Confabulation: It sounds better than lying

Confabulation may sound better than lying, but it’s no less dangerous. One of the most amazing demonstrations I do during my situational awareness programs is to show how a person, when placed under stress, will lie. Only in science, we don’t call it lying, we call it confabulation. You won’t do it on purpose but […]

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 […]

3 Size-up Mistakes

I recently read an article that was talking about the process for sizing up a situation before making a decision. For clarification purposes, this was an article in a business journal, not a public safety journal. This got me thinking about size-up mistakes made on the fire ground. The author noted that the best decisions […]

Shared Situational Awareness

Shared situational awareness simply means two or more people have a commonly understood mental model – a mental image of what’s happening… [tweet this] and what is going to happen in the future. When responders arrive at the scene of an emergency at different times (which is common), there is a risk that each person […]

A Walking PAR Can Improve Situational Awareness

Personnel Accountability Reports (PARs) are essential to helping commanders develop and maintain situational awareness. A quality PAR dials the commander into every crew’s size, their location and their progress. But the standard PAR has a fundamental flaw that can adversely impact the commander’s situational awareness. Here’s how…

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.    

Five best practices for managing the mental workload

The research I have conducted on the neuroscience of situational awareness and high-risk decision making has been fascinating and extremely enlightening to me. Over the past 9 years, it has been very rewarding to take the lessons of research and apply them for the benefit of first responders. For those who have attended one of […]

Episode 61: Begin with the end in mind: A situational awareness best practice

              One of the essential components of well-developed situational awareness is being able to accurately predict the future. This prediction should be made during the initial scene size up and then it should be updated often as the incident progresses. In this episode we discuss the need to begin with […]

Seven situational awareness thieves

Recently I had a video clip shared with me of a residential dwelling fire. The video captures a flashover event. It was reported to me that firefighters were operating inside the structure when it occurred. As I watched the video progress, it was apparent interior conditions were getting worse, the color of the smoke was […]

Begin With The End In Mind

One of the essential components of well-developed situational awareness is being able to accurately predict the future. This prediction should be made during the initial scene size up and then it should be updated often as the incident progresses. In this segment, the need to begin with the end in mind will be explored and […]

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