Missing puzzle pieces

The formation of situational awareness begins with perception. What you perceive becomes the foundation for understanding. What you understand then becomes the primer for prediction: Perception – Understanding – Prediction. This is how situational awareness is formed. Let’s explore one of the barriers to situational awareness that can occur if you shortcut the size-up process. […]

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 […]

Duty to Die Syndrome

I recently sent out a message across my social media networks (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) about bravado being a barrier to situational awareness. The message, in case you missed it, read: Bravado: The purposeful ignorance of critical signs of danger coupled with a sense of invincibility. A barrier to situational awareness.  First responders sometimes confuse […]

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity – Part 4

  This article continues the series focusing on the seemingly-insane things that some first responders do while operating in high-stress, high-consequence environments. Oftentimes, the individuals trying to make sense of these behaviors are quick to judge those on the sharp of the decision by saying things like: “They weren’t paying attention?” or “How could they […]

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 […]

Mission-induced Blindness

When I talk with first responders about situational awareness and what it takes to develop and maintain it, the program participants often use terms such as: “It’s important to pay attention.” Or, “You have to keep your head on a swivel.” Or, “It helps to look up, down and all around.” All of this is […]

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 […]

Episode 63: SA Q &A Session

                  During SAMatters Tour events there are lots of discussion happening among attendees and some great questions being asked. This episode addresses some of the questions fielded during live events. Length: 27 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20063207C20SA20Q26A20Session.mp3 _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision […]

Fifteen Situational Awareness Barriers

The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is to help you see the bad things coming… in time to change bad outcomes. SA is a complex neurological process and I go to painstaking efforts to ensure that what I teach here, on the podcast and in classrooms is “first responder friendly.” I don’t ever want a […]

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