Global warming, a growing wildland-urban interface and increasing fuel loads combine to create a potential for severe and complex wildland fires threatening lives and properties. French as well as American firefighters and researchers have joined their efforts to find ways to meet the challenge. Launched in May 2007, the France-USA HRO Project focuses on improving Incident Management Teams' performance in complex settings, by drawing on lessons learned from High Reliability Organizations (HROs), and by stepping outside national boxes through an international perspective.
The landmark of the Project consists in the French-American simulation exercises Dec. 8-11, 2008: Two French and American " Elite " Incident Management Teams will conduct 6 wildland fire suppression exercises on the simulation platform developed by France's Civil Security Training School. This event constitutes the first international comparison between top IMTs under the exact same operational conditions: fire start, amount of resources available, objectives, Incident area. The simulations include the following features:
- Cutting edge virtual reality based interactive simulation technology designed for IMT training
- Real media and regular citizens " embedded ", playing their own roles during the exercises
- Biofeedbacks, such as heart coherence real time measure
- Broadcasting live online
- Open Source Research and Training: collected raw data will be available for the world's wildland fire community and HRO/Crisis Management researchers to contribute