A must-see safety video

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As a great follow-up to the Recipe from Hell’s Kitchen series, I want to recommend you watch this video created by the Chicago Fire Department that depicts the powerful life stories of firefighters who have been injured or killed.

This video should be mandatory viewing for every firefighter, every officer, every command officer and every administrator. I put some discussion questions below the video for you to use if you’re watching it with other members of your department.

At the 8:00 minute mark, listen to Assistant Deputy Fire Commissioner Michael Fox tell you: “They key to all of this is situational awareness.” Amen

Right on, Chief Fox. Situational awareness is the key. And it is the mission of this website: Helping you see the bad things coming in time to change the outcome.



1. What is your department doing to ensure every member stays up to date on training and avoid complacency?

2. What does your department do to create a culture of safety and to recognize and reward members who perform in safe ways?

3. What kind of training have you received to help you develop and maintain all three levels of situational awareness?


The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is simple: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to change the outcome.

Safety begins with SA!


Post your answers to the discussion questions or your comments to this article in the “Leave a Reply” box below.

If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me. I really enjoy getting feedback and supportive messages from fellow first responders. It gives me the energy to work harder for you.


Email: Support@RichGasaway.com
Phone: 612-548-4424
Facebook: www.facebook.com/RichGasaway
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/SAMatters
LinkedIn: Rich Gasaway
Twitter: @RichGasaway
Twitter: @SAMatters
YouTube: RichGasaway1
YouTube: SAMattersTV
iTunes: SAMatters

About Rich Gasaway

Richard B. Gasaway served 33 years on the front lines as a firefighter, EMT-Paramedic and fire chief. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree while studying how individuals, teams and organizations develop and maintain situational awareness and make decisions in high stress, high consequence, time compressed environments. Dr. Gasaway is widely considered to be one of the nation's leading authorities on first responder situational awareness and decision making. His material has been featured and referenced in more than 400 book chapters, research projects, journal articles, podcasts, webinars and videos. His research and passion to improve workplace safety through improved situational awareness is unrivaled. Dr. Gasaway's leadership and safety programs have been presented to more than 42,000 first responders, emergency managers, medical providers, military personnel, aviation employees, industrial workers and business leaders throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
This entry was posted in Accountability, Communications, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Incompetence, Leadership, Physical Fitness, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, size-up, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Stress, Teamwork, Workload Management and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A must-see safety video

  1. luke stotler says:

    Richard, I took your leadership class at the Upper Ohio Valley Fire School two years ago. Thank you for helping me make better decisions on the fireground before making a plan and giving me knowledge to share with fellow firefighters.

    • Rich Gasaway says:

      Thank you, Luke for the feedback and the kind comments. I have presented at the Upper Ohio Valley Fire School for 10+ years and really enjoy the opportunity to give back to the fire service. I hope to see you there in 2012! ~ Rich

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