BreakAway Releases Incident Commander For Emergency Training

BreakAway Games (A Force More Powerful) announced that it has made available the final version of its emergency training and simulation PC title Incident Comman...
BreakAway Games (A Force More Powerful) announced that it has made available the final version of its emergency training and simulation PC title Incident Commander to first responders and emergency personnel nationwide. The serious game will be used to help them train for multi-agency emergency situations, such as Hurricane Katrina disaster. Developed for the Department of Justice by BreakAway, Incident Commander “provides a safe environment for first responders and multi-agency personnel to train, plan, and prepare for emergency and crisis situations,” according to BreakAway Founder and CEO Doug Whatley. The Department of Justice, which invested $350,000 in game's development, will be distributing the simulation to first responders and emergency personnel free of charge. Up to 16 players can train simultaneously on Incident Commander, with users assuming roles as either the commander or members of the operations team. The game simulates various crisis scenarios – including a natural disaster, a school hostage situation, and a terrorism incident – and can be customized with the addition of new locations, buildings, structures, crisis events, and emergency agencies to more accurately portray local community situations. Joseph Barlow, an Adams County, Illinois Emergency Response Team member who was deployed to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and helped set up an 800-bed hospital for citizens displaced by Katrina, noted, “I ended up being the logistics officer for the entire facility. It just so happens that I had spent the week before using Incident Commander in depth.” He added: “The lessons learned by playing the simulation fed directly into the practices of setting up an incident command structure and then operating within that structure.” BreakAway is currently working on a new product which will expand on the capabilities of Incident Commander and enable users to more easily build their own environments and make real-time modifications to in-progress scenarios. It will be commercially available with an expected release date of 2007.

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