Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Ann Barron, Ed. D.

Committee Member

James White, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Cynthia Parshall, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Young, Ed. D.


EVOC, Emergency Vehicle Driving, Driver Training


The number of accidents over the past decade involving emergency vehicles is a major concern for emergency service providers. This study assessed the effectiveness of adding a driving simulator to a traditional training program. Potential relationships with students' learning styles using Gregorc Mind Style Delineator were also examined.

The general research design consisted of a quantitative portion (quasi-experimental) and a qualitative portion (phenomenological). The sample population consisted of Emergency Medical Technician students attending the National EMS Academy in Lafayette, LA. The didactic session was conducted first with 102 participants in attendance. The driving portion was conducted over five days. The group self-scheduled which day they would attend the driving portion of the class. This resulted in 52 participants in the control group and 50 participants in the treatment group. The treatment group used a driving simulator prior to driving on the competency course.

The results indicated that the treatment group took significantly less time to drive through the competency course on the first run (t=3.74, p=0.0003), acquired significantly fewer penalty points on the first run (t=2.41, p=0.0178), and required significantly fewer runs to complete the course (t=3.53, p=0.0006).

Participants with Abstract Random learning styles performed significantly better on a written, knowledge test than those with Abstract Random/Concrete Random learning styles and Abstract Sequential learning styles. When examining the participants' performance on the competency course in relationship to their learning styles, those with a sequential learning style took less total time to drive the competency course on the first run than those with random learning styles. A t-test was significant, t=2.13, p=0.0357.

A simulator improves the individual's ability to drive an ambulance on the required competency course. The use of a driving simulator has potential savings for the emergency service industry and increases the safety of training drivers. In addition, the qualitative portion of the study found all participants had a favorable attitude toward using a simulator to learn to drive an emergency vehicle as part of the training program.