Instructors must deliver engaging, realistic, and immersive tabletop simulations at the conclusion of
Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) recertification to support Hazardous
Material (HAZMAT) worker and first responder safety and adherence to protocol in the field. This exercise often
burdens instructors to deliver a paper or PowerPoint simulation that, although based on real events, fails to
meaningfully engage or immerse trainees. When trainees fail to engage, they are putting themselves and others
at risk by decreasing their ability to adhere to protocol when responding to HAZMAT incidents in the field.
Therefore, emergency response training organizations require a cost-effective training solution that increases
the realism and authenticity of tabletop simulations to better equip trainees to execute HAZWOPER safely and
effectively when they are in the field.
Charles River Analytics, in partnership with The New England Consortium and Lt. Michael Kates of the
Boston Fire Department, proposes to develop and evaluate an Immersive Modular Preparedness Intelligent
Tutor (IMPRINT). IMPRINT aims to provide a robust, commercial, portable adaptive virtual reality (VR) solution
that will be complemented by an intelligent virtual training system and development framework that actively
improves trainees' ability to perform HAZWOPER procedures within a range of realistic field scenarios. IMPRINT
will be an untethered intelligent tutoring system (ITS) using the Oculus Quest VR headset to provide an
immersive, virtual training experience. With IMPRINT, trainees can apply complex, dangerous procedures in a
safe, controlled environment through guided and immersive procedure rehearsal. In Phase II, we will produce a
system that complements existing training with a production ready VR case study development suite and a library
of VR case studies that replace standard paper and PowerPoint scenario-based activities used to prepare
trainees for hands-on assessments and their final HAZWOPER qualification test.