Episode 94 | Information Overload

          This episode explores the capacity of the human brain to process sensory stimuli into short-term memory and the impact it can have on situational awareness.   Length: 37 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20094207C20Information20Overload.mp3 _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out […]

Understanding Stress – Part 7: Information Overload

Welcome to Part 7 of my series on stress and its impact on first responder situational awareness. I appreciate all the very nice comments I have received by email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Keep them coming. Your messages inspire and motivate me more than you can ever imagine. Thank you so much! In the previous […]

Communications Overload Impacts Situational Awareness

In reading casualty reports you will often see issues related to communications as a contributing factor. Miscommunications, lack of communications or too much radio traffic (to include overloaded radio channels) are often cited. It is the last of these issues I want to address. There is an inherent cognitive consequence from too much communications that […]

Situational Awareness Starts with the Size-Up

During my fireground situational awareness classes we talk about the process for making high-stress, high consequence decisions. The first step in this process is performing a rapid size up. When I ask participants how long they take to size up a single-family residential dwelling fire with no exposures, the answer I get ranges from 10 […]

Episode 110 | Live Events Q&A

          In this episode I share some of the more commonly asked questions that come up during live Situational Awareness events. Length: 51 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20110207C20Live20Events20Q26A.mp3 _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out the Situational Awareness Matters Online Academy. […]

You Can’t Handle the Truth!

If you have attended one of my new Mental Management of Emergencies programs you have learned how stress is a game-changer when it comes to firefighter situational awareness and decision making quality. Most basic training programs focus on developing cognitive knowledge and physical skills. Far less address the impact of stress on situational awareness and […]

19 Ways Communications Barriers Can Impact Situational Awareness

If you are a student of near-miss and casualty reports then you know, without a doubt, that flawed communications is a major contributing factor when things go wrong and flawed communications is often a factor when the quality of situational awareness erodes. In fact, flawed communications was the second most frequently cited barrier to flawed […]

Mobile Data Computers and Situational Awareness

I am seeing an increase in the use of mobile data computers as a tool used by incident commanders. Commanders are using computers to capture and manage information, aid in decision making and in some cases as a tool in the development of situational awareness . On the surface, it would appear that situational awareness […]

Mobile Data Computers and Situational Awareness

I am seeing an increase in the use of mobile data computers as a tool used by incident commanders. Commanders are using computers to capture and manage information, aid in decision making and in some cases as a tool in the development of situational awareness . On the surface, it would appear that situational awareness […]

Situational Intelligence – The new buzz word

I am just back from attending a fire conference where the vendors of information management software have coined a new buzzword to sell their wares – “situational intelligence.” A couple of years ago I had a conversation with a software vendor who claimed his software “created” situational awareness. I found this claim both annoying and […]

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