstruction of Accidents for Safety and Health (CSI: CRASH): Using Immersive Learning and Cross Platform Mobile Solutions to Address Accident Investigations from a Multi - Perspective Standpoint, seeks to design and develop an innovative advanced training technology (ATT) to address the need for contextual and accessible information on accident investigations. In this way, CSI: CRASH will empower workplace safety representatives with the knowledge to view accident scenes from multiple perspectives, understand best practices, and allow health and safety trainers to address learners' need for a well - rounded, awareness - level, innovative training solution. Phase I of this SBIR project will focus on training to increase understanding of basic accident investigation principles, with a long term goal of addressing a) the principles of root cause analysis, b) effective interviewing techniques, and c) understanding and accounting for " hindsight bias." CSI: CRASH will also emphasize the many factors and perspectives that must be taken into consideration in determining accident causation. With these concerns in mind, WisdomTools proposes to develop CSI: CRASH, a web - based and downloadable blended learning course that is comprised of two main parts: 1) a blended learning course that utilizes multimedia case study, context - based learning methods, an eLearning module, and post work refresher microgames, and 2) CSI Mobile, a cross - platform (i.e., iPhone, Android, BlackBerry) mobile application that allows learners who have taken CSI: CRASH to access course resources such as images, definitions, pdfs, and diagrams on an ongoing basis and on the job site. Through the use of user participatory design, semi - structured interviews, usability testing, and learning gains/attitudinal change analysis, this Phase I effort will examine questions related to the technical and implementation feasibility of CSI: CRASH, including: 1) What content on accident investigation best practices is most critical for workplace safety representatives? 2) What features and functionalities are needed to support easy access and retrieval of information? and 3) Does the use of a blended and context - driven learning approach produce a net positive increase in learner knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) as compared with KSAs before the training course?

Develop and Test a Suite of Training Products on Biodisasters for Skilled Support

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
5R44ES020140 - 03 Mullen, Joan Frances Gryphon Scientific, LLC

The World Trade Center clean-up focused national attention on the inadequate training for skilled support personnel (SSP), OSHA's term for workers in trades (including construction, demolition, and transportation) deployed to support disaster responses. While the relevant OSHA standard (29 CFR 1910.120) provides detailed training for emergency responders, the requirements for training skilled support personnel--so-called secondary responders-- are less stringent, focusing only on awareness training through an initial on-site briefing. The negative health consequences of inadequate preparation have been profound, leading to efforts to better prepare SSP to work safely on disaster sites. This Phase II project focuses on biological hazards as the consequences of inadequate protection are potentially catastrophic to the skilled support worker as well as the public at large. Because skilled support personnel are subject to no statutory or regulatory requirement for training in advance of a disaster response, training must not only be informative but also persuasive about the need to know, easily accessible, and sufficiently entertaining and graphically appealing to engage the attention of SSP. The basic training developed and tested in Phase I achieved the goals of engagement. This Phase II project will focus on adding animation and interaction to the Phase I product, developing shorter, incident- specific refresher trainings that can be reviewed on mobile devices prior to entering a disaster response action, and constructing an online Discussion Forum to provide trainees with opportunities for interactions with instructors and peers. Following the completion of tests measuring knowledge gains and retention, subscriptions to this package of products will be marketed to organizations that provide health and safety training to construction workers. As part of the marketing effort, a summary product will be developed to supplement more general disaster response curricula. This product will be disseminated free of charge to non- profit training agencies in order to expand the reach and visibility of the Phase II products. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The World at Risk report issued in 2008 by the Commission on the Prevention of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Proliferation and Terrorism concluded that while nuclear terrorism has been emphasized in Federal prevention efforts, bioterrorism is the more likely threat. Preparing skilled support workers to respond to this threat is an urgent public health challenge that will be addressed in this project by developing and testing several products to prepare skilled support personnel to work safely in biologically contaminated environments. Products include a comprehensive basic training for use online or in class, refresher training in three incident-specific units that can be viewed on mobile devices prior to entering a response action, and an online Discussion Board that will allow trainees to interact with instructors and peers and receive on-going support.

Develop and Test a Tool for Training Research Responders in Emergency Operations

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES025448 - 01 Rush, Margaret Andrews Gryphon Scientific, LLC

The United States government has invested billions of dollars to develop effective disaster preparedness and response strategies. Missing from ongoing disaster operations is the ability to collect data and conduct research in real time in order to better inform ongoing response and recovery efforts as well as future events. Although much of disaster preparedness training has focused on first responders, and some training for second responders, little is yet available to train Research Responders (RRs). The Disaster Research Response Project (DR2), developed by NIEHS in collaboration with the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is charged with providing readily available data collection tools and response protocols as well as a response network of trained research responders familiar with those tools. TREO--Training Research Responders for Emergency Operations is an innovative online learning product that specifically addresses how RRs can be integrated into disaster operations. Researchers can use the tool at their convenience -- either in advance or as just-in-time training before deployment into a disaster area. For our Phase I effort, in depth interviews will guide the development of TREO, followed by usability testing of the prototype as well as a pre- and post-assessment of RR knowledge gains at the conclusion of training and three months later. We also suggest conducting demonstrations for other emergency response personnel to provide an indication of the applicability of TREO's game-like environment to meet the training needs of other responder populations. This tool will contribute to shifting the paradigm of how novel training technologies can drive disaster preparedness by using virtual worlds to teach RRs how to integrate safely and productively into any type of disaster operation. The potential for commercial application of TREO goes well beyond the NIEHS network of RRs to include schools offering disaster management curricula, public or private research organizations, independent researchers, and state and local agencies that may conduct or contract for research on natural or intentional disasters. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The involvement of research scientists as part of a disaster response effort is imperative to improve response and recovery operations and ensure the health and safety of responders as well as surrounding communities. TREO- Training Research Responders in Emergency Operations -- is an innovative online learning product that specifically addresses how research responders can be integrated into disaster operations. This product will include a disaster scenario built out in Second Life which provides a three dimensional virtual environment where participants can learn about disaster operations response frameworks, operational hazards, and standards and ethics of collecting data during an emergency response.

Develop and Test an Online Biohazard Simulator to Train S killed Support Personnel

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1 R43ES020140 - 01 RUSH, MARGARET ANDREWS Gryphon Scientific LLC

The World Trade Center clean - up focused national attention on the inadequate training for "skilled support personnel", OSHA's term for workers in trades (including construction, demolition and transportation) deployed to support disaster response (Lippy and Murray, 2003). While the relevant OSHA standard (29CFR 1910.120) provides detailed training for emergency responders, the requirements for training skilled support personnel are less stringent, focusing only on awareness training through an initial on - site briefing. The negative health consequences of inadequate preparation have been profound. For example, one year after the World Trade Center attack, over half of 2500 workers screened were still suffering respiratory symptoms. This project focuses on biological hazards as the consequences of inadequate protection and potentially catastrophic to the skilled support worker as 8 well as the public at large. Since emergency response protocols are not routinely practiced by skilled support personnel, one - shot training's - even with periodic refreshers -- are unlikely to be remembered at the time personnel are mobilized to support a WMD event. Accordingly, this project will develop an online multi - media, interactive training application available to skilled support personnel for pre - incident training as well as a just - in - time reference. This supplement to basic training in disaster response will focus on health and safety practices relevant to disease transmitted by aerosolized agents, blood or bodily fluids, person - to - person contact, or insect and animal vectors. Training will cover routes of exposure and applicable diseases, engineering and work practice controls, personal protective equipment and barriers, decontamination and disposal procedures, and post - exposure protocols. Case studies will enable trainees to apply their knowledge by developing exposure control plans in response to simulated events involving biological hazards. Following the core curriculum, participants will have two opportunities to connect with peers and instructors: an asynchronous online discussion forum linked to the product and virtual office hours or webcasts geared to provide real - time opportunities for discussion and questions. Evaluation will involve a series of pre - and post - course written evaluations and telephone interviews with each participant to measure satisfaction with the course and delivery mechanisms as well as knowledge gains and confidence about applying knowledge in practice. Participants who receive online training only will be compared to those who receive both online and asynchronous and real time follow - up activities.

Distributed HAZMAT Training Using Adapted Gaming Technology

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES015683 - 01 KUSUMOTO, LAURA FORTERRA SYSTEMS, INC.

Contemporary Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulation requires that hazardous waste site workers and emergency responders maintain considerable competency in methods and techniques of waste site and emergency response work, as well as a depth of knowledge concerning safety criteria, personal protective equipment, site assessment, instrumentation, and related skills. Workers and businesses are often challenged to accomplish any training due to lack of delivery systems or availability of trainers. The obstacles are often geographic or cost driven, where a business entity cannot afford to lose valuable staff to travel long distance or trainers are not available to come to job sites. Psychological limitations of traditional training materials such as video and PowerPoint, where interactivity is missing, result in undesirable, boring experiences for users. A proposed solution is to exploit developments in the commercial gaming industry by adapting game technology to produce a distributed, multi - player, online virtual environment to train individuals and teams in critical HAZMAT skills. Forterra Systems proposes to study this proposition by developing a typical training scenario and environment using gaming technology, performing an instructional design, conducting user tests with the target audiences, and analyzing the results. The impact on cost effectiveness and distance learning will be addressed. These eff orts will lay the foundation for a roadmap that defines future developments for a system that will put users in an engaging and realistic virtual environment where they can collaboratively interact with other real people rather than being inundated with we b pages and PowerPoint slides. Such a system will spark the competitive spirit and promote the desire to repeat exercises and achieve superior outcomes as an individual and as part of a response team. The resulting system will provide a cost effective solution that 18 minimizes travel requirements for users, leverages instructors and subject matter experts, provides a rich environment to facilitate rapid transfer of training, and relies on commodity computer hardware as a host. It also leverages investments by Forterra itself, other government agencies, and general technology developments in the commercial gaming industry. Finally, the game - based technology is consistent with the cultural milieu that workers are growing up with today so if the development is successful, it will be a system they want to use.

DVD Based E-Learning Tools for Hazardous Waste and Chem

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES12127 - 01 RATHJE, DEAN NEW LEAF INTERACTIVE MEDIA

New Leaf Interactive Media, working with the Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute at Kirkwood Community College will, over a 2-year period, use cutting-edge technologies to produce and pilot-test three (3) DVD videos that are multi-platform, video interactive, and customized for training three separate audiences. DVD technology has not been used to date for interactive training that creates simulated environments in which the user makes real-world choices and then realizes the consequences of those choices. The DVDs will consist largely of menus (choices) and video (results of choices). These E-learning tools will use new technologies and teaching paradigms to reinforce serious subject matter. They can be widely disseminated and are easily packaged and replicated in a commercial run of any desired quantity. The DVD-video is playable on inexpensive consumer DVD players and on personal computers equipped to play video DVD. The intent of the project is to, 1) minimize the "digital divide" by providing a product playable on a $100 consumer device, and 2) explore the interactive capabilities of video DVD. Content will include environmental health and safety refresher and recertification materials for workers and managers. Participants will be tracked and scored based on 30 time and materials used in responses. They will be tested for competency attainment in a variety of ways including pen and paper, disc, and website-based tests. By the end of the 2-year period, the project will have produced and pilot-tested three Master DVDs and will look toward commercialization in Phase II. The three DVD Exercises may be completed in 15 – 20 minutes, with 8 correct decisions, or in several hours, if poor choices are made for a total of 26 unwise decisions. The Exercises include the following: The Mystery Drum Exercise in which participants learn to identify and contain a spill of an unknown chemical. In the Lock-out Tag-out in a Confined Space Exercise, participants are presented a set of problems related to making a safe entrance through lockout procedures, entry procedures, and choices in ventilation and respiratory protection. This exercise will not have one "right" answer, but multiple routes to the successful entry and rescue of an injured worker. In Brownfields, participants plan to redevelop a four-block site previously occupied by 10 – 12 businesses that contaminated the area in different ways wit h PCB-contaminated electrical equipment, asbestos-containing building materials, and drums of disregarded hazardous waste. Participants will research printed historical documents, walk through the area noting potential safety hazards, and then develop a clean-up plan through a series of menu-driven choices.

