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The Application of Virtual Reality in Firefighting Training
Immersive simulations such as virtual reality is becoming more prevalent for use in training environments for many professions. United States Air Force firefighters may benefit from incorporating VR technology into their training program to increase organizational commitment, job satisfaction, self-efficacy, and job performance. With implementing a new training platform, it is also important to understand the relationship between these variables and the perceived benefits and efficacy of the VR training, which has not yet been studied in previous research. This study addresses this issue by gathering data from fire departments currently fielding a VR fire training platform. Relationships between several different measures of organization commitment, personality traits, and perceived VR training benefits was studied utilizing bivariate correlations and linear regression models. Results of this study indicated that perceived VR training benefits have a positive relationship with job satisfaction. Self-efficacy was found to have a positive relationship with job satisfaction and job satisfaction had a negative relationship with turnover intentions. Post hoc analysis indicated that leadership-member exchange had a positive relationship with perceptions of VR training benefits, job satisfaction, and self-efficacy. Of the Big Five, conscientiousness and agreeableness had a positive relationship with turnover intentions and neuroticism had a negative relationship with turnover intentions. This research has shown that several factors contribute to the successful implementation of VR training programs, as well as theoretical explanations as to why these relationships exist.
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