The awards were presented by the eLearning Journal and the Institute for Immersive Learning because the rescue saw simulator from STIHL, when used as a virtual training platform, makes it easier for emergency services such as fire departments or the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) to safely handle and properly use chainsaws and rescue saws. The rescue saw simulator provides a safe virtual environment for rescue workers to practice how best to use the devices in emergency situations, thus enabling them to act competently and save lives when real incidents occur. Marbod Lemke, Head of International Training Services and Product Training at STIHL, says: "Our expanded range of training courses for fire services, THW and other aid organizations is leading the way in this area. By allowing chainsaws and rescue saws to be used in a risk-free and instructive environment, the simulator helps ensure that emergency services are proficient in and prepared for the task at hand. The simulator has the potential to revolutionize learning and training in this industry around the world."

STIHL collaborated with imsimity GmbH when developing this saw simulator, which can also be purchased by other companies as standard content and integrated into their own learning processes. The THW also provided support and input regarding the content of the project. The eLearning Journal's panel of judges was particularly impressed by the project’s potential to save on both costs and resources, and to free training from a reliance on weather conditions, not to mention its cutting-edge training approach. The Institute for Immersive Learning praised the simulator's ability to realistically implement and integrate "real" hardware into a virtual reality learning environment. The judges also commended STIHL for being one of the first companies to launch a virtual reality learning experience.

STIHL Vertriebszentrale AG & Co. KG (64807 Dieburg, Germany)