E-HazTools for HazMat/HazWaste Worker Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES12142 - 01 WOLFORD, RODNEY D FOF COMMUNICATION S

Research and development of an interactive, commercially viable software product entitled e-HazTools will focus on the practical chemistry of hazardous materials as an e-learning and e-teaching tool for training the nationwide population of workers engaged in activities broadly characterized as hazardous waste and chemical emergency response operations. Applied practical chemistry is a critical element of such training, yet instructors find it difficult to teach in the restricted timeframe required. E-learning and  e-teaching tools have proven effective in teaching chemistry at all levels in academic settings. These approaches will be adapted and augmented for the target population in collaboration with subject matter and training experts through pilot tests with target workers and product revisions. The most significant innovation of this product is its hooks to public chemical databases that will drive the e-outcomes in questioning - method scenarios and problem - solving exercises designed to apply chemical concepts to the target workers' safety and health needs. A quasi - experimental outcome evaluation study will be conducted comparing the effectiveness of e-HazTools with existing classroom instruction for this topic. The evaluation will employ a partially randomized, longitudinal, cross - sectional survey design with three measurement points: pre - training, post training, and 4 - month follow - up. To assure effectiveness with the widest target population, both pilot test groups and evaluation study groups will be composed of occupationally, economically, and ethnically diverse categories of target workers. Commercial application of e - HazTools will be as stand - alone CD - based and Internet - based e-teaching/e-learning products. Effective training in hazardous materials chemistry will help meet the long - term goal of assuring that workers learn and master safer handling and response practices, reducing potential for hazardous exposures among workers and communities and helping to meet the broad NIEHS goal of reducing illness and disease due to hazardous environmental substances.

E-Learning Assisted HAZWOPER Training for Coroners and Med ical Examiner

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES 019006 - 01A1 O'BRIEN, JAMES PATRICK D and E Technical, Inc.

Human death investigations must by law be properly implemented even when the decedent is involved in or near to the scene of a hazardous materials emergency. This project intends to develop worker health and safety training for those staff of coroners and medical examiners who investigate deaths in hazardous materials environments. This innovative training will be implemented by e-Learning applications, to be later supplemented by hands - on practice that is specific to the job tasks of death investigators. Federal law, implemented by the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) rule at 29 CFR 1910.120, places certain requirements and restrictions on workers at hazardous materials response and waste sites. Unlike other, more general HAZWOPER training, this particular effort will focus on the relevant job tasks of death investigators, provide practical training, and be economical to administer for coroners and medical examiners. The intent of Phase I of this project is to conduct a hazard assessment with respect to the job tasks of death investigators at hazardous materials emergencies and other situations involving potential exposure of these workers to chemical, radiological and etiological agents. This will lead to developing a list of competencies that death investigators should possess to safely operate during a hazardous materials response or in a contaminated environment. A training syllabus will then be developed, in detail, to address the learning of these competencies. Typically, HAZWOPER training is more effective when verbal presentations are combined with hands on practice to refine and reinforce the presented skills. Phase I of this project will include researching, developing and evaluating the effectiveness of various combinations of ways of conducting the verbal (lecture) portion of the proposed course using e-Teaching means. The means are expected to include a mix of written material, still photographs, sketches, video clips, quizzes, automated feedback, interactive forums, scenario - based simulations, instructor feedback, and tests. An on - line resource library will provide continued e - Learning access to the students for later reference. Evaluation is expected to be by questionnaire, interview, quiz/test answer analysis and variation of the means of presenting the material to test groups of students. Phase II of the project is anticipated to be the combination of the e-Learning effort developed in Phase I with hands - on training leading to a certification of proficiency for trained individuals, e-Training for employers (coroners and medical examiners) of hazardous materials site workers on the administrative aspects of HAZWOPER compliance, as well as the implementation of the use of e-Learning tools to provide refresher training as required by the HAZWOPER rules.

E-Learning Assisted HAZWOPER Training for Medicolegal Death Investigators

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES019006 - 02 O'Brien, James Patrick D and E Technical, Inc.

Human death investigations must by law be properly implemented even when the decedent is involved in or near to the scene of a hazardous materials emergency. This project intends to develop worker health and safety training for those staff of coroners and medical examiners who investigate deaths in hazardous materials environments. This innovative training will be implemented by e-learning applications and by hands-on practice that is specific to the job tasks of death investigators. Federal law, implemented by the OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) rule at 29 CFR 1910.120, places certain requirements and restrictions on workers at hazardous materials response and waste sites. Unlike other more general HAZWOPER training, this particular effort will focus on the relevant job tasks of death investigators, provide practical training, and be economical to administer for coroners and medical examiners. During Phase I of this project a hazard assessment was conducted with respect to the job tasks of death investigators at hazardous materials emergencies and other situations involving potential exposure of these workers to chemical, radiological and etiological agents. This has led to a list of competencies that death investigators should possess to safely operate during a hazardous materials response or in a contaminated environment. A training syllabus was developed, in detail, to address the learning of these competencies. Typically, HAZWOPER training is more effective when verbal presentations are combined with hands on practice to refine and reinforce the presented skills. Phase I of this project included researching developing and evaluating the effectiveness of various combinations of ways of conducting the verbal (lecture) portion of the proposed course using e-teaching means. The web-based portion of the training includes a mix of written material, still photographs, sketches, quizzes, and automated feedback, scenario-based simulations, and tests. An on-line resource library provides continued e-learning access to the students for later reference. Phase II of the project is combining the e-learning effort for cognitive skills developed in Phase I with hands-on psychomotor training using training manikins, personal protective equipment, hazardous materials monitoring devices and decontamination equipment typical of a hazardous materials response. The combined course leads to a certification of proficiency for trained individuals in compliance with 29 CFR 1910.120 criteria. Phase II will also include the development of 'train-the-trainer' curricula for the hands-on portion of the course, in order to facilitate expansion of the geographic reach of the hands-on training in a cost effective manner. This would assist in the recruitment and preparation of local trainers to provide the hands-on experience. An additional Phase II goal is to develop an online e-learning site for employers (coroners and medical examiners) of hazardous materials site workers focusing on the administrative aspects of HAZWOPER compliance. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Coroners and Medical Examiners have a duty to conduct human death investigations, including those where deaths may occur in proximity to the scene of a hazardous materials emergency. These death investigators may be exposed to contaminated environments, contaminated evidence and contaminated remains. This project will continue development of targeted hands-on training assisted by e-learning applications to provide health and safety training to workers investigating deaths. Unlike other, more general, HAZWOPER training this effort will focus on the relevant job tasks, be practical, and be economical to implement. It will be a self-sufficient and legally compliant HAZWOPER training program for coroners, medical examiners and their staffs.

E-learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES015697 - 01 RYNG, HENRY. INXSOL, LLC

inXsol LLC will undertake research to establish the technical/scientific merit and feasibility for the design and use of an affordable, stand - alone simulation - based training tool to supplement instructor guided 17 training for hazardous material s health and safety that can be tailored to meet the local needs of cities and states. The research will examine the use of scenario - based simulation training enabling learners to develop and practice identification, response, coordination and communication skills, in either individual, team, or facilitated sessions. The research will also study the use of collaborative tools as a conduit for design and delivery of new scenarios that can readily be scripted to meet emerging needs. Such tools have the potential to enable a community of authors to grow a library of training experiences that can be shared or adapted to localized needs. The research will extend beyond the design of simulations to examine how best to structure such low cost environments so that t hey support effective learning and supplement classroom and live exercise events. The research activities include: developing at least one hazmat scenario as a proof of concept and identifying the associated expert decision cues required for the incidents represented and the knowledge - based components required and the incident command structure appropriate for each incident. A practice exercise will be implemented for the scenario using an existing low cost computer - based simulation tool developed by InXsol and the Federation of American Scientists, that includes supporting instructor and student collaboration tools. Using these resources, the project will then study the research questions. Phoenix Fire Department, Phoenix Arizona, will supply the subject matter, technical and instructor expertise for the project. Targeted audiences will be selected among skilled support personnel (SSP) awareness, first responder operations, hazardous materials technician and the incident commander.

E-learning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response - Phase II

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES015697 - 02 RYNG, HENRY INXSOL, LLC

This Phase II project will leverage the favorable results for inXsol's Phase I "eLearning for HAZMAT and Emergency Response" project. In the Phase I project, inXsol undertook research to establish the technical/scientific merit and feasibility for the design and use of an affordable, stand - alone simulation - based training tool. This tool supplements instructor guided training for hazardous materials health and safety and can be tailored to meet the local needs of cities and states. The result of this effort is a computer simulation called Command Plan that it runs as a desktop application. For Phase II, inXsol proposes moving the successfully deployed and tested computer - based HAZMAT simulation scenario from a desktop application to a web - based simulation delivery structure. This transition to a web - based application will provide an opportunity to research the technical challenges and feasibility of providing an accessible, low - cost incident command application. The research proposal includes three activities. First, developing a web - based simulation with the Phase I application acting as a development prototype. Next, importing the Phase I HAZMAT scenario to the web - based simulation will be completed. Finally, conducting two evaluation exercises for the we b - based HAZMAT scenario using the web - based simulation developed in this Phase II project. The research will compare the results of the web - based learner experience to that of the learner experience and performance of the Phase I exercise. Phoenix Fire Department (Phoenix, Arizona) and Mesa Community College (Mesa, Arizona) will supply subject matter expertise for the project along with targeted audiences selected among skilled support personnel (SSP) awareness, first responder operations, hazardous materials technicians and incident command students.

E-products for Training and Supporting SSP

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013080 - 01 GRAY, ROBERT A COGNITECH CORPORATION

Many Skilled Support Personnel (SSP) are not adequately prepared to respond to a major disaster, particularly those resulting from a Weapons of Mass Destruction incident. To protect the health of the SSP, new training and delivery mechanisms must be developed. The proposed Phase 1 research will focus upon the development of e-product technologies to enable Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training. It will also enable content reuse for delivery of short incident - specific awareness training prior to entry into a response action. The delivery platforms will include Computer - Based Training (CBT), Web - based training (WBT), handheld computer training and reference materials. Delivery to mobile devices will allow training and access to HAZWOPER reference material on - demand. An Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system can reuse and deliver the content that is read to the learner. This will benefit populations with low rates of literacy and individuals where English is not their primary language. HAZWOPER content on wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment will be developed and used to validate the prototype delivery platforms developed in Phase 1.

Electronic Platform for the Delivery of Site Specific Health and Safety Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES025446 - 01 Nicolalde, Roberto Javier Nicolalde R&D LLC

The Emergency Responder Health Monitoring and Surveillance (ERHMS) Technical Assistance Document (TAD) aimed at National Response Teams highlights the need for a technology platform for collecting data, before, during and after disasters, to assess the effect training has on response-related illness and injury for emergency responders. This SBIR grant application is aimed at developing a software platform that will not only provide the means to efficiently collect data for the assessment of training impact; but also will provide the means to efficiently deliver pre-deployment and site specific training (SST), against which the assessment of training impact on responders' illness and injury can be evaluated. If successfully implemented, the software platform will be a useful tool both for delivering just-in-time training and for supporting environmental health research relating to responders' exposure to potentially harmful environmental contaminants during and after disaster events. This research project proposes an innovative system for generation and distribution of incident-related knowledge (including manuals, general and site-specific trainings) with integrated monitoring and reporting functionality to address the needs described above. The system will allow the incident command official to generate training materials and data collection tools by simple and straightforward import from existing materials, as well as to customize previously generated tools to better-fit the current situation. All the materials will be delivered to emergency responders in the form of instantly generated smartphone (iOS, Android) and web applications, which will significantly reduce costs of logistics and latency of materials delivery. Materials encapsulation into mobile apps will address the prevalence of mobile devices (smartphones, tablets) at the scene and will ensure that emergency responders can access the content of any situation and circumstances anywhere in the field in the most convenient form, independently of what kind of device they have. Phase I will concentrate on assessing, validating and prioritizing the most demanded tools together with a representative set of key stakeholders; developing a system prototype for digitization and modularization of training and data collection tools, and instant distribution via rapidly created mobile application; prototyping specific interfaces for emergency responders and incident command personnel; testing and finally, evaluating the first prototype. Phase II will concentrate on capabilities of electronic collection and distribution of health status and surveillance data, on integration with an external IT system for two-way communication of hazard data outside incident command, and on generation and delivery of additional materials in response to changed environmental conditions. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed research and development will advance the field of emergency response health and safety by providing new and innovative means for incident command communications with field personnel and nonprofessional responders. The proposed research project will lead to significantly more efficient use of resources during emergencies, better safety of emergency responders, and more rapid reaction to incidents through the development of robust, scalable, and reusable tools for generation and distribution of incident-related knowledge, as well as tools for real-time health monitoring and control.

