VRSim Demonstrates EMS Training Technology


East Hartford-based VRSim, Inc. is using innovative technology to help solve a labor shortage crisis in the emergency medical services field.

The company held a demonstration of new technology to improve training for EMS and first responders during a forum Feb. 23 at the University of Saint Joseph.

VRSim uses virtual reality and artificial intelligence technology to help put trainees in immersive scenarios that they would see in the real world.

The company focuses on training people in skilled trades like painting and welding. 

And they recently moved into the allied health space, working on CNA training for nursing homes and hospitals. 

Solving a Problem

CEO Matthew Wallace said he was approached by former East Hartford mayor Mike Walsh.

“He said ‘You know, first responders have a problem. We have a problem with qualifying people for EMS, and could we do something about it,’” Wallace recalled.

That led VRSim to develop a new training tool designed to reduce costs, improve access, and improve student outcomes. 

“The goal here is like a swing trainer in golf to simply repeat the process until it becomes internalized,” said VRSim CEO Matthew Wallace.

During the demonstration, VRSim used the example of a cardiac arrest, and walked through the steps of what a first responder needs to learn.

The technology also provides feedback, and the sequences can be taught as many times as needed. 

“The goal here is like a swing trainer in golf to simply repeat the process until it becomes internalized and then give them an evaluation,” Wallace said.

Immersive Technology

Wallace also said that the technology also allows them to make the simulation more realistic. 

“You will see more complexity being added such as cognitive impairment, loud people, screaming people in the background, whatever we do to give them a deeper sense of immersion,” he said.

“One of the things that we’ve never really been able to replicate in a classroom or a skills lab setting even with high fidelity mannequins, is that sense of this person could actually die in front of me,” said Trevor Harris, an EMS instructor with Code One Training Solutions. 

“This is the first step in a very long trail to make this accessible, affordable.”


“VR and AR, that immersive nature of it, can actually get your heart rate increased. So there’s that aspect of it, which may help with the transition to the field.”

Wallace said that, so far, they have scenarios that cover the basics of EMS Level One training.

“This is the first step in a very long trail to make this accessible, affordable, and candidly to speak to the audience that we’re aiming for, which is the younger generation who’s comfortable with the world of VR,” he said.

Critical Role

The forum began with a screening of the documentary “Honorable But Broken.” 

The film’s goal is to highlight the critical role of EMS workers and the challenges they face across the country. 

The forum also featured a panel discussion that touched on issues like the workforce shortage and a lack of funding for EMS workers in Connecticut. 

The  Ambulance Service of Manchester’s Melissa Osborne said the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the current shortage of EMS workers.

“We’re into the technology, but we are not the answer.”


“Candidates saw what happened during COVID, they’re scared” she said. “Those who were near retirement said I’m done.”

Last year, Gov. Ned Lamont formed a statewide task force to look for solutions to solving the EMS workforce crisis.

Wallace said he hopes his company can play a role in addressing the issue.

“We’re into the technology, but we are not the answer. These are the people that are the answer,” Wallace said, highlighting EMS workers in the audience.

“We’re trying to give them tools to help them improve their ability to train and have the user’s experience.”


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