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Fire department to launch virtual-reality training on Aug. 3

MADISON – At a fundraiser on Aug. 3, Madison Fire and Rescue Department will reveal an innovative initiative for training that involves virtual reality.

The fire department has collaborated with Insanity Complex and Chick-fil-A restaurants to launch their new Virtual Reality education platform. The launch party will start at 5 p.m. at Insanity Complex at 100 Skate Park Drive in Madison (at the intersection of Hughes and Mill roads).

Tickets cost $22 and include unlimited roller skating, miniature golf, laser tag and $10 in arcade tokens. In addition, partygoers will enjoy a meal from Chick-fil-A. A portion of proceeds from the event will go directly towards the VR education program.

“After months of planning and production, we want to deliver a new way of teaching fire safety that engages both the children and parents,” Michael Sedlacek said. Sedlacek works as Madison Fire Department’s Captain of Community Relations.

“We are thrilled to officially launch the VR program to our community. As a parent myself, I know kids gravitate towards digital learning. This provides an environment that grabs everyone’s attention, while learning the most important rules of fire safety,” Sedlacek said.

Madison Fire and Rescue Department’s Community Risk Reduction Unit or CRRU is paving the way for safety education in the United States by introducing Virtual Reality as a fire safety tool. The Madison force is one of the first fire departments in the country to do so, he said.

The program steps the user through different scenarios, catering towards their home type (single story, multi-level house, apartment and other dwellings) with a virtual experience that goes far and beyond general video games.

“We appreciate the community partners that have supported this endeavor so far, and we are excited to get feedback from families at this fun event,” Sedlacek said.

Insanity Complex also will host live music and a Karaoke contest during the fundraising fun.

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