First Responders e-Training Curricula for Mass Screening After a Nuclear Event

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES 020135 - 01 REA, MICHAEL NICOLALDE R&D LLC

Most training curricula for first responders and Skilled Service Personnel (SSP) has been focused on chemical, biological, natural disaster (hurricane, flood), and pandemic response. However, training curricula regarding response to radiological events has been limited. Although some basic training exists for small radiological events, training that focuses on the screening and triaging of large numbers of potential victims seeking medical services after a catastrophic nuclear event, i.e., the detonation of an 7 Improvised Nuclear Device and even an Explosive Dispersal Device, is nonexistent. First responders are ill prepared to deal with an overwhelming large number of victims and worried - well resulting from such a catastrophic event, and current guidelines and training curricula from federal sources such as the REMM and the REAC/ TS focus only on small events, i.e., nuclear power plant accidents. Nicolalde R&D LLC in collaboration with Dartmouth College, proposes to develop (in Phase 1) an e-training curricula for First Responders, Skilled Service Personnel (SSP), and volunteers to respond to a catastrophic nuclear event that requires the screening and medical triage of larger numbers of potential victims, following our proprietary methodology for developing, implementing and evaluating new operating procedures and technologies for emergency response. The current literature regarding Standard Operating Procedures and federal guidelines for responding and mitigating the effects of radiation exposures, for any size of radiological event, relies on unreliable and poorly tested methods f or measuring radiation exposure at the individual level, i.e., time to emesis, and serial lymphocyte count over a period of several days, and assumes that the medical system will have the capacity to admit every potential victim. These guidelines will not provide the needed capabilities to screen large numbers of potential victims, which will most likely overwhelm the medical system. The federal government has been spending significant amounts of money on grants (U19 CMCR) and contracts (BARDAs) to support the development and implementation of high throughput and rapid biodosimetry technologies that can be available through the national stockpile. We propose to include in our training curricula the use of these novel biodosimetry technologies that can screen and triage potential victims efficiently and reliably. Electron Paramagnetic Resonance dosimetry (EPR) is one of such technologies capable of providing the needed capability. Another example of such technologies is a blood assay based on genetic markers t hat can be used rapidly in the field. Curricula for the use of any of these fast dosimetry techniques is not existent. In phase 1 we will develop the training curricula (content) in two languages, English and Spanish. We will also explore the feasibility to deliver the content using some of the currently available methods to deliver e-training such as the Just-In-Time Training for Emergency Incidents System (JITTEIS), or through interactive DVD format, or through interactive video games. We will explore the se alternatives and make the appropriate contacts to potentially test the training program using the selected alternative in Phase 2

Game FACTS (Fun, Adaptable - Content Trainer Suite): The Use of Microgames as a Supplemental Learning Tool for Worker Health & Safety Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES017356-02 KIRKLEY, SONNY E WisdomTools Enterprises, Inc

This Phase II SBIR project, Game FACTS (Fun, Adaptable - Content Trainer Suite): The Use of Microgames as a Supplemental Learning Tool for Worker Health & Safety Training builds upon the work of the previously funded Phase I SBIR project Micro - games for WMD Training for Skilled Support Personnel. Phase I focused on the development of microgame (i.e., short - duration game) prototypes for worker health and safety training. The ultimate goals of Phase I and Phas e II are to support interactive e-teaching in safety and health training in order to improve trainers' ability to provide engaging, effective instruction, and to increase worker motivation to learn (and subsequently, efficacy) in these important topics. In doing so, WisdomTools hopes to ultimately improve both worker and public safety and health. Based on the lessons learned in Phase I, Phase II will enhance the already strong commercialization potential of the games by addressing the need for trainers to be able to create, update, and alter instructional content to ensure its relevance for their own learners and worksites, simplified controls, more sophisticated support for learning game play, additional game types to suit different learning styles, and normalization of content for use in different game formats. Phase II of this project will focus on training to increase understanding and awareness of several worker health and safety topics that are the subject of frequent refresher training, including: 1) use of Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), 2) types and selection of respiratory protection and filters, and 3) signs, symptoms, prevention, and first aid for heat - related illnesses. In addition, it will revisit the content areas selected for Phase I, which include : 1) Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), 2) air contaminant detection equipment, and 3) the Incident Command System. In Phase II, WisdomTools will design, develop and test Game FACTS, a suite of advanced training technologies that includes three main components: 1) a series of six different microgame formats, 2) question and feedback content on the topics described above, including succinct and relevant information resources suitable for download or printing, and 3) an authoring tool for trainers that will allow them to update, adapt, or replace game resources, questions, and feedback with content of their own choosing to meet course needs. Through user participatory design, semi - structured interviews, usability testing, pilot testing, and learning gains/attitudinal change analysis, this Phase II effort will examine questions related to the implementation of Game FACTS, including determining: 1) the features and functionalities that are needed to support trainers in customizing game content to meet learning goals; 2) the worker health and safety content that is most suitable and critical for repeated practice and, 3) whether the use of a game and skill - drill based learning approach produce a net positive increase in learner knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) as compared with KSAs before the training course.

Gesture-based Mobile HAZMAT E-learning for First Responders

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES025449 - 01A1 Levine, Robert J ArchieMD, Inc.

High quality training for first response emergency medical services is critical for saving lives in HAZMAT operations. Inadequate hazmat training threatens both the patients and the responder. A number of articles have documented the under preparedness of Emergency Medical Service first responders for HAZMAT operations. The problem is most acute in pure medical first responders (vs. the firefighter paramedic who by nature works in more hazardous conditions and in rural first responders who have limited access to training. Further, retention of critical HAZMAT skills by out-of-hospital providers is poor. The application of novel tactile learning techniques on mobile devices may provide the opportunity for easy access, repetitive HAZMAT training required for proficiency. Under this SBIR effort, ArchieMD will develop HAZMAT training apps for mobile devices that teach HAZMAT skills and procedures. The apps integrate instructive animations, interactive exercises that stimulate active learning, and built-in assessment tools to provide high fidelity training anytime, anywhere without the need for an instructor. By utilizing novel tactile learning techniques, apps aim to enhance skills performance and move beyond traditional multimedia instruction. Mobile device-accessible Apps offer a revolutionary change in training. Apps provide unique delivery means for important medical training by taking advantage of small windows of opportunity. The use of engaging exercises on mobile devices presents an obvious match for a generation of users that has grown up with video games and cell phones. The key to the apps are high fidelity interactive exercises that engage the learner, aiding in retention of information, and may be particularly appropriate learning strategies for individuals born during the digital age. Interactive exercises have been used to teach knowledge and skills that can be taught through repetition. Apps also have the distinct advantage in that they can be produced rapidly on a limited budget, and are designed to take 15-30 minutes to learn a lesson. Our Phase I Specific Aims is to: * Specific Aim 1: Develop 3 HAZMAT themed prototype Apps for Paramedics/EMTs for iPhone/iPad and Android mobile devices for the following procedures: 1) Recognizing signs and symptom of exposure to hazardous substances and 2) Selecting and using appropriate PPE. * Specific Aim 2: Evaluate the feasibility through usability testing with medical first responders. During Phase II, we will develop apps for 3-6 additional HAZMAT Content areas. In addition, the apps will be integrated into a Learning Management System that will enable instructors to incorporate into formal training. Finally, the system will be evaluated with respect to its ability to improve medical responders HAZMAT skills and knowledge. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The proposed project will enhance public health by improving HAZMAT training amongst medical first responders.

Green Construction CoP: Using Immersive Stories/Case Studies to Address Silica E

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES019011 - 01 KIRKLEY, SONNY E INFORMATION IN PLACE, INC.

This SBIR project, Green Construction Community of Practice: Using Immersive Stories/Case Studies to Address Silica Exposure in Green Construction (Green Construction CoP), seeks to design and develop an innovative advanced training technology (ATT) to address the need for accessible and up - to - date best practice information to reduce exposure to hazardous materials in green as well as in traditional building projects. Phase I of this SBIR project will focus on training to reduce operating engineers' exposure to respirable silica dust, one of the most prevalent and harmful exposures in both green and traditional construction projects. Exposure occurs through a wide variety of construction tasks, from masonry and concrete grinding/demolition to cabinet construction. Exposure to unsafe levels of silica has been linked 10 increased risk of silicosis of the lungs (Ng and Chan,1992), lung cancer (Heckoway, et al, 2005) and rheumatoid arthritis (Stolt, Kallberg, Lundberg, Sjogren, Klareskog, & Alfredsson, 2005). Given the seriousness of the health risks as well as the large numbers of persons exposed to the risks, the need for effective training is clear. Moreover, with the infusion of significant public funds into the creation of "green" jobs - with 1 of 4 estimated to be a construction job (District of Columbia, 2009) - the need becomes even more pressing. With these concerns in mind, we propose to develop the Green Construction CoP, a Web - based platform comprised of three main components: 1) Green Construction Scenario, an ATT learning solution that leverages context - based learning methods, embedded resources, media, and learning activities; 2) Green Technology Expert Wiki, a publicly accessible and embedded resource within the Green Construction Scenario, which will house vetted and update dinformation on risk exposure - reduction strategies and provide a community forum for authorized users to contribute personal case studies; and 3) Instructor Guidelines, which will assist HAZMAT and health and safety trainers in effectively and efficiently integrating Green Construction CoP into existing training. Through the use of user participatory design, semi - structured interviews, focus groups, usability testing, online surveys, and learning gains/attitudinal change analysis, this Phase I effort will examine questions related to the technical and implementation feasibility of Green Construction CoP, including: 1) What content on green construction safety and silica - based building materials and exposure reduction is the most critical for operating engineers?, 2) What features and functionalities are needed to support easy access and retrieval of information?, and, 3) Does the use of a blended and context - driven learning approach produce a net positive increase in learner knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) as compared with KSAs before the training course?

GURU is a tool to assist first responders in the event of a hazmat/WMD response

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES021642-01 Held, Thomas H. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

Firefighters, hazmat responders, police officers, and the military must be prepared to safely and efficiently respond to emergencies that involve dangerous chemicals, explosives, radiation, or weapons of mass destruction (WMD). A Sony PSP pre - loaded with HazMatIQ's 'GURU' based on the proven 'HazMatIQ 4Step System' will give any First Responder immediate feedback on how to respond to a hazardous material/WMD. All current mobile devices do an excellent job of providing responders with information; however, it is often too much information - leaving the responder to interpret complicated, technical, and scientific data. Typically, a first responder receives limited training on how to interpret this chemical information. This limited training frequently cause first responders to make unsafe decisions based on their inability to transfer technical information to safe work practices. First Responders do not need more information; they need answers. The HazMatIQ 'GURU' will provide those answers. The 'GURU' will provide real time decision making process answers by using only the necessary information needed for the response at hand. For example, during a response to an ammonia leak, a typical mobile device would give chemical/physical properties, toxicological properties, and generic information on PPE. The GURU will eliminate the need for interpreting scientific information and provide an incident action plan for individual chemicals/WMD, and incidents involving unknown chemicals. The GURU would give First Responders arriving on a scene everything he/she needs in a matter of minutes. The 'GURU' will create a more prepared response community, which will better protect the public and emergency responders from the effects of chemical exposure.

HaRT Training Innovation

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013912 - 01 GIJSBERTSEN, HANS JT CYNTELIX, INC.

Cyntelix, Inc. in collaboration with the Hazardous Materials Training and Research Institute (HMTRI) at Kirkwood Community College will undertake the Hazard Respon se Technology (HaRT) Case Study Training Innovation Project. The goal of the HaRT Training Innovation Project is to construct an expert system with dynamic E - tools and semantic Web search capabilities to standardize hazard response case study knowledge collection and retrieval for Hazard Response Training enhancement in supporting the needs for the chemical emergency responder and skilled support personnel community. The objectives of the HaRT Training Innovation Project are to, develop the needed methodology, which will integrate the capabilities of Cyntelix's existing semantic web technology to the company's existing LogicNet Expert System and dynamic collaborative sharing, and E - work tools. Construct the web - based prototype for the HaRT Case Study database, which integrates dynamic collaborative sharing, and E - work, and semantic 25 Web content search and retrieval capabilities. Construct the web - based prototype for the HaRT Case Study database, which integrates dynamic collaborative sharing, and E - work, and semantic Web - content search and retrieval capabilities. Pilot the HaRT Case Study prototype and methodology executed by Kirkwood Community College, Hazard Materials Training and Research Institute, and the Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training.

