Training: Virtual or In-person? That’s the question!
The Blue Cell has a unique perspective on this question. Having been in the training and exercise business for 13 years, we now offer both virtual and in-person services with a full range of training and exercise services:
- Virtual ICS300, ICS400, and G-series courses
- Traditional In-person Training Services
- Virtual Exercise Facilitation
- Traditional Exercise Services
- Blue Cell Exercise Packages – off-the-shelf HSEEP compliant TTX/Drill packages
- All New ICS Positions & Features Learning Program – blended asynchronous curriculum
Back to the question, virtual or in-person? Certainly in-person interaction is great, but to deliver that same level of human interaction virtually is difficult. We continually work with our instructors on the latest adult education techniques and by virtue of them delivering several courses every month, they are experts in drawing the students into the curriculum. However, there are advantages to both.
Cost - virtual courses are by far more cost effective. A seat in a virtual 3-day course might cost a couple hundred dollars. But the same 3-day course in-person is actually 3x the cost of the virtual course. Once you add in transportation/fuel, hotel, meal per diem, and misc. expenses. However, many have grown accustomed to the simulation of an in-person course being free, in reality it’s still being paid for, just maybe out of a grant.
Convenience - virtual courses enable students to participate from anywhere; office, station, home,… They are not taken out of the field, so in a pinch they can jump right into their duties and reschedule their course. In-person courses hinder a students’ availability for regular duties, but the obvious advantage is they can strictly focus on the material being presented.
Lastly, COVID - it’s changed all our lives. In-person training is picking up again, just this week we have instructors across multiple States delivering in-person training (following prevailing health protocols), yet many Training Officers from both private sector and government alike have stated that many of their staff are requesting a virtual option for training.
Where do you stand?
The Blue Cell’s ITC
About The Blue Cell, LLC
In 2019 The Blue Cell opened the Interactive Training Center (ITC) located at the Southlands Entertainment District in the Denver metro area. The facility was built to deliver in-person and broadcast virtual training and exercises. In 2020, due to COVID-19 we accelerated the move to the virtual environment.
To date, The Blue Cell has trained over 2,000 students virtually and several thousand more in-person all around the country. Participants in The Blue Cell virtual courses have included students from the United States, Canada, UK, and IAEM members from around the globe. Additionally we have trained students from FEMA, U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency, NOAA, Bureau of Land Management, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, Civil Air Patrol, National Park Service, U.S. Department of Agricultural, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife, Department of the Interior, Chemical Stockpile Emergency Preparedness Program, DOD, and the military. As well as several team members from NGOs Team Rubicon, BCSF Health & Human Services, and the Red Cross, as well as numerous private sector companies.
Jim Erickson has been working with the Public Safety and Emergency Management industries for 13 years providing hi-speed mass communication services, content and training management solutions, and disaster planning and damage assessment systems.Prior to entering the Public Safety and Emergency Management markets, Jim spent 20 years selling enterprise and government products and services with Moore North America, Rosetta Technologies, and Xerox Corporation.
Jim was born and raised in Southern California and relocated to Colorado with his wife, Ann, in 2000. They have four sons, whom Jim has helped mentor through The Boy Scouts of America program, as well as many other young men, having served as Scoutmaster, Committee Chairman, and Outdoor Program Advisor. In addition to enjoying all the outdoor activities the Scouts has to offer, Jim enjoys off-roading in his Jeep and home-brewing. E mergency Managers, FEMA, G-FEMA,, L-Courses, FEMA Training, Firefighters, Training, G191 Courses, G2300 Courses, ICS300, ICS400, Online ICS400, Online ICS300, Virtual ICS300, Virtual ICS400, Online G2300, Online G191, Self Paced LMS, Virtual G191, Virtual G2300, Emergency and Disaster Management Training, Wildland firefighters , Law Enforcement, Governmental Agencies, position specific, 900 series, AHIMTA, incident commander, PIO, public information officer, safety officer, liaison officer, operations section chief, planning section chief, logistic section chief, finance section chief, ICS, Incident Command System, NIMS , National Incident Management System, Fire, EMS, Hospital, Sheriff, Police, Public Health, Public Works, HICS, DOT, Agriculture, EMA, certificate, qualification, taskbook, NIMS training, NIMS certification, FEMA training, FEMA certification, ICS training, ICS certification, ICS300 certification, ICS400 certification