Here are some samples of the wonderful feedback I have received from those who have attended a program, read my books and articles, visited my website, watched my videos, listened to my podcasts, or participated in a webinar.
Thank you so much to those who take the time to send me your comments and completed course evaluations. It is very uplifting and I sincerely appreciate all your kind comments.
Feedback from attendees of the Pierce County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Conference following the eight-hour Mental Management of Emergencies program.
I now have a much better understanding of the neuroscience of situational awareness and decision making. I am better prepared to manage the barriers to effective situational awareness.
I gained a wealth of information.
I’m not even out of the academy yet and I couldn’t help by continually think to myself: “Why on earth isn’t this a mandatory training for ALL new emergency services recruits?!”
This information is LIFE SAVING. Specifically, the two things that stuck out the most to me were: 4 Things to Think while going to/arriving at a working structure fire & the 3 Levels of S.A. In fact, I’ve already shared my notes with others.
Rich has a special way of getting his message across, a way of allowing us to put ourselves in a position that we might see where our particular flaws might lie.
Dr. Gasaway is an outstanding speaker. He has given me a better insight on how to deal with stressful situations and included a good outline of what steps I need to take.
This program provided the knowledge and understanding of the process by which all first responders make decisions, and more importantly – he provided me with knowledge and understanding of the barriers that inhibits my decision making as a responder .
I have a much better understanding of what Situational Awareness is. Situational awareness has been a fire service buzz word for the last few years, but no one has ever really been able to explain to me what it is.
I liked how Dr. Gasaway taught us how the brain reacts to stress and other stimulus and what happens when we reach the point of information overload.
I learned I really need to be aware of the whole picture at an emergency scene.
I now understand how the brain can help (and even hinder) my awareness. I learned how to be more alert in my surroundings and how to be more aware of risks and dangers on the horizon so I can better avoid or eliminate tragic events.
As a Chaplain I have not had the opportunity to respond to a fire call yet. I now better understand what happens at fire scenes. But this information about situational awareness is SO transferrable to other situations in life especially in my primary role as licensed counselor.
Dr. Gasaway had the ability to explain brain function (like why it can play tricks on me and why I can see inaccurate information) in a manner that was very easy to understand.
I learned that situational awareness can be improved with experience and it’s very important to possess on calls because it lowers the chances of being injured or killed.
I’m a mother of two and can’t imagine leaving my children and husband behind because of bad decision making on my part. I feel this class gave me tools to be a better and safer firefighter. I feel the examples of training under stress provided somthing I cal bring back to my training staff. Thank you for your time.
I learned I could become blind on the emergency scene and that its normal (but very dangerous) and that something right in front of my face could be missed. Also, the effects of stress and flawed situational awareness covered by Dr. Gasaway, apply to not only emergency responders but also can be applied to decisions by normal everyday people during life’s other stressful experiences.
Dr. Gasaway provided great leadership and scene situational awareness pointers. I have been sharing his “Who’s flying your incident plane” analogy with my operational staff. It hits very close to home for our leadership.
I gained valuable insight regarding managing crisis under pressure, the way brain function can interfere with my situational awareness and the importance of complