Smart Responders for Smart Cities: A VR/AR Training Approach for Next Generation First Responders

  • George KoutitasEmail author
  • Scott Smith
  • Grayson Lawrence
  • Keith Noble


Cities are experiencing a phenomenal transformation in terms of data aggregation, management, and adoption of new technologies. The concept of the smart city has now become a real implementation and more cities are looking for new ways to improve their operational efficiencies, usage of data, and in general improve the quality of living. One of the most important areas of implementations of new technologies in modern cities is the training of first responders who hold a vital role for public safety. This book chapter presents a novel augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) training framework that can be used by cities for the training of their EMTs. The main focus of the chapter is to present a specialized use case which is related to the training of EMT of ambulance bus (AmBus) of the city of Austin. It is found that the proposed AR/VR platform helps improve cognitive and physical memory resulting in 40% increase of the training efficiency.


Augmented reality (AR) Virtual reality (VR) AR/VR Emergency response training First responders Learning management system (LMS) Training management system (TMS) Internet of things (IoT) Wearable sensors Immersive training Data analytics Spatial mapping Design thinking User experience (UX) Situational awareness 



The team would like to thank Commander Noble from Austin/Travis county EMS and our contacts at the City of Austin: Marbenn Cayetano and Dr. Ted Lehr; for without their help, this project would not be possible. We would like to also acknowledge the important feedback and research of the faculty team and researchers Dr. Vangelis Metsis and Dr. Mark Trahan. Finally we would like to thank the student team: Clayton Stamper, Jose Banuelos, James Bellian, Dante Cash, Elija Gaytan, Victoria Humphrey, Shivesh Jadon, Chloe Kjosa, Lorena Martinez, Samantha Roberts, Kayla Roebuck, Chaitanya Vyas, and Shashwat Vyas for their hard work and dedication.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Koutitas
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott Smith
    • 2
  • Grayson Lawrence
    • 3
  • Keith Noble
    • 4
  1. 1.Ingram School of EngineeringTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  2. 2.Augmented Training Systems Inc.AustinUSA
  3. 3.Department of DesignTexas State UniversitySan MarcosUSA
  4. 4.Austin – Travis County Emergency Medical ServicesAustinUSA

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