HazCommand: HazMat Incident Command Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES013908 - 02A1 KAYE, JONATHAN M AMETHYST RESEARCH, LLC

In responding to HazMat emergencies, practice not only makes perfect, it also saves lives. Under the Phase I SBIR grant, Amethyst Research developed a software simulation tool called HazCommand. Our Phase II goal is to create a model platform for credentialing operational competency of initial company officers responding to HazMat incidents. The credential will reflect the responder's ability to demonstrate operational competency that meets local operating pro cedures and NIMS/ICS and NFPA standards. By creating such a HazMat Incident Command System credentialing component for the Philadelphia Fire Department, we will have produced a concrete roadmap for other organizations to create their own standards - based credentialing program. Amethyst Research will accomplish this goal by 1) creating a comprehensive set of HazMat incident scenarios, 2) developing reliable evaluation metrics and competency - assessment credentialing processes, 3) developing support for metrics capture and reporting, and 4) evaluating the credentialing processes on representative sample. This project aims to mature a software simulation tool called HazCommand for training emergency responders in command and control, strategy, tactics, and communication, into a full - fledged learning platform. This project should impact public health by improving response by firefighters to HazMat incidents.

HazCommand: HazMat Incident Command Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013908 - 01 KAYE, JONATHAN M AMETHYST RESEARCH, LLC

Web content search and retrieval capabilities. Construct the web - based prototype for the HaRT Case Study database, which integrates dynamic collaborative sharing, and E-work, and semantic Web - content search and retrieval capabilities. Pilot the HaRT Case Study prototype and methodology executed by Kirkwood Community College, Hazard Materials Training and Research Institute, and the Community College Consortium for Health and Safety Training. 1R43ES013908 - 01 KAYE, JONATHAN M AMETHYST RESEARCH, LLC HazCommand: HazMat Incident Command Training HazCommand is a new multi - user software training environment for the HazMat domain that enables much needed practice for command and control, one of the most important elements in determining the success or failure of emergency response. Amethyst Research proposes to build a software product based on an existing research prototype, and to evaluate its impact on training programs within the Philadelphia Fire Department. Instructors log into the web software and select a scenario. Participants log into the virtual session and see visual and animated representations of the scene, and can navigate independently around the scene to accomplish the given tasks. The flexible architecture, based on Macromedia Flash, allows trainers of all skill levels to rapidly create realistic scenarios. The Phase I hypothesis is that learning occurs during a computer - based drill that transfers to performance improvement in a live - action drill. The challenge is to conduct a suitable experiment that shows whether or not a group that participates in a computer - simulated drill followed by the live - action drill will perform better than a control group that experiences only the live - action drill. The objectives are to, 1) complete the generalized infrastructure of the product; 2) use the technology to develop one HazMat scenario based on a live - action drill scenario; 3) conduct experiments using the live - action drill and using the computer - based drill followed by the live - action drill, and 4) compare learner performance results between those experiments. If the hypothesis is proven true, research in Phase II will tackle the ultimate goals of demonstrating that this technology reduces training costs and time, so as to allow for more frequent training, improve performance in live - action drills and, by extension, real life incidents, and enable reliable evaluation of command skills in scenarios that otherwise would be impossible to conduct in a live setting.

HazMat IQ Four Step Sys tem eLearning

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2 R44ES016670 - 01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

MetaMedia Training International, Inc. and HazMatIQ LLC have formed a company to develop a library of Hazardous Materials courseware and related resources, integrated into a Learning Management System (LMS). The first product in the library to be developed under this SBIR grant request, HazMatIQ Four Step System, will take advantage of advanced training technologies and blended learning. Based upon HazMatIQ's highly successful classroom training delivery system, this project aims to transfer the training to an online version to facilitate a larger audience, reduce training costs, and allow 24/7 accessibility. HazmatIQ will provide responders with comprehensive training of the characteristics of hazardous chemicals, simplifying the overly complex approach currently being provided in classrooms and textbooks. In addition to the actual content related to chemical compounds, an interactive design 15 that simulates the fidelity of a real - world emergency response involving multiple hazardous chemicals will be designed. This virtual experience will bring actual case studies to life using interactive video, 3 - D animations, and graphics. The ability to deliver quality Hazardous Materials/ WMD training online has become relevant due to the increased level of technical expertise expected from Emergency Responders and the current inability of Responders to receive this training. Online training alleviates many problems faced by public safety professionals training, allowing students to train on their schedule while on duty and with the ability to start and stop in the event of an emergency incident. Traditional training on duty requires personnel to be taken out of service, leading to service gaps. Off duty training is costly since responders are traditionally p aid overtime. Training is generally reduced or eliminated once funding has been exhausted. MetaMedia will use the internet to deliver high quality, job related pertinent hazardous materials and safety training to a large audience at a low cost. Accessingt raining at the user's convenience leads to increased training, which will convey to a safer and more effective response to a hazardous event. An LMS will track student participation and evaluation results generating a report based on specific department needs. This report can then be used by training officers to document their members' participation.

HAZMAT Training for First Responders in Rural Areas: An Online Intelligent Tutor

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES015681 - 01 DERBY, MARY SOUTH DAKOTA HLTH TECH INNOVATIONS, INC.

The quantity and quality of trained first responders in rural areas is insufficient. EMS first responders in rural areas need better (more accessible, relevant, up - to - date) HAZMAT training that considers the unique set of variables applicable to rural EMS. An innovative solution is proposed. South Dakota Health Technology Innovations, Inc. (SDHTI) proposes a computer - based training program called HAZMAT Training for First Responders in Rural Areas: an Online Intelligent Tutoring System as one solution to the problem. SDHTI's experienced team of software designers will design, develop, and evaluate the program utilizing an advisory panel made up of a variety of experts and workers from within the EMS field. A clear research objective has been identified. Determine the effectiveness of an inquiry based instructional module that - through virtual HAZMAT event scenarios - equips first responders in rural areas with the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to real HAZMAT bioterrorism events relevant to rural EMS. The ADDIE (Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement, and Evaluate) model will govern the overall design process. A "backward design" process will also be used in identifying the content scope, determining training assessments, and orchestrating learning experiences necessary to adequately train and maintain a proficient first responder pool. Training is a shared vision. The proposed training program resonates with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences' (NIEHS) vision "to train the next generation of scientists" by identifying a solvable problem and pledging to respond with an innovative solution. A solution is reached using a balanced team and state - of - the - art technology resources - all the while attending to the voices of those on the "front lines." Program evaluation is rigorous. Research design and methods result in a field test directed by two experienced program evaluation consultants. The subjects for this study will be randomly selected and assigned to two groups - a control group that is instructed using established curriculum materials and an experimental group using the experimental curriculum. The specific use of multimedia, implementation and instructional design, aesthetics of the program, and the facilitator support materials will be evaluated using both qualitative and quantitative measures.

HAZMAT Training Using a Problem - based Methodology and Serious Games Approach

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES014805 - 01 KIRKLEY, SONNY E INFORMATION IN PLACE, INC.

HAZMAT response teams operate in increasingly cognitively complex, mentally stressing, physically fatiguing, and dangerous environments. Yet training needs need to include faster and direct access to new technologies, more operations - level training for first res ponders, and to provide hands - on and in simulated settings. This Phase I effort seeks to address this need. The proposed effort will focus on examining feasibility in three areas: 1) training methodology; 2) simulation - games approach to HAZMAT training; and 3) instructional design authoring support. This will support the application of advanced training techniques using advanced technologies to develop expertise through complex problem solving for HAZMAT response teams. This will not only impact the type of training being provided currently but will serve as an important model for other areas of HAZMAT training. To achieve these goals, a combined research design will include both qualitative and quantitative research methods. The overall goal of this research is to determine the effectiveness of the training package developed using the problem - based and simulation - game (S/G) approach. Methods used will include cognitive task analysis with HAZMAT experts, expert reviews of the training package developed, as well as testing the training package with learners to examine complex problem solving and decision making skills. The relevance of this project to public health is that providing research - based training methods and technologies that not only improves current HAZMAT response teams' expertise in specific situations related to public health, but also provides tools to address create or modify training to address new threats by creating training that is adaptable and extensible. By providing HAZMAT response teams with advanced training 20 techniques and technologies, we aim to increase their expertise, response time, and ability to address increasingly complex situations, such as the ones posed by terrorist threats. By providing training that produces highly effective HAZMAT response teams, we can provide greater safeguards to public health.

HazMatIQ LIVE eLearning_The Missing Link in HazMat Response Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES020136-01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

MetaMedia will use the internet to deliver high quality, job - related pertinent hazardous materials and safety training to a large national responder audience at a low cost. Online training alleviates many 4 problems faced by public safety professionals' training, allowing students to train on their schedule while on duty or at home, and with the ability to start and stop in the event of an emergency incident. MetaMedia and HazMatIQ h ave partnered to develop a library of HazMat courseware and related resources which will be available to responders 24x7 in a variety of modes. The first eLearning product developed with NIEHS SBIR funding is HazMatIQ's patented Above the Line/Four Step System. HazMatIQ has trained over 15,000 responders in classroom settings throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada and South America. The four - hour eLearning curriculum is in final stages of testing and integration into a Learning Management System (LMS) before release to the emergency response community. Also funded by NIEHS and presently in development is HazMatIQ GURU, an innovative m-Learning (mobile) approach to providing critical hazard response information on - scene on a handheld device. Continuing our mission to protect workers and the public from exposure, injury and death as a result of a chemical hazard or WMD, MetaMedia and HazMatIQ propose to develop a series of interactive training webinars, each one to two hours in length, which will complement the 'Above the Line' training. The webinar series - HazMatIQ LIVE! - will cover the most critical information and knowledge required for responders to perform the time - dependent, incident risk - response decision process, including chemical and physical properties that influence the decision process, most important monitoring equipment, and most important properties of WMDs (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive) that influence the selection of monitoring equipment for the response. An interactive design that simulates a real - world emergency response will enable participants to engage with each other in a "live" field drill. The strategic aims of this project are to fill gaps in critical HazMat response training that lead to more effective response to HazMat incidents, gain field experience through realistic virtual exercises, enable responders to have access to critical training 24x7, and provide an alternative that reduces the cost of training for Fire Departments. Our long range goal is to reduce injuries, death, and the cost of HazMat response incidents through timely and successful risk mitigation at a time when training budgets are being slashed and vacant positions due to attrition are being unfilled in communities across the U.S.

HazReady - Online - Device Agnostic - Multi-player Group Simulation Phase II

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES021640 - 02 Ryng, Henry inXsol, LLC

Project Summary inXsol proposes to design and demonstrate a web-based, multiplayer small group simulation to support instructor led HazMat worker health and safety training. This product is called HazReady. The use of distributed, low-cost simulation will allow individuals to attain a level of experience in the probable roles at typical incidents and work sites and to receive the necessary repetition in possible roles for learning and expertise development. Simulations can lead to better "out of the box" performance and learning at a real situation (on-job training) or live training exercises. Until recently, simulations were out of reach for small training organizations serving the worker health and safety clients over a broad geographic area because of cost and technical infrastructure necessary. inXsol's HAZworker approach will increase access for the worker population and better position training organizations to serve their clients with relevant simulation training supporting HAZWOPER and ongoing refresher training. inXsol's Phase II HazReady proposal will operationalize the vision of HazReady - a flexible tool allowing authorable scenarios, exercises and lessons that that can be shared among HazReady's commercial clients. The Phase II project will increase access to technology-based training for the worker population and better position training organizations to serve their clients with relevant simulation training supporting HAZWOPER, ongoing refresher training, and customized training. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: inXsol proposes to design and develop the online authoring capabilities of HazReady the web-based, device agnostic, multiplayer, small group simulation which supports instructor led HazMat worker health and safety training. The use of distributed, low-cost simulation will allow individuals to attain a level of experience in the probable roles at typical incidents and work sites and to receive the necessary repetition in possible roles for learning and expertise development. Simulations can lead to better "out of the box" performance and learning at a real situation (on-the-job training) or live training exercises. During the Phase II project, inXsol will operationalize the Phase I demonstration project and create the instructor authoring tools making HazReady commercially viable. Six commercial entities have become development partners for the Phase II project.

