Inside a Virtual Rescue Cage

A new cage operating panel simulator rounds off the "virtual classroom" for turntable ladder training.

Everything as in the original: the two joysticks to the left and right, the LCD screen in the center, surrounded by the function keys, blocking interruption switch, emergency stop switch... everything is in the right place. The new cage operating panel simulator can be operated like a real panel of a Rosenbauer turntable ladder, and offers all the advantages of a virtual training device. The joysticks provide the haptics and the VR glasses the visual impressions (view of the directional and screen displays of the console, view of the test object and the operating height). Operating the turntable ladder can now be completely practiced in the virtual rescue cage with the real control panel, as has been the case with the generic joysticks in the Rosenbauer Aerial Ladder Tactic Simulator (ALTS). Safe, reproducible, and without the need to use the real equipment, which would make it unavailable for real world operations. The perfect addition to the training program of any fire department.

Various Training Scenarios

A wide variety of buildings and facades combined with a range of operational scenarios are available for training with the new cage operating panel simulator. Injured individuals can be rescued from windows or entire groups of people from balconies, who draw the operator's attention by waving or shouting. The virtual rescue can take place under difficult conditions, such as lighter or thicker smoke as well as different weather conditions. The difficulty of the exercise scenario can also be increased at any time, in real time.

The different scenarios are individually stored by the trainer and dynamically integrated into the rescue process.

Same Operating Philosophy, same Range of Functions

The operating principle of the basket control simulator is exactly the same as that of the Rosenbauer L32A-XS standard turntable ladder. Depending on the deflection of the joysticks, either the ladder set (retracting/extending, turning, tilting/raising) or the cage boom (tilting/raising) can be moved. All functions and safety features stored in the original control are also available and can be called up on the virtual cage operating panel. For example, terrain compensation can be activated or deactivated at the push of a button, or the rungs aligned, and automated driving commands such as traversing a recorded path (target memory system) or lowering the basket in front of the cab (basket entry function) can be called up, floodlights can be switched on and off, etc.

The data glasses also show the same view as the main screen and provide the trainee with all the important information about the current status of the ladder set and the load on the basket: selected load limit, possible further loading and horizontal reach, elevation angle of the ladder, possible further extension length, and the currently activated functions.

Ideal Addition to the Turntable Ladder Simulator

The new cage control simulator is the ideal addition to the Aerial Ladder Tactic Simulator, which can be used to train for not only rescues from height and extinguishing operations, but also for setting up and jacking the Rosenbauer turntable ladder. Setting up is primarily about determining the correct distance and positioning to the training object. Vehicles, trees, embankments, and other obstacles on the ground must be taken into account, as well as the amount of free space above the aerial rescue device. Among other things, high-voltage equipment that can severely limit the field of operation and may jeopardize the success of the deployment are also included. All these obstacles are programed into the Rosenbauer turntable ladder simulator, with which they can be safely practiced. Different jacking processes can also be trained on, for example in narrow streets where the jacking system can only be extended on one side, or on uneven or inclined surfaces.

Training in the VR Cage

All you need for training on the Rosenbauer turntable simulators is a medium-sized training room (5x5 m VR cage) and a power supply. The two systems are compactly incorporated in aluminum crates, and can be set up and ready for operation with just a few simple steps. They essentially consist of two high-performance laptops, VR glasses and virtual joysticks (ALTS), or the original console (cage operating simulator). They are available both for purchase and for rent and, of course, they are also used for turntable ladder training at the Rosenbauer Center of Excellence for aerial rescue devices in Karlsruhe, which can be booked at any time.