Simulation-based training is a promising instructional approach for training military and civilian first responders. In addition to training in relevant taskwork skills, there is increasing need for first responder training in cognitively-based skills such as situation assessment and decision making. The First Responder Simulation Training (FIRST) program trains cognitive skills using complex and degraded situations. The program is comprised of five detailed scenarios, evaluation instruments, debriefing guidelines for each scenario, a multimedia tutorial that explains how to use the evaluation and debriefing instruments, and a detailed scenario guide for administering the scenarios. We conducted an evaluation of the FIRST program to assess its training utility and usability. The program was well-received by both instructors and participants. Instructors noted the importance of training cognitive skills and found the instructor materials valuable for teaching them how to administer a simulation-based training program. Participants found the scenarios realistic and challenging, and noted that such simulation-based training would be a valuable supplement to medic curricula.
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