HAZworker - Web-Based, Multiplayer Small Group Simulation

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES021640-01 RYNG, HENRY inXsol, LLC

inXsol proposes to design and demonstrate a web - based, multiplayer small group simulation to support instructor led HazMat worker health and safety training. This product is called HAZworker. The use of distributed, low - cost simulation will allow individuals to attain a level of experience in the probable roles at typical incidents and work sits and to receive the necessary repetition in possible roles for learning and expertise development. Simulations can lead to better "out of the box" performance and learning at a real situation (on - job training) or live training exercises. Until recently, simulations were out of reach for small training organizations serving the worker health and safety clients over a broad geographic area because of cost and technical infrastructure necessary. inXsol's HAZworker approach will increase access for the worker population and better position training organizations to serve their clients with relevant simulation training supporting HAZWOPER and ongoing refresher training. inXsol is leveraging The New England Consortium's (TNEC) previously created computer - based simulation tool (CBST) as a foundation for this project. Despite the success and significant deployment of this tool, only a fraction of workers trained by TNEC [let alone other WETP awardees, and non - WETP training organizations in this country] have access to tools like CB ST. inXsol's web - based HAZworker simulation will increase access to simulations for the industry. In addition to TNEC's primary role for this project, UCLA - Labor Occupational Safety and Health (LOSH) and The Texas - Utah Consortium for Hazardous Waste Worker Training (TUCHWWT) have identified the value of exploring use of this tool for their organizations and have agreed to include HAZworker in at least one class during the Phase I project evaluation cycle. By using the existing CBST product and engaging a sample of WETP awardees, inXsol has significantly lowered the execution risk of this project while increasing the commercialization opportunities. For Phase I inXsol proposes web - based development of HAZworker (based on the TNEC CBST), evaluate HAZworker w ith at least three WETP classes, and evaluate the user experience compared to TNEC's past results. During Phase II authoring functionality will be created in conjunction with the participating WETP organizations .

Incident Command and Emerg ency Responder Role Training for Health Professionals

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES014782 - 01 FULBRIGHT, TERRELL W JXT APPLICATIONS, INC.

This e-learning course for Incident Command and Emergency Responder Role Training (InCERT) for Health Professionals performing as skilled support personnel (SSP) will be available on a 24/7/365 basis and provide much needed assistance in understanding the roles and responsibilities of emergency responders, the Incident Command System (ICS) structure and where and how they fit within it. The Phase I approach will focus on implementing the Instructional Systems Development (ISO) methodology in identifying and documenting specific training needs (requirements), developing appropriate learning objectives, designing the course to train these and developing a sample e-learning lesson to provide a tangible demonstration of the concept. InCERT e-learning components will include a web portal, learning management system (LMS), instructional content (lesson materials) and intelligent tutor exercises. At the web portal, SSP will be able to access training on the ICS, including their placement and role within the system, the roles and responsibilities of various types of first responders (emergency medical, law 22 enforcement, fire, search and rescue) and a better understanding of how SSP can most effectively support these first responders during response to a HAZMAT incident. Through the exercises the learner must apply the knowledge learned in the lessons to solve real - world problems. Public health and emergency response organizations are ready now to use effective training of this type for SSP. The relevance of this research to public health is simply that the better understanding SSP (identified as health professionals in this application) have of the roles and responsibilities of emergency responders (often referred to as first responders) the better they will be able to apply their skills, capabilities and resources beneficially in a supporting role. Likewise, the better they understand the ICS structure and where they fit within it the better they will be able to function and contribute meaningful support in a real HAZMAT incident.

Intelligent Tutor for WMD EMS Incident Management

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES014801 - 01 ONG, JAMES STOTTLER HENKE ASSOCIATES, INC.

We propose to develop EMS/IM ITS, a suite of simulation - based intelligent tutoring systems and scenarios that will enable practice - based learning of WMD emergency medical services incident management principles and skills, including situation assessment, decision - making, and real - time execution of EMS tasks within an incident command structure. To support practical and economical development of many EMS/IM ITS training scenarios, we will also develop software tools and development methods that enable efficient authoring of new scenarios and adaptation/enhancement of existing scenarios by instructors or subject matter experts, without programming. We will leverage our tutoring system development tools and our experience developing tutoring systems for medical training, command and control, and tactical decision - making. The National Incident Management System (NIMS) was mandated by HSPD - 5 to provide a comprehensive, national approach to domestic incident management, so that all levels of government across the nation could work efficiently and effectively together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from domestic incidents. We believe that EMS/IM ITS can contribute to NIMS by providing scenario - based learning of incident management principles for medical first responders, consistent with NIMS, and tailorable via scenario authoring to the specific circumstances and incident management plans of each government organization. This proposed Phase I effort will lay the groundwork for the Phase II effort, by producing 1) requirements and design of the system to be developed during Phase II, 2) a software prototype that illustrates our concept, and 3) a formative evaluation of the prototype and design that provides a basis for estimating the feasibility and effectiveness of the operational system that would be developed during Phase II.

Juxtopia PREPARE E-Learning Intervention for HAZWOPER Training of Fire Fighter/EMTs

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES025447 - 01 Doswell, Jayfus Tucker Juxtopia LLC

HAZWOPER emergency response work represents one of the most dangerous jobs in the United States (U.S.) where, in many cases, emergency medical first responders are expected to deliver immediate care to persons suffering from acute traumatic injuries and exposure to hazardous substances (e.g., chemical spills). Therefore, the HAZWOPER standard devotes very specific and detailed attention to training that represents a major departure from classical emergency medical first responder action. Although advanced training technologies (ATT) have emerged over the past decade ranging from mobile to virtual reality technologies, current HAZWOPER ATT are insufficient at tutoring, debriefing, and quantifiably evaluating hands-on skill proficiency while, simultaneously, both hands are free to practice emergency medical skills. The National Institute of Environment Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require realistic HAZWOPER training that measurably develops hands-on skill proficiency. Additionally, students who continually practice hands-on clinical skills in simulated environments and with patient simulators significantly improve their hands-on skill proficiency. For the proposed SBIR Phase I effort, Juxtopia will investigate the technical feasibility of solving these problems by developing personalized, mobile, and hands-free e-learning product targeted to improve the hands-on skill proficiency among Fire-Fighter EMTs. The PREPARE e-learning product will build upon preliminary data from the Juxtopia(r) Context-Aware Augmented Reality System (CAARS) platform from which Juxtopia(r) wearable augmented reality (AR) Goggles and the SCORM compliant Juxtopia(r) Virtual Tutor (JVT) system will be engineered to augment and enhance HAZWOPER training for Fire-Fighter EMTs. Juxtopia hypothesizes that a HAZWOPER JVT, distributed through Juxtopia(r) AR Goggles, will measurably augment instructor training and improve Fire-Fighter EMT psychomotor skill proficiency while they practice emergency medical skills in outdoor simulated HAZMAT environments. To test the aforementioned hypothesis during the SBIR Phase I effort, Juxtopia will answer the following questions: How can JVT deliver multi-modal tutoring of hands-on medical skills?; How can JVT evaluate hands-on medical skills?; How can JVT continually learn from students; How can Juxtopia(r) AR Goggles facilitate interaction among participants and learners; How can Juxtopia(r) Goggles integrate with HAZWOPER worker head-gear; How can PREPARE be sold at an affordable price? To accomplish this SBIR Phase I effort, Juxtopia will: Prototype Juxtopia(r) Goggles; Prototype JVT Software; and Evaluate the PREPARE System. Evaluation of the proposed PREPARE system will be conducted externally by MERAssociates (MERA). PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: The objective of the proposed SBIR Phase I research and development (R&D) effort is to apply preliminary results from Juxtopia's (r)'CAARS platform to investigate the feasibility of developing and commercializing the PREPARE e-learning product to improve psychomotor (i.e., hands on) skills during HAZWOPER training of Fire-Fighter EMTs in outdoor training environments.

Lessons Learned: Sago & Darby Disasters - The Mis sing Component in SCSR Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES019017 - 01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

Since 2006 there have been three major catastrophic mine explosions in the United States resulting in nineteen fatalities. Subsequent research studies conducted by the United States Department of Labor - Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), The Pennsylvania State University Miner Training Program, and the West Virginia Office of Miner's Health, Safety, and Training all have concluded that a lack of training on the use of the Self - Contained Self - Rescuer (SCSR) units was a major factor that contributed to the fatalities. Every miner worker in the U.S. is required to carry an SCSR and have access to additional units within the mine. Miners are given very cursory Level 1 training, consisting of a demonstration of how to don the unit; but the psychological factors of using the device are largely ignored during t raining, leading to incorrect use of the SCSR. The goal of this program "Lessons Learned from the Darby and Sago Mine Disasters," will be to produce a Phase I working prototype of an interactive training program and a follow - on "serious game" in Phase II t o assess the ability of miners to correctly use the SCSR oxygen supply device in the event of a catastrophic mine disaster. The program will be designed to be delivered on DVD, eLearning, and mLearning platforms in English and Spanish and meet federal 508 compliance standards for the hearing impaired (a common problem for this worker population). The three formats are proposed to be tested and evaluated in Phase I to determine the learning achieved and the acceptance level of each delivery system. The PI/PD and our team have successfully developed and deployed hard skills and soft skills health and safety training in all three formats to government and 9 commercial organizations. The content will include a brief refresher on the hands - on classroom experience  offered to miners. However, we will concentrate on those areas of content that are not being covered and have been determined in research studies to have contributed to the death of the miners involved in the explosions. Those content areas which we refer to as "expectations training" will include: responses by miners to a traumatic incident including physical, mental, emotional, and behavioral changes resulting from use the SCSR due to a catastrophic mine event.

"Lessons Learned from Graniteville" DVD

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES014762 - 01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

The long - term objective of the proposed research is to better prepare emergency personnel to more safely and effectively respond to rail accidents involving hazardous materials. Approximately 800,000 shipments of hazardous substances travel daily throughout the United States, frequently through densely populated areas where the consequences of an acute release could result in environmental damage, severe injury, or death. MetaMedia Training has teamed with the Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program to research the effectiveness of using an interactive DVD training tool entitled "Lessons Learned from Graniteville." The DVD will provide peer instructors with an interactive tool to facilitate small group exercises on responding to a freight train derailment involving hazardous materials. The DVD will be based on the Norfolk Southern railroad derailment that occurred in Graniteville, SC in January, 2005. The collision released over 11,000 gallons of chlorine gas, causing nine deaths and injuring hundreds. The DVD will bring this catastrophic accident to life in the classroom as part of a facilitated small group training exercise. Interactive DVD represents a technological innovation over traditional training media. It provides a low - cost approach to providing interactive video simulations in the classroom. The commercial applications for the proposed product are widespread. The audience for the "Lessons Learned from Graniteville" DVD is large. It includes all first responders, skilled support personnel, and rail workers who may be involved in rescue and clean - up operations. Funding for procuring training materials for first responders is now widely available at the local and state level, and there is currently no product that addresses hazmat rail incidents. The proposed research is relevant to public health due to the increasing level of hazardous materials being transported via rail, and the current lack of adequate training materials for emergency personnel responding to such incidents.

Lessons Learned from Graniteville - Phase II

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES014762 - 02 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

During Phase I, MetaMedia Training teamed with the Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training Program to produce the prototype DVD training tool entitled "Lessons Learned from Graniteville." The specific aim of the Phase II project is to complete the design and develop a full interactive virtual experience that will reduce the risk faced by Rail Workers, First Responders, and the community when dealing with incidents involving hazardous materials transported by rail. If First Responders and Rail Workers follow a systematic approach to handling emergency incidents, public safety and workers' safety and health will be better protected and disasters may be mitigated more rapidly. This research is relevant to public health due to the increasing level of hazardous materials being transported via rail, and the current lack of adequate training materials for emergency personnel responding to such incidents. Approximately 800,000 shipments of hazardous substances travel daily throughout the United States, frequently through densely populated area s where the consequences of an acute release could result in environmental damage, severe injury, or death. In 2006 there were three recorded instances of chlorine tank car derailments in the United States. The DVD brings to life as a facilitated training exercise the catastrophic Norfolk Southern railroad derailment that occurred in Graniteville, SC in 2005. The collision released over 11,000 gallons of chlorine gas, causing nine deaths, injuring hundreds, and displacing hundreds more civilians. We have incorporated compelling and realistic interactive video simulations of hazardous materials incidents, instructive three dimensional computer animations, and engaging team exercises to produce an effective training tool that successfully transfers knowledge a s noted in the subsequent evaluation. MetaMedia's application of DVD technology will take advantage of the unique features of DVD, such as high - quality motion video, interactive branching, and low - cost delivery systems to bring real - world simulations into the classroom. The deliverables for Phase II will be a completed DVD program providing up to 4 hours of content, including recommendations resulting from the evaluation, additional components of the interactive experience, and instructor and student guides. 4.4.7 Project Narrative This research is relevant to public health due to the increasing level of hazardous materials being transported via rail, and the current lack of adequate training materials for emergency personnel responding to such incidents. Approximately 800,000 shipments of hazardous substances travel daily throughout the United States, frequently through densely populated areas where the consequences of an acute release could result in environmental damage, severe injury, or death. Exposure to chlorine gas shipments alone, traveling to drinking water and waste water treatment plants, 14 exposes more than 25 million Americans who live near these facilities and one million more living in cities and towns along the rail delivery routes.1 DHS and security experts continue to warn of the risk for industrial chemicals used by terrorists as weapons of mass destruction. Terrorists have attacked and blown up several trucks carrying chlorine in Iraq. There are over 63,999 chemicals used outside the laboratory environment as reported by the Chemical Abstracts Service). DOT regulates over 3,800 hazardous materials in transportation, as listed in 49 CFR. EPA lists 15 chemicals that account for two - thirds of all chemical releases. Over 70% of all hazardous materials in the United States are shipped in railroad tank cars. 1 Toxic Trains and the Terrorist Threat, Paul Orun, National Labor College, Rail Workers Hazardous Materials Training, April 2007.

