While participating in the above-ground portion of a cave rescue seminar, Dave Jackson found himself crawling through a haphazard jumble of picnic tables and flagging tape as he and other would-be rescuers moved their "patient" through a pretend cave of colorful obstacles. Some seminar participants merely moved the flagging tape formations out of the way -- not an option in a real cave rescue. During the underground portion of the training, more damage than necessary was done to the real cave because of the inexperience of some of the participants. "There's got to be a better way," thought Dave. "Rescuers in training need practice in an environment that realistically simulates the challenges of rescuing someone from a cave before they go underground." Thus began his work on CaveSim, a crawl-through electronic cave simulator, a mix of cave art and engineering.
Today CaveSim is a reality -- we've had over 10000 people crawl through. Everyone from rescue personnel in training to beginning cavers who have never been underground have practiced caving safely and carefully before going underground. The mobile version of CaveSim has 60 feet of "passage" to explore, decorated with artful reproductions of real cave formations. Each formation is electronically sensed to count the number of times it gets hit by cavers. This information is saved in a central computer, and cavers can compare their scores and times. In a real cave setting, hitting a formation is never a good idea. Some are delicate and break easily. Others are sharp and strong enough to injure you or a patient being rescued or carried out in a stretcher.
At CaveSim, our goal is to promote safe and fun caving practices for people of all ages and ability levels. If we can help by bringing a cave to you, or by building your custom cave, contact Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cave Safely, Cave Softly, CaveSim