Fire at Sea
Sydney Ferries needed to make sure that their crew were capable of taking charge of a fire extinguishing team in an emergency. Importantly, crew needed to be prepared for the additional challenges associated with extinguishing a fire at sea in a passenger space.
It is one thing to recite a process, and another altogether to apply the process in a time of high stress, and in full view of paying customers. In this case, Endeavour identified the need to introduce the uncertainty typical of a fire emergency while requiring participants to seek out relevant information and deal with time pressure.
To introduce these human and situational factors, Endeavour proposed an immersive simulation which mimicked the real environment as closely as possible. A smoke machine, real ferry, and acting passengers were used to create a more accurate sense of a fire at sea.
Crew were then required not only to physically demonstrate their understanding of the task and safety procedures, but also practice effective passenger interactions. In one case, crew were required to respond to a passenger suffering from (simulated) smoke inhalation.
Feedback from the immersive simulations was incredibly positive, with participants reporting significantly enhanced levels of confidence in emergency response. This same immersive strategy has since been deployed across other Crew Resource Management training including passengers overboard, flooding, and working in confined spaces.