Micro - games for WMD Training for Skilled Support Personnel

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES017356 - 01 KIRKLEY, SONNY E INFORMATION IN PLACE, INC.

Skilled Support Personnel (SSP), such as demolition and utility workers, played critical roles in the Oklahoma City, Pentagon, and WTC terrorist incidence responses. Yet several reports (Lippy & Murray, 2002; NIEHS WETP 2002) have found that our nation's SSPs are inadequately trained to respond to incidents involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The governing OSHA standard does not adequately address the training and protection of our essential workforce in destructive terrorist incidences involving WMD and biological agents. The extensive nature of large - scale emergency response operations calls for a broader definition of "emergency responder" that includes skilled support personnel such as construction/demolition workers, transit workers, and utility service workers. 12 Thus, there is a pressing need for the OSHA HAZWOPER 40 - hour general site worker course to be required for SSP's and for it to be supplemented with trade specific training for responding to acts of terrorism. This Phase I effort seeks to address this critical training need of our nation's SSP's. We propose to develop an innovative, effective, and extensible solution that uses uniquely designed computer - based micro - games (also known as mini - games) to provide awareness level WMD training. These would be incorporated into the 40 - hour HAZWOPER training for SSPS and could also be made available on the Web for trainers and SSPs to access as part of a refresher course. Micro - games are immersive video games that are easy to access, take 5 to 20 minutes to play, and generally focus on a small number of learning elements (Aldrich, 2007). . Typically developed using Adobe Flash, they are engaging and low in development costs as compared with larger scale games. The goal of a micro - game is to cognitively engage trainees with critical content in an engaging and effective manner. Trainees can learn, explore, and test out various actions and decisions in a no - risk environment. Micro - games are also extensible in that they can be designed so that information relevant to a specific incident can be modified as needed to reflect the use of a gents at specific worksites. This ability to specialize in content that supports trainees in effectively responding to a various types of WMD incident is critical and cost effective. The proposed effort will focus on examining feasibility in two areas: (1) can a micro - games approach facilitate effective awareness level WMD training for SSPs, and (2) can we create an innovative web - enabled micro - game training platform that enables instructors to quickly and easily develop and administer micro games that respond directly to their learner's specific needs?

Mitigating Maritime Chemical Incidents Through Mobile Learning

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES021642-01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

MetaMedia will use Apple's iPad to deliver high quality, job - related case studies that will enable trainees in the Maritime Industry to interact with a hands - on application. These Case Studies will cover the most critical information and knowledge required for a maritime workers including; dock workers, stevedores, laborers, longshoremen, dock and ship supervisors, and law enforcement personnel associated with the maritime industry. The scenarios will be based on actual incidents that occurred at Port Everglades in 2008 and Terminal Island, Los Angeles in June of 2011. The Port Everglades scenario will replay the event when three men were tragically killed as the result of an unknown Argon gas leak from a pressurized container placed in a cargo hold (i.e. space in a ship for storing cargo). These deaths could have been prevented. By recreating this scenario using 3 - D animations and high definition video, we will be able to cover critical information for dock workers to recognize the potential hazards in working in and around hazardous materials, be cognizant of air quality and any observed leakage, and be knowledgeable of protocols for implementing emergency response decisions. The highly realistic scenario will cover the most critical information and knowledge required for dock workers to perform an incident risk - free response related to a chemical leak, including the chemical and physical properties that influence the decision - making process, with a particular emphasis on confined spaces and/or oxygen - depleted environments. An interactive design similar to previous successful and comparable simulations developed by MetaMedia under SBIR grants will enable participants to engage with fellow trainees (and the "device") in a "simulated live" field drill via small groups. The second scenario will follow the same interactive format and will replay a recent hazardous chemical event that resulted in the hospitalization of a longshoreman who was exposed to an unknown chemical substance on the freight yard in the Port of Los Angeles. Thankfully, no deaths occurred in this recent instance, but the necessary protocols brought 5 agencies to the scene including fire departments, police departments, and the U.S. Coast Guard. Our overarching goal is to reduce injuries and death by providing engaging and interactive safety training f or maritime workers who work in environments that pose health and safety risks on a regular basis.

Mobile Just-In-Time Training of Emergency Response Personnel - Phase II

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES014793 - 02 BANDERA, CESAR BANDEMAR NETWORKS, LLC

Skilled Service Personnel (SSP) support emergency response organizations during an emergency incident, and include laborers, operating engineers, carpenters, ironworkers, sanitation workers and utility workers. SSP called to an emergency incident rarely have recent detailed training on the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosives (CBRNE) agents they may encounter or the personal protection equipment (PPE) relevant to the incident. This increases personal risk to the SSP and mission risk at the incident site. Training for SSP has been identified as a critical need by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Worker Education and Training Program. The proposed SBIR Phase II project addresses this SSP training shortfall by developing a wireless lesson delivery system called the Just - In - Time Training for Emergency Incidents System (JITTEIS). SSP dispatched to an emergency incident receive brief site - specific multimedia lessons on their cell phones derived from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) #7600 Disaster Site Worker Course. The lessons describe the CBRNE threats and safety protocols (including PPE) identified by the Safety Officer (SO) at the incident site. Users are permitted to upload new content for immediate broadcast, such as pictures or video clips of newly discovered hazards. JITTEIS builds upon the Phase I effort, which achieved (1) interoperability among diverse mobile devices, wireless service providers, calling plans, and incident management systems, (2) instructional designs and production procedures for lessons rendered on mobile devices user modeling and system ergonomics, (3) pushed versus pulled content delivery, and (4) training 13 adaptation to rapidly changing threats. The proposed effort will complete the development of a fully operational JITTEIS, develop a set of available training lessons based on needs, and deploy and evaluate the system in two settings that together encompass many of the requirements of CBRNE incidents: a large New Jersey construction sites involving hazardous waste material and a distributed work force, and the command center and distributed vehicle fleet of New Jersey's largest paramedic organization. It is anticipated that JITTEIS will become a valuable commercial service to emergency response organizations and other organizations wit h widely dispersed, mobile workforces who need safety and health just - in - time training and information.

Mobile Training of Skilled Support Personnel

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R41ES014793 - 01 BANDERA, CESAR BANDEMAR NETWORKS, LLC

Skilled Service Personnel (SSP) support emergency response organizations during an emergency incident involving weapons of mass destruction and include laborers, operating engineers, carpenters, ironworkers, sanitation workers and utility workers. SSP called to an emergency incident rarely have recent detailed training on the chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and/or explosives (CBRNE) agents or the personal protective equipment (PPE) relevant to the incident. This increases personal risk to the SSP and mission risk at the incident site. Training for SSP has been identified as a critical need by the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences, Worker Education and Training Program and is consistent with its mission to prevent work related harm from exposure to hazardous materials. The proposed STTR project addresses this SSP training shortfall by exploiting a new training paradigm called just - in - time training (JITT) made possible by advances in distance learning and cellular telephony. BanDeMar Networks and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) - School of Public Health (SPH) propose to develop a JITT system for SSP who are called to an emergency incident that will provide secure access to information and short (<5 minutes) incident - specific learning modules on their cell phones about the hazardous agent(s) involved, the PPE needed and general decontamination procedures for the hazardous agent(s). Learning modules will be designed for cell phone user interfaces and incorporate audio, video, interactive simulations, graphics, animation and assessment. Phase I will investigate the feasibility of a JITT system that operates with most current cell phones over all wireless service providers and that integrates with the incident management system. Phase I will also investigate the instructional design of such over - the - air on - demand information and learning modules. Prototypical learning modules and wireless functionality will be developed in Phase I to support field tests with 60 individuals involved in emergency response operations and/or attending hazardous materials courses at the UMDNJ - SPH. Written surveys and personal interviews will be done to evaluate the proposed JITT system information entry ergonomics, authentication and training ergonomics and quality of the over - the - air streaming content. The JITT system will help reduce the potential risk of injury and illness for SSP who are responding to emergency incidents. The JITT system also has great potential for providing JITT for other training needs in public health.

Online E-Learning Courses for Hazardous Material Workers

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
5R44ES013091 - 03 MARMARELLI, DEBORAH DCM ASSOCIATES

The objective of this proposal is to develop a curricula of role specific online e-Learning courses that meet the needs of a diverse workforce of Hazardous Material workers in the transport modalities of: 19 highway, marine, air, rail, and International. This specifically relates to the goals of the Worker Education Training Program and Health Worker 2010. Hypothesis: Online e-Learning can improve mandated workforce Hazardous Material training by increasing individualization, using the web to simplify dissemination, and shortening time - to - competence, while saving costs. Phase I developed and implemented a highly interactive, e-Learning course, HazMat Truck, and supporting systems. Experts and workers have favorably evaluated the streamlined approach, time - savings, and opportunity to practice designed into the course. Phase II proposes to broaden that study in number and occupation and to develop a curricula of courses with interactivity that addresses the needs of workers in all transport modes. Once finalized, courses will be translated to Spanish and test - marketed. Phase III will sell or license the courses to companies required to provide training combined with the unique delivery system that specifies exactly the right course to take, maintains training records, and sends refresher reminders. Technological innovation will provide: (1) a curriculum of up - to - date, interactive courses that meets diverse needs, (2) a protocol that matches competency needs to course content, (3) analysis of the efficacy of e-Learning for this population, (4) a customization database that can add state, local, and institution specific requirements to the generic courses. The potential commercial outcome will benefit workers and companies. Millions of people in the US, federally mandated to receive workplace Hazardous Material training, often they do not receive it due to time, travel, or language. The se courses will solve that. Companies responsible for delivering yearly training could save $1.4 billion per year in the US and ensure valid, up - to - date training, available anytime, anywhere.

Online E-Learning Courses for Hazardous Material Workers

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013091 - 01 MARMARELLI, DEBORAH DCM ASSOCIATES

Corporations are hard pressed to meet their hazardous material training responsibilities. This project address that critical need while meeting a goal of Healthy People 2010 --- to provide high quality training that helps workers protect themselves and the environment. A curriculum of transportation - mode - specific courses is proposed. Each course is viable stand - alone for familiarization or training or blended 27 into a classroom curriculum. Industry experts will distill regulations to create focused training with sophisticated interactivity. Updates will disseminate immediately via the Internet. Scientific control testing will address concerns about applicability of E-Learning and its ability to save time and money. Phase I will propose a curriculum and create/evaluate one course. Phase II will develop the remaining five to ten courses. Specific aims for phase I are to: 1) apply the technology of E-Learning to hazardous material training, 2) scientifically evaluate a course compared to classroom training, and 3) demonstrate that E-Learning compares favorably. Commercial Application: Corporations will welcome a curriculum that delivers up - to - date hazard training, automates their reporting, saves time and is convenient for the worker. Workers and community benefit from quality training. The proposed courses are aligned with government initiatives and could reach 10 million more Americans per year, saving $30 billion.

Realistic Accurate Dosimulation (RAD)

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES022856 - 01 Schantz, Hans Gregory Q-Track Corporation

The proposed effort aims to dramatically enhance the realism of radiation safety training for Emergency Responders, both First Responders, as well as Skilled Support Personnel. The goal is to develop and evaluate realistic dosimetry simulation or "Dosimulation" tools. These "Realistic, Accurate Dosimulation" (RAD) tools will be the centerpiece for an effective Emergency Responder radiation training curriculum. This Dosimulation concept employs a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) integrated with realistic simulated dosimeters. A sophisticated software algorithm generates a Virtual Radiation Environment (VRE), assigning a particular dose rate to every location within the training area. Dosimulation merges the real-time location of the trainee from the RTLS with the simulated dose rate from the VRE to yield a realistic radiation dose simulation. he proposed Advanced Technology Training (ATT) provides a Virtual Reality simulation of any radiological emergency in a particular training environment. In the proposed RAD effort, the investigators will implement a dynamic and time varying VRE to model the evolution of plumes and spills of interest to Emergency Responders. In addition, they will work with Radiation Safety and Control Services, Inc. (RSCS), leaders in training Emergency Responders, to select appropriate radiation instrumentation and scenarios to emulate. The impact of the proposed RAD system, if successful, will be to transform emergency responder training with realistic and accurate "hands-on" radiation simulations that will enable Emergency Responders to "practice like they play." The commercial potential is similarly compelling. Q-Track is already a leading vendor of radiation dosimetry simulation products for the nuclear power industry. The substantial improvements in Dosimulation systems made possible by the proposed RAD effort would enable Q-Track to serve the Emergency Responder training market as well. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Q-Track proposes to dramatically improve the realism of radiation safety training for Emergency Responders, (both First Responders, as well as Skilled Support Personnel) by employing a Real-Time Location System in conjunction with a time varying Virtual Radiation Environment to create a high-fidelity Virtual Reality radiation simulation. The proposed "Realistic Accurate Dosimulation" (RAD) project has the potential to enhance radiation training and thus reduce Emergency Responder radiation exposure.

Realistic Accurate Dosimulation

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES022856 - 02 Schantz, Hans Gregory Q-Track Corporation

The proposed effort aims to enhance the realism of radiation safety training for Emergency Responders, both First Responders, as well as Skilled Support Personnel. Our goal is to develop and evaluate realistic dosimetry simulation or "Dosimulation" tools. These "Realistic, Accurate Dosimulation" (RAD) tools will be the centerpiece for an effective Emergency Responder radiation training curriculum. Our Dosimulation concept employs a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) integrated with realistic simulated dosimeters. A sophisticated software algorithm generates a Virtual Radiation Environment (VRE), assigning a particular dose rate to every location within the training area. Dosimulation merges the real-time location of the trainee from the RTLS with the simulated dose rate from the VRE to yield a realistic radiation dose simulation. The proposed Advanced Technology Training (ATT) provides a Virtual Reality simulation of any radiological emergency in a particular training environment. In the proposed RAD effort, we will implement a dynamic and time varying VRE to model the evolution of plumes and spills of interest to Emergency Responders. In addition, we will continue our Phase I work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, leaders in training Emergency Responders, to select appropriate radiation instrumentation and scenarios to emulate. The impact of the proposed RAD system, if successful, will be to transform emergency responder training with realistic and accurate "hands-on" radiation simulations that will enable Emergency Responders to "practice like they play." The commercial potential is similarly compelling. Q-Track is already a leading vendor of radiation dosimetry simulation products for the nuclear power industry. The substantial improvements in Dosimulation systems made possible by the proposed RAD effort would enable Q-Track to serve the Emergency Responder training market as well. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Q-Track proposes to improve the realism of radiation safety training for Emergency Responders, (both First Responders, as well as Skilled Support Personnel) by employing a Real-Time Location System in conjunction with a time varying Virtual Radiation Environment to create a high-fidelity Virtual Reality radiation simulation. The proposed "Realistic Accurate Dosimulation" (RAD) research project has the potential to enhance radiation training and thus reduce Emergency Responder radiation exposure.

Responding to Hazmat Incidents - Interactive Case Studies

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013897 - 01 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

The Specific Aim of the research project is to design and develop an interactive virtual experience that will reduce the risk faced by first responders when dealing with incidents involving hazardous materials. If first responders, particularly fire fighters, follow a systematic approach to handling emergency incidents, their safety and health will be better protected. The title of the proposed training tool is 'Responding to HazMat Incidents - Interactive Case Studies.' It will be targeted toward first responder organizations, such as the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), to be used in their regularly scheduled instructor - led training programs. The training tool will be developed for the DVD format. DVD 26 will enable MetaMedia to incorporate compelling and realistic interactive video simulations of hazardous materials incidents, instructive computer animations, and engaging team exercises to produce an effective training tool that successfully transfers knowledge. The aim of the HazMat Incidents DVD is to create a training program that can be easily incorporated into existing training curricula to improve the readiness of first responder organizations to safely handle emergency incidents. The DVD will represent a technology innovation in instructor - led training. It will take advantage of the unique features of DVD, such as high-quality motion video, interactive branching, multiple audio channels, and low - cost delivery systems to bring real - world simulations into the classroom. During Phase I of the project, MetaMedia and the IAFF will determine the training needs of the target audience, design a training program to meet those needs, and produce a working prototype of the product that will be evaluated in an actual training session. Deliverables for Phase I will be a design document providing a blueprint for building the training program, a working prototype providing up to 30 minutes of interactive video, and an evaluation report describing the effectiveness of the HazMat Incidents DVD prototype.

Responding to HazMat Incidents - Interactive Case Studies Phase II

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES013897 - 02 HELD, CHRISTOPHER T. MetaMedia Training International, Inc

The specific aim of the Phase II project is to complete the design and develop a full interactive virtual experience that will reduce the risk faced by First Responders when dealing with incidents involving hazardous materials. If First Responders, particularly fire fighters, follow a systematic approach to handling emergency incidents, their safety and health and that of any potential casualties will be better protected. The title of the proposed training tool is "Responding to HazMat Incidents - a Virtual Experience." It will be targeted toward First Responder organizations, such as the International Association of Fire Fighters, to be used in their regularly scheduled instructor - led training programs. The training tool will be developed for the Digital Versatile Disc (DVD) format. DVD will enable MetaMedia to incorporate compelling and realistic interactive video simulations of hazardous materials incidents, instructive computer animations, and engaging team exercises to produce an effective training tool that successfully transfers knowledge. The aim of the HazMat Incidents DVD is to create a training tool that can be easily incorporated into existing training programs to improve the readiness of First Responder organizations to safely handle emergency incidents. The DVD training program will represent a technology innovation in instructor - led training. MetaMedia's application of DVD technology will take advantage of the unique features of DVD, such as high - quality motion video, interactive branching, and low - cost delivery systems to bring real - world simulations into the classroom. During Phase I of the project, MetaMedia and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) determined the training needs of the target audience, designed a prototype training tool to meet those needs, and produced a working prototype of the product that will was evaluated in an actual training session. Our task is to expand on the success full Phase I prototype and create a visually exciting training solution that will achieve this goal. The deliverables for Phase II will be a completed DVD program providing up to 4 hours of content. The Phase I program will be expanded to include additional components of the interactive experience, facilitator's and student guides, a complete new module on "Awareness of HazMat Dangers," and Web Links to OSHA and FEMA websites.

Safety E-Minders

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES014802 - 01 GLASSIC, MICHAEL J Y - STRESS, INC.

Y - Stress Inc., with the assistance of the George Meany Center for Labor Studies - National Labor College (GM C - NLC), proposes to create Safety  E-Minders. The human mind can only absorb, retain and retrieve so much information. The more repetitions the better. At the same time, "worker training" implies that they have a job to do and cannot constantly be training. Safety E-Minders is a system that will increase retention of in - class and/or online training information using current technologies, including the wireless handheld mobile devices, to reinforce and remind students of the most critical messages or information to keep the workers and community safe and healthy. The delivery methods will include email, text messages, and voice messages received by the students through computers, PDAs (personal data assistants), and/or cell phones. It will utilize the findings based on current research regarding repetition, retrieval practice, and spacing to maximize learning and retention.

Scenario - Based Virtual Hazardous Aware ness Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
5R44ES012137 - 03 GLASSIC, MICHAEL J Y - STRESS, INC.

Y - Stress will create an online Hazardous Waste Refresher Course and develop an e-learning portal and open source content library to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration among safety professionals. It will utilize streaming technology to incorporate text, audio, graphics, video, 3D animation and Virtual Reality to optimally deliver effective knowledge and skills based training scenarios to trainees on demand. Streaming technologies are the new standard for delivering high quality, highly interactive, low bandwidth web content across all browsers and platforms to engage users with a rich learning experience. All web based content will meet SCORM specifications so it can be shared across multiple environments and products. In addition, storing course content as small learning objects will allow content to stream over low bandwidth connections and reduce development time and resources needed for future courses using similar content. This technology will provide trainees with realistic, inter active scenarios to teach and refresh a range of skills, from inspecting a respirator to making command decisions during a simulated emergency response. This approach will significantly increase the quality of online training for courses that teach knowledge and skills that can have serious and significant consequences when mastery is not attained.

Smartphone Simulator for Realistic Radiation HAZMAT and Emergency Response Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES026826 - 01 Motakef, Shariar CapeSym, Inc.

Smartphone Simulator for Realistic Radiation HAZMAT and Emergency Response Training Project Summary High levels of radioactive radiation is a major source of public health. This proposal seeks to develop a simulator-based tool for radiation HAZMAT and emergency response training. The smartphone simulator produces a virtual environment where the trainee can explore the operation of a variety of hand-held radiation detectors in realistic scenarios involving the presence of radioactive sources. The smartphone application (app) will emulate a wide range of commercial instruments having different capabilities, limitations and modes of operation. It also creates realistic scenarios that capture the effect of radioactive sources of unknown strength and composition, shielding, distance and the layout of buildings and landscape. The training app is based on recent software developments at CapeSym that allow for high fidelity simulation of both the radiation environment and the response of commercial detector instruments. The training app will be designed to allow direct participation of the instructor, both in defining the radiation scenario ad assessing the performance of the trainees. The training modules will be customizable by the instructor, using easy-to-modify templates. As the app would be on the trainee's smart-phone, all of the training modules would be available outside of a traditional training course, providing opportunities for continual, self-directed training. The proposed training app will allow trainees o receive hands-on experience with expensive instruments, at negligible cost. It also allows training in simulated complex scenarios with high levels of gamma and neutron radiation, which can be otherwise prohibitively dangerous and expensive to conduct. This training app allows for wide-spread, low-cost training of a large number of HAZMAT and emergency responders across the country. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: Smartphone Simulator for Realistic Radiation HAZMAT and Emergency Response Training Public Benefits Release of high levels of radioactive material, whether a consequence of terrorism or industrial accidents, poses a great risk to the public health. The proposed smartphone application will enable hands-on training of HAZMAT and emergency responders with a variety of detector instruments in realistic scenarios.

The Virtual HAZMAT Response Academy: Advanced Training Technology for HAZMAT Responders Using Next-Generation Internet

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES026848 - 01 Henderson, Joseph VanWirt   World Two Systems LLC

This proposal addresses topics of interest to the NIEHS Advanced Training Technologies (ATT) Program to "develop ATT products that will support high quality health and safety training for hazardous materials workers, emergency responders, and skilled support personnel." We propose to develop a Web-based Virtual HAZMAT Response Academy (VHRA) with long term objectives to 1) to increase public health and safety during and following terrorist attacks and other incidents involving the use of hazardous materials (HAZMAT), 2) to protect the health and safety of first responders who must respond to such incidents, and 3) to apply emerging methods of using the internet, mobile computing, and interactive games for the training of personnel involved in HAZMAT response. This will be accomplished by adapting and extending an existing computer-based training course on HAZMAT response during terrorist attacks and general HAZMAT incidents, so that it can be readily accessed via the internet on desktop, portable, and tablet computers and, for some content, smart phones. The existing program, The Virtual Terrorism Response Academy: Ops-Plus for WMD HAZMAT (VTRA), is an extraordinary example of ATT. It takes an all-hazards approach to HAZMAT response training, employing immersive 3D-game simulations of HAZMAT response that include modeling the physical behavior of hazardous materials and HAZMAT instruments, as well as requiring decision making under conditions of uncertainty and risk-benefit analysis. It employs multiple instructional modes from which the learner can choose, including complex simulations accompanied by after- action reviews; interactive lectures; topical activities/games; and interviews with experienced practitioners who relate "war stories" and lessons learned. Further, it is based on existing national standards and guidelines for HAZMAT response and training and was developed with the guidance, review, and approval of a national team of experts. It promotes the concept of "Ops-Plus," personnel trained at the HAZMAT Operations Level who, according to NFPA 472, may be further trained to do "mission-specific" tasks during extraordinary circumstances when HAZMAT Technician Level responders are not readily available and Operations Level responders are first on the scene (as can often, if not usually, be the case). The specific objective of this Phase I research is to establish methods to adapt and extend the existing, stand-alone, DVD-ROM version of VTRA so that it can be used via the internet on the platforms specified above. VTRA requires functionality beyond the capabilities of Web technologies currently in common use, particularly its use 3D simulations and HAZMAT and instrument modeling. Web-based delivery is likely to greatly increase dissemination of the courseware to its target audience: first responders in emergency medical services, fire service, and law enforcement who may be required to perform at an "Ops-Plus" level. The main technical question is whether a new, Web-based version will have functionality and performance that is equivalent to the current, standalone version. Current performance is uniformly smooth and without objectionable delays in courseware flow. For this Phase I proposal, one of the radiation-event 3D simulations, with selected associated interactive lectures and the general navigational interface, will be converted for Web-based delivery to desktop, portable, and tablet computers using emerging Web technologies such as Unity, HTML5, CSS3, and 3D WebGL. Success will be determined by comparison with the original program using objective measures and subjective evaluations by HAZMAT-trained emergency responders and instructors, using methods established during development of the original program. PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE: This project is highly relevant to public health in that its long term objectives are 1) to increase public health and safety during and following terrorist attacks and general incidents involving the use of hazardous materials (HAZMAT), 2) to protect the health and safety of first responders who must respond to such incidents, and 3) to apply emerging methods of using the internet, mobile computing, and interactive games for the training of personnel in public health/safety professions. This will be accomplished through the application of Advanced Training Technologies (ATT) to develop and distribute a Web-based Virtual HAZMAT Response Academy (VHRA). This Phase I proposal is particularly relevant in that it entails ground-breaking exploration of emerging Web technologies for the development and delivery of Web-based ATT programs with advanced designs, in this case incorporating immersive 3-D game simulations capable of 1) modeling the behavior of hazardous materials and instruments to detect and quantify them and 2) depicting operational situations requiring risk analysis and decision-making by the learner, with alternative outcomes, and expert after- action analysis.

uSim: Collaborative Simulation Builder for Safety Instructors

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES020139-01 KAYE, JONATHAN M EQUIPMENT SIMULATIONS, LLC

Virtual simulations are an effective instructional methodology for preparing responders to function in the field: so much so that a large percentage of State Fire Directors are in the process of adopting computer simulation as the basis for incident command training. First - hand efforts to provide pre - made simulation scenarios to instructors have resulted in strong demand and encouragement, accessed consistently many thousands of times per month. In spite of today's Internet - connected world, however, simulation creation remains an expensive, time - consuming, isolated, and offline endeavor due to limitations of the available development tools. The proposed project, uSim, is a game - changer. Imagine a web site that permits instructors collaboratively to create a scenario, or select an existing scenario and change the pictures and hazards to reflect local conditions, or extend in new ways. Furthermore, the simulations can be accessed and shared as easily as sharing a YouTube video. The platform will enable instructors to exploit the benefits of simulation in the live and virtual classroom while dramatically reducing development time through collaboration. The proposed approach takes advantage of the 5 team's substantial expertise with simulation tool development and subject - matter experience, having pioneered and operated a market - leading, award - winning platform for safety training. The Phase I research aims are to: (1) develop a web - based repository and integrated builder application for creating and viewing virtual simulations; (2) enable member instructors to adapt, localize, and extend existing simulations via a permission - based authoring mechanism that supports collaborative scenario development; and (3) create example Fire Service and HazMat scenarios. Initial commercialization will follow Phase I through the team's existing traction in the Fire Service market, with Phase II research extending collaborative and deployment features, as well as content development throughout other safety training domains.

Vigilance

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES013916 - 01 MAULITZ, RUSSELL C CHI SYSTEMS, INC.

Skilled Support Personnel play an integral role in any disaster response operation. However, several reports have found that our nation's SSP are inadequately trained to respond to incidents involving Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). These reports put forth dozens of recommendations for how to improve SSP training to prepare them for WMD events. One of the key recommendations was that SSP be cross - trained in the roles of first responders. Cross - training simultaneously achieves two goals: SSP will receive the same level of response training that first responders do, and SSP will be better able to effectively assist first responders during a response because they will have a better understanding of what first responders do. A report by the Federation of American Scientists found that new advanced training technologies are needed to meet the demands of WMD response training. To fill the training needs of the SSP, CHI Systems, Inc., The Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), and The National Center for Biodefense at George Mason University will rapidly develop and deploy VIGILANCE, a SCORM - compliant GB training application that will harness the power of existing gaming technologies to create a compelling and engaging training experience which will be both easy to distribute and update. When completed, VIGILANCE will provide cross - training to SSP by allowing them to play the role of a first responder who is responding to a WMD incident. VIGILANCE will have a highly realistic 3 - D virtual world where SSP will act as first responders and work through scenarios based on the most current training requirements for first responders.

Viyant Hazmat Skilled Support Personnel Just in Place Performance Support

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES016673 - 01 KIRKLEY, SONNY E INFORMATION IN PLACE, INC

Skilled Support Personnel (SSP) are essential to site recovery, yet they are often under - trained in hazmat response and may lack knowledge of how to cope with specific incidents. Poor training and rusty skills lead to injury to themselves and others, as well as making the overall situation worse. Beyond full instructional courses, a continuum of training and real - time performance support is needed to enable these crews to work effectively. Mini - course modules for enroute and onsite training, on - the - job performance aids and simple checklists, and access to live expert mentors who support decision making or deliver mini lesson Just - in - Place(r) should all have a place in this training and performance support package. Just - in - Place(r) is our proprietary approach to delivering content and services, tied to context relevant factors such as: time, location, skills, tasks and who or what is nearby. The project team will meet this need by building the Viyant Hazmat Skilled Support Personnel Just in Place Performance Support System (Viyant Hazmat) in collaboration with established hazmat training organizations and service providers. Viyant Hazmat will enable mobile Just - in - Place training materials, performance aids, and checklists to be accessed at the job site and permit real - time collaboration with hazmat and medical experts at remote locations. Not only will SSPs be able to talk directly with experts, the experts' situational understanding will be increased by using web collaboration tools allowing the onsite SSP to send live images and video to remotely located experts. Viyant Hazmat comprises an integrated suite of computer hardware, ranging from wearable computers to cell phones, wireless communications, mixed reality software tools, content authoring tools, administration tools and support services that are optimized for improving safety and effective decision making. The specific target audience for this Phase I effort is demolition crews at Superfund, brownfields and disaster sites. Other hazmat audiences will be addressed during commercialization. Viyant Hazmat will be built on the Company's Viyant(tm) Standard Edition platform, which is currently being used to facilitate equipment repair, maintenance and 16 installation training and operations for technicians at a distance. Our research will include: 1) prototyping the Viyant Hazmat software system; 2) conducting system usability and ergonomics testing with demolition workers with and without personal protective equipment; 3) developing sample mini training modules, performance a ids and checklists based on existing training materials from partner service providers; 4) testing learning effectiveness of incident - specific training materials; and 5) field testing the system.

Web - based Training Center

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
5R44ES012135 - 04 MCDOUGALL, VERNON S ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES/LABORATORIES INTL

The primary aim is to facilitate the development and delivery of live, interactive HAZWOPER training through the use of internet - based Advanced Training Technologies (ATT). To this end, ATL has designed the ATL Web - based Training Center as a fully integrated portal that provides synchronous and asynchronous training from one access point for all students and instructors and is flexible enough to adapt to differing training and learning needs. Here hazardous materials workers, emergency responders, and skilled support personnel SSP can receive high quality health and safety training through the implementation of a wide variety of ATT including, virtual classroom (VC) hosting and instructor - led training; development of SCORM - conformant, self - paced courses including multimedia presentations and certification/refresher training; active - server page con tent development and hosting and learning management system (LMS) hosting; internal and external resource links and reference libraries; streaming content delivery, voice - over internet telephony (VOIP) and video conferencing; 24 remote computer - assisted training, interactive pc/application/document sharing, and highly interactive HTML content using VBScripting and JavaScripting. This portal will be unique in its ability to integrate the functions of a traditional learning management system (i.e., asynchronous training), an all - IP (internet provider) web - based conferencing/training center (i.e., synchronous training), document server/resource center, and application service provider (ASP).

Web-Delivered PC-Based Low Literacy HAZMAT Training

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R41ES013088 - 01 ANGER, W KENT NORTHWEST EDUCATION TRAINING/ASSESSMENT

An innovative computer - based training program is proposed to supplement peer teaching of HAZMAT (hazardous waste) training in the WETP of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). While peer training has proven effective using traditional teaching aids (manuals, lecture, exercises, group discussion, hands - on practice), the proposed technology additions can ensure consistent teaching and documented learning of content by each student. In collaboration with the WETP grantee UCL A (PI Marianne Brown) and partner organizations, the applicant proposes to implement the content of UCLA's proven Hazard Communication class in cTRAIN, a computer - based instruction (CBI) program for content development and presentation. Integral to the tec hnology is inclusion of pictures and movies depicting content, text in computer - generated English and Spanish, and a 9 - button response unit to overcome rejection by the computer - naive. The proven cTRAIN CBI software is being re - written in Revolution, across - platform Rapid Application Development (RAD) program for delivery over the internet to PCs. However, rather than presenting the training in a browser (e.g., Internet Explorer) environment that requires the learner to use the mouse and suffers from limiting bandwidth delays for interactive training, the PC (Windows, UNIX, Mac) executes (presents) the training to assure adequate speed, allow use of the applicant's (optional) simple 9BUTTON input unit rather than the keyboard, and provide an interactive and rapidly responsive learning environment superior to browsers (used by all internet - delivery training methods). Very well - educated graduate students have evaluated cTRAIN positively. However, due to the extensive development of user instructions and pilot - testing with Hispanic trainees from Mexico and South America who have received limited education and opportunities for computer experience, the key targets of this program are immigrants who have not been educated in the U.S.

WMD/HAZMAT Protection Training for Health Professionals

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
2R44ES014796 - 02 GEARHARDT, ROBERTA S JXT APPLICATIONS, INC

The proposed e-learning course for WMD/HAZMAT Protection Training (PROTECT) for Health Professionals performing as skilled support personnel (SSP) in community based medical offices / clinics / urgent care /schools and elsewhere will be available on a 24/7/365 basis and provide much needed assistance in recognizing the symptoms of Avian Influenza / Pandemic Influenza, properly protecting themselves against it, reporting it to the Incident Command System (ICS) when it occurs and following up that report in a coordinating role if so tasked. This includes understanding the hazards and effects, properly identifying items of protective equipment, gaining knowledge of how to don (put on) them correctly, how to perform essential roles and responsibilities while wearing protective equipment, hazards to be aware of when wearing it, how to  properly doff and dispose of it and how to properly decontaminate oneself. The Phase II technical approach will focus on applying the Instructional Systems Development (ISD) methodology to the design, development, testing and evaluation of the prototype course. PROTECT e-learning components will include a web portal, learning management system (LMS), instructional content (lesson materials) and intelligent tutor exercises. At the web portal, SSP will be able to access the PROTECT e-learning course through which they will gain the training necessary to protect themselves properly and still perform their duties effectively when responding to a WMD / HAZMAT (Avian Flu / Pandemic Flu) incident. The course will be learner centered and instructional 11 materials will focus on doing rather than telling. Through the exercises the learner must apply the knowledge learned in the lessons to solve real - world problems he/she is likely to encounter. Public health and emergency response organizations are ready now to use effective training of this type for SSP and to augment their current internal training in the proper use of protective equipment and interaction with the ICS.

WMD/HAZMAT Protection Training for Health Professionals

Application Number Principal Investigator Company
1R43ES014796 - 01 FULBRIGHT, TERRELL W JXT APPLICATIONS, INC.

This e-learning course for WMD/HAZMAT Protection Training (PROTECT) for Health Professionals performing as skilled support personnel (SSP) will be available on a 24/7/365 basis and provide much needed assistance in recognizing hazardous materials and understanding their effects, properly identifying items of protective equipment, gaining knowledge of how to don (put on) them correctly and how to perform essential roles and responsibilities in a hazardous environment while wearing protective equipment. The Phase I approach will focus on implementing the Instructional Systems Development (ISO) methodology in identifying and documenting specific training needs (requirements), developing appropriate learning objectives, designing the course to train these and developing a sample e - learning lesson to provide a tangible demonstration of the concept . PROTECT e-learning components will include a web portal, learning management system (LMS), instructional content (lesson materials) and intelligent tutor exercises. At the web portal, SSP will be able to access the PROTECT e-learning course through which they will gain the training necessary to protect themselves properly and still perform their duties effectively when responding to a WMD/ HAZMAT incident. Through the exercises the learner must apply the knowledge learned in the lessons to solve real - world problems he/she is likely to encounter. Public health and emergency response organizations are ready now to use effective training of this type for SSP and to augment their current internal training in the proper use of protective equipment. The relevance of this research to public health is simply that the more knowledge and better understanding SSP (identified as health professionals in this application) have of hazardous materials, protective equipment, its proper use and how to work effectively while wearing it the better they will be able to apply their skills, capabilities and resources beneficially in support of first responders during a WMD/HAZMAT incident.