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CDD Fire & Rescue Service – Edge Blended Projection


Scope

The County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service (CDDFRS) wanted to create interactive and immersive training simulations for members of the service to participate in firefighting training exercises in its new state-of-the-art fire training centre.

Bowburn Fire Training Facility is a dedicated training centre incorporating BA training, fire behaviour facilities as well as a dedicated motorway/highway impact training area. It has classrooms, lecture theatres, an incident command simulation suite and three fire engine bays.

As part of this new centre, it needed to create a huge image in each of the classrooms with audio that would show simulations of various scenarios. Firefighters would act out their responses to the training simulations. It was vital that the image quality was perfect with no shadows cast by participants for the experience to be as fully immersive and as real as possible.


Solution

In each of the four training rooms audio visual experts, Castle Grange Technologies, installed two Optoma ProScene EH505 projectors with short throw lenses. These were edge blended together with the powerful image blending and warping processor, Chameleon GB200 to create a huge 5.4m wide seamless image.

The imagery is projected straight onto the wall, which was painted with high gain projection paint. The eight projectors were installed at only 1.8m from the wall to eliminate any shadows from firefighters as they undertake the exercises. They were linked to external speakers via the audio output to provide the sights and sounds of real-life scenarios that firefighters may face.

The remaining EH505 projector was installed with a standard throw lens in the main lecture theatre to show videos and de-brief presentations following the training sessions. For similar purposes the Optoma HD300X projector was installed in each of the two smaller and conjoining lecture rooms, separated only by a retractable wall. The solution installed gives the fire service the option of using both rooms as one lecture theatre by retracting the wall. Due to the precision of the install and the 1,600 Lumens of brightness offering Full HD 1080P image quality the presentation can be viewed clearly from all angles.


Results

The new 5.5m state-of-the-art facility training centre opened in (August 2015). It includes a four-storey drill tower, a stretch of road with roundabouts and junctions to simulate car crashes, training rigs to demonstrate how fires behave, animal rescue trenches, a drill ground, breathing apparatus teaching area and an auditorium for lectures and presentations.

The imagery and audio of burning buildings and other scenarios in the training rooms create an immersive experience for the firefighters who can act out their roles close to the wall without it affecting the visuals.

They communicate with the control room via a screen and camera to create a similar scenario as they would encounter in a real incident.

These facilities will not only be used by CDDFRS incident commanders but also by Durham Constabulary, which will use the Hydra Minerva suite to train and test their senior police officers in a range of incidents simulated via a control room on site.

Simon Le Monnier, Electrical Engineer with Castle Grange Technologies, said: The simulations are incredibly realistic and impressive. The imagery is brilliant, bright and big! As the firefighters are so close to the wall whilst they run through the incident, it is vital that the image quality is perfect.

The training simulations provide a realistic and immersive experience that prepares the firefighters with the kind of incident that they may face on a call-out.

Stuart Errington, the Chief Fire Officer, said: This new training centre will provide our firefighters and incident commanders with the facilities, conditions and challenges that they need to ensure they are equipped to respond to and manage an ever-expanding range of incidents.

The centre will also be available to organisations and businesses keen to use the facilities for their own training and courses.

CDDFRS-1
CDDFRS-1

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