Crawl, Walk, Run Theory of Skill Development

The inspiration for this article comes from Situational Awareness Matters member and Fire Chief, Todd Johnson, and the members of the Woodbury Fire Department. I was invited to observe a skills-based training evaluation that was more than a year in the making and involved over 100 practice exercises. The crews were dispatched to a structure […]

Episode 147 | The Need for Skill Rehearsal

  This episode discusses the importance of rehearsal as a means to strengthen team situational awareness. Length: 38 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20147207C20Routines.mp3

Penalties and Discipline Will Not Improve Safety

I read with great interest (and concern) an article recently published about how the San Francisco Fire Department is being fined $21,000 by state investigators for violations to safety laws that led to the deaths of two firefighters on June 2. My concern for this action is not an attempt, in any way, to diminish […]

Will Denial Make the Problem Better or Worse?

I received the following feedback to a recent Situational Awareness Newsletter. I thought I’d share it and use it as an introduction to this article. Here’s what he had to say: __________ I forwarded your newsletter to every one of my email contacts. The newsletter was especially appropriate  for some of the people on my mailing list […]

Episode 81 | Interview with Near-Miss Survivors Tim Kohlbeck and Chase Longmiller

              This episode is an interview with Captain Tim Kohlbeck and Lieutenant Chase Longmiller of the Sheboygan Fire Department. On January 30, 2010, Captain Kohlbeck and Lieutenant Longmiller were conducting a primary search when conditions changed rapidly and they were nearly killed.   Length: 51 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20081207C20Interview20with20near20miss20survivors20Tim20Kohlbeck202620Chase20Longmiller.mp3

Complacency: A Silent Killer of First Responders

Curiosity killed the cat. But it’s not curiosity that is killing firefighters. It’s complacency contributing to flawed situational awareness. What does it mean to be complacent? I could offer you the Webster’s dictionary definition. Instead, I’d like to offer you a definition based on my observations of those who suffer from the affliction. Complacent: To […]

Episode 64: Interview with Close Call Survivor Nick Miller

                    On Christmas Day in 2010 the Valley Fire & Rescue Department responded to a residential dwelling fire that resulted in two close call survivor events. Length: 55 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20064207C20Interview20with20Close20Call20Survivor20Nick20Miller.mp3

Episode 44: Interview with Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette – Part 2

          On July 28, 2011, the Asheville Fire Department was forever changed by the tragic LODD of Captain Jeff Bowen. During this interview, Fire Chief Scott Burnette talks about that fateful day and how the Asheville Fire Department has changed the way they operate. This is part 2 of a 2-part interview. […]

Episode 43: Interview with Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette – Part 1

          On July 28, 2011, the Asheville Fire Department was forever changed by the tragic LODD of Captain Jeff Bowen. During this interview, Fire Chief Scott Burnette talks about that fateful day and how the Asheville Fire Department has changed the way they operate. This is part 1 of a 2-part interview. […]

Training For Failure Will Impact Decision Making and Situational Awareness

During a “Firefighter Safety Mistakes & Best Practices program last night , I was approached at the break by a training officer who shared with me how he was making the very mistakes I was talking about in class. It turns out, he has been training his firefighters to fail. He described my message as […]

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