MetaMedia Wins two SBIR Grants to Produce First Responder Mobile Learning…

MetaMedia Training International, Inc. has been awarded a pair of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) to develop multimedia training programs for first-responder and miner safety.
“The content of both SBIR projects couldn’t be more timely, in that they address areas of great need to help protect our mine workers, HAZMAT technicians, and first responders,” said MetaMedia Vice President Chris Held. “What’s more, MetaMedia’s use of the latest mobile technology will deliver this information to end-users faster, accurately, and more efficiently that ever before.”

The first grant will fund development of a mLearning application called “HazMatIQ GURU,” which will provide a just-in-time version of HazMatIQ’s internationally renowned “4-Step System” on the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP). This mobile-device training will arm first responders, military personnel, and industrial workers with immediate solutions on how to best respond to hazardous material incidents or weapons of mass destruction events.

Based upon the highly successful HazMatIQ classroom-based curriculum developed by veteran first responders Cris Aguirre and Joe Gorman, the GURU will provide HAZMAT workers with a means for faster hazard risk assessment and identification, appropriate instrumentation, and proper personal protective equipment (PPE) based on a chemical name. It will provide for a unified response and a comprehensive action plan that will save lives while helping to avoid the “information overload” that responders often face when assessing a chemical risk. The mobile devices used will also reach a broader audience, reduce operational costs, and allow 24/7 accessibility for learners.

The second grant, “Lessons Learned from the Sago and Darby Mine Disasters – Proper Use of the Self Contained Self-Rescuers (SCSR)” miner training will identify deficiencies in current curriculum offered; develop an instructional design model and document for future content; and create a program prototype to be tested on platforms including the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) device, DVD, and the Internet.

Recent mining disasters in the U.S. have resulted in widespread fatalities, making the SCSR training project more of a pressing necessity than ever. It will seek to address the lack of adequate training for
miner safety, and examine the use and expectations of SCSR devices through more cost-effective, user-friendly learning technologies.

To date, MetaMedia Training International has won seven SBIR Phase I, Phase II, and Fast Track grant awards from NIEHS.

NIEHS is one of 27 institutes and centers of the National Institutes of Health, a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Institute maintains campuses in Research Triangle Park, NC, and Bethesda, MD, where it uses multidisciplinary biomedical research programs, prevention and intervention efforts, and communication strategies to decrease human illness brought on by environmental factors.

For 25 years, MetaMedia Training International has designed, developed, and delivered performance-based training and communications programs for government agencies, global corporations, and nonprofit organizations. MetaMedia provides state-of-the-art instruction in formats that include eLearning, mLearning, DVD, CD-ROM, and print media. For more information, please call (301) 515-6300 or visit us on the Web at

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