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Audiologic and CIS Provide Real AV for Virtual World of XVR Training

UK – The effective training of fire and rescue service personnel is of the utmost importance and in the UK, fire services constantly strive to improve methods, to ensure that they can make the greatest possible contribution to the safety of the communities in which they operate. Innovations such as XVR's virtual reality simulation technology platform (a by-product of gaming industry software) which assists in the training of safety professionals involved in crisis management and emergency response, are becoming essential tools. Incident commanders and operational groups can be provided with realistic computer-generated training experiences, which, when used in conjunction with well-designed AV systems, are of exceptional value. Based in Delft in The Netherlands, XVR Simulation is Europe's market leader in simulation software and has teams working in France and the UK.

When Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service was in the process of creating XVR training rooms at Droitwich fire station, they invited integrators County Infrastructure Services (CIS TECH) with whom they already had an excellent relationship, to discuss AV provision for the installation. A number of first floor offices were converted into training pods for firefighters and CIS installed the necessary equipment for an analogue surveillance system that kept within a strict budget. During the course of the project, Andy Lewis of Audiologic advised CIS with regard to elements of the audio provision and supplied some of the component products. Hereford and Worcester were delighted with the install and won an award for training excellence but the process highlighted to Nick Evans of CIS that moving towards an IP based surveillance and digital audio system would significantly improve any future XVR solutions.

Following the success of the project, CIS was recommended by Hereford and Worcester to other county fire services and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service made contact to discuss its ideas for uprating the XVR system at its Telford training and development centre. The centre is widely regarded as a beacon of training excellence and wished to enhance its facilities with professional high quality AV equipment that incorporated network and surveillance components to achieve a fully integrated solution.

Having drawn conclusions about how the delivery of XVR could be improved, CIS brought onboard Audiologic from the outset. Having supplied certain elements for the Droitwich project, sales and marketing manager, Andy Lewis, was already familiar with the operation of XVR and in consultation with CIS and station manager Carl Franks, Andy Lewis and technical support engineer Max Yanakiev designed a new digital/IP based system that operated between the control pod, from which two commanders monitor onscreen the simulated action and two separate Incident Pods.

The beauty of the solution lay in carefully selecting and combining products from across Audiologic's range to create a very neat and highly effective system that achieved its aims cost effectively and with great efficiency. As well as all cables, racks, amplifiers and speakers, Audiologic supplied DSP by Ecler (MIMO 88 RS232) and wireless microphones and in-ear monitoring by Shure (QLXD 14/153 and PSM 900 respectively) and provided CIS-AV with a detailed schematic to work to.

Nick Evans of CIS offered this view: "XVR really is a game-changer in training terms. It's a valuable, cost-effective way way of immersing trainees in incredibly realistic scenarios that challenge and develop decision-making and communication. Used in conjunction with high quality professional AV equipment, the results are fantastic. Consulting with Audiologic on the AV provision for the Shropshire project was of great benefit. The schematic that they produced was excellent and their collaboration at every stage helped to deliver the project on time. This system very much takes the XVR experience to the next level and we have recently worked with Audiologic on our third project of this kind. It is clear that our partnership in this area is paying dividends, we've received considerable interest in similar schemes and look forward to working with Audiologic on many more."

Andy Lewis, sales and marketing manager at Audiologic added: "We have an excellent relationship with our valued customer CIS and the installation at Telford is a great illustration of how good consultation and careful system design achieves great results. We worked closely with CIS and the station manager to make sure the system fulfilled the precise requirements of the brief and it's clear from the positive reaction to the finished project that it's been a great success."

10th August 2017

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