The Role of Emotions in Decision Making

It is a widely held belief that the best decisions are made without the interference of emotions. Economists and statisticians alike stand fast to this belief – the best decisions are made using pure logic. Facts and formulas lead to the most rational decisions. But do they?[tweet this] Imagine for a moment if the emotional […]

The “Minor” Mayday

Is there such a thing? A “Minor” Mayday. [tweet this] A crew operating in an IDLH environment suddenly find themselves in a tough spot because _____ (you insert the reason). The crew leader’s situational awareness is, at least at that moment, strong as he or she immediately realizes the potential gravity of the situation and […]

Radio Discipline

A frequent contributing factor in firefighter casualty incidents is too much radio traffic. This can have a significant impact on first responder situational awareness because it becomes near impossible to take in, process, comprehend and remember the volumes of information being transmitted over the radio when communication is not disciplined. This article explores some of […]

Situational Awareness and Accountability

Not long ago,  I was provided with the opportunity to present a webinar for Firehouse. The webinar was sponsored by Scott Safety. The program addressed the situational awareness/accountability connection. Thank you to Firehouse and Scott Safety for the opportunity to discuss this important topic.    

Enhancing the OODA Loop

Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) The OODA loop stands for Observe -> Orient -> Decide -> Act. And as the term loop indicates, the process is continual. The OODA model was developed by John Boyd, a military strategist and applied to fighter jet operations. Boyd developed the OODA loop model while serving as a fighter pilot in the […]

Episode 16: The impact of fatigue on situational awareness

  Available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio! (Click the icon below or search SAMatters Radio)       __________________________________________________________________ Episode 16: The impact of fatigue on situational awareness Length: 20 minutes Back in episode 7 I answered a listener question about the impact of fatigue on situational awareness. I promised in that episode that I […]

Episode 15: Radio Communications Can Impact Situational Awareness

  Available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio! (Click the icon below or search SAMatters Radio)       __________________________________________________________________ Episode 15: Radio Communications Can Impact Situational Awareness Length: 18 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM_015__Radio_Traffic_Can_Impact_Situational_Awareness.mp3  

Five Situational Awareness Lessons from SFFD LODD

On June 2, 2011, the San Francisco Fire Department suffered the tragic loss of 2 firefighters at 133 Berkeley Way. The department conducted an internal review of the incident and issued a 156-page report on their findings. Many of the lessons relate to situational awareness and it is from that perspective that I would like […]

Commanders in Turnout Gear

I have just read with great interest a very long thread on Facebook about whether or not an incident commander should wear turnout gear at a fire scene. As my focus and passion is improving first responder situational awareness, I would like to address this issue from that perspective. The feedback on Facebook was, as […]

SA Matters to the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority

Thank you to Battalion Chief Rick Davis from the Loveland Fire Rescue Authority for sharing this article he wrote for Situational Awareness Matters. I had an opportunity to deliver a situational awareness program in Loveland for the North Range fire departments. When it comes to understanding the importance of firefighter situational awareness, Loveland Fire Rescue […]

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