S&T EDGE Virtual First Responders Training an ‘ASTORS’ Finalist (Video)

EDGE is a multiplayer, scalable, online training environment for first responders—single agencies or across agency, jurisdiction, or discipline—for a coordinated response to critical incidents. EDGE is available for free to all U.S. first responder agencies.
Effective training can make all the difference in high-threat scenarios. However, it can be expensive and difficult to coordinate. To this end, S&T collaborated with the U.S. Army in the development and 2016 deployment of the Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) Virtual Training tool. It is a cost-effective way for first responders across the country to realistically train for high-impact events, such as active shooter scenarios, from their desktops. EDGE is available for free to all U.S. first responder agencies.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T)  new Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) virtual training platform has been selected as a Finalist in the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program. 

The Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE) is a multiplayer, scalable, online training environment for first responders—single agencies or across agency, jurisdiction, or discipline—for a coordinated response to critical incidents.

EMS avatar kneels in front of an ambulance in the EDGE virtual training environment.
EMS avatar kneels in front of an ambulance in the EDGE virtual training environment.

Built on the Unreal gaming engine, which powers such popular interactive video games as Mortal Kombat, BioShock, and Batman: Arkham City, EDGE allows responders to collaboratively role-play complex scenarios in a virtual environment, improving coordination and communication while mitigating injuries and loss of lives.

S&T’s First Responders Group (FRG) developed the technology with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Simulation and Training Technology Center and Cole Engineering Services, Inc.

EDGE law enforcement and firefighter avatars join forces to combat a burning fire and active shooter in the virtual hotel ballroom.
EDGE law enforcement and firefighter avatars join forces to combat a burning
fire and active shooter in the virtual hotel ballroom.

The EDGE platform allows responders of all disciplines to assume discipline-based avatars and simultaneously role-play complex response scenarios.

The first scenario, an active shooter incident at a local hotel, brings law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, dispatch, and unified command together.

This EDGE scenario is now available for free to all U.S. first responder agencies.

About EDGE

EDGE is a game-based software training application that emphasizes flexibility and ease-of-use.

EDGE EMS avatar carries a wounded civilian to the triage area outside of
the hotel.

EDGE’s First Responder Sandbox (FRS) is designed to allow responders to train for coordinated response to various types of emergency events (e.g., active shooter, hostage, fire, mayhem) both in a virtual environment via the Internet or locally in a classroom environment.

Available training roles in FRS v1.2.1 include: law enforcement, firefighter, EMS, dispatcher, unified command, civilians, and suspect.

Instructors and role players may enhance training by participating as armed suspects or unarmed civilians.

EDGE is a training environment that is intended to be a group tool where multiple trainees can assume any of the roles above to execute the desired training.

It is not intended to be a single-trainee environment.

(The Virtual Training Revisited video describes advances in the free computer-based training tool, including a virtual school environment for multi-agency training for active shooter incidents. Courtesy of DHS Science and Technology Directorate and YouTube)

EDGE is not a training course in the traditional sense, but rather it is a tool instructors use to train their first responder teams in a safe environment, where scenarios can be changed or re-run as many times as necessary to provide a wide range of training possibilities.

EDGE firefighter, EMS, and law enforcement avatars pose in front of virtual hotel.
EDGE firefighter, EMS, and law enforcement avatars pose in front of
virtual hotel.

EDGE also has an after-action review capability where training sessions can be replayed with full pause, rewind, and fast-forward controls to highlight key training points.

Agency budgets often limit the amount of live training that first responders can conduct or participate in.

The EDGE platform, while not intended to replace live training, provides the perfect way to augment and reinforce live training without the cost of a full-up live exercise.

Who can access and train with EDGE?

EDGE is available free of charge to all first responder organizations, including:

  • Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government law enforcement organizations
  • Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government or volunteer fire fighting organizations
  • Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government or validated for profit emergency medical services organizations
  • Federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial government emergency management organizations

How to obtain EDGE

Actual law enforcement officer uses a laptop to command an avatar during an exercise in Sacramento, California.
Actual law enforcement officer uses a laptop to command an avatar during an exercise in Sacramento, California.

First responder agencies: visit www.cesiedgetraining.com to receive more information about obtaining copies of the EDGE software and setting up a user account.

You can also call 877-EDGE-011 (877-334-3011, select “3”) to reach the EDGE help desk.

What type of computer equipment is needed to run EDGE?

Minimum:

  • Processor: Intel I5 2XXX (2nd generation)
  • Memory: 8GB Memory
  • Video Card:  NVidia GEFORCE GTX 460 1024MB
  • Hard Drive: 4 GB available Hard Drive Space
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Home or Professional
  • Additional Software Required and included:
  • .NET Framework Redistributable 4.6
  • Mouse
  • Stereo headphones with microphone (for 3D sound)
Close up shot of a laptop running an EDGE virtual training scenario. The screen depicts the medical triage area on the street outside of the hotel.

Recommended:

  • Processor: Intel® Core™i7-3930K 3.20GHz
  • Memory: 16.0 GB
  • Video Card: GeForce GTX 680 or greater

Additional EDGE Resources

DHS Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) in 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program

2017 ‘ASTORS’ Awards LuncheonThe 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, organized to recognize the most distinguished vendors of Physical, IT, Port Security, Law Enforcement, First Responders, (Fire, EMT, Military, Support Services Vets, SBA, Medical Tech) as well as the Federal, State, County and Municipal Government Agencies – to acknowledge their outstanding efforts to ‘Keep our Nation Secure, One City at a Time.’

As an ‘ASTORS’ competitor, DHS S&T’s EDGE virtual training platform is competing against the industry’s leading providers of Innovative Government Training Programs.

American Security Today will be holding the 2017 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m, Wednesday, November 15th at ISC East, the Northeast’s largest security industry event, in the Jacob Javits Exhibition Center in New York City.

At ISC East you will have the chance to meet with technical reps from over 225 leading brands in the security industry, allowing you to find out about new products and stay ahead of the competition.

Encompassing everything from Video Surveillance and Access Control to Smart Home Technologies and Unmanned Security, you’re sure to find products and services that will benefit your company and clients.

To register for the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East, in the Jacob Javits Exhibition Center from 12:00pm – 2:00pm, click on the banner below, or go to https://americansecuritytoday.com/product/awards-luncheon/

Click here to learn more about EDGE.

Also please visit the New DHS S&T Mobilizing Innovation website at https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/SciTechMobilizingInnovation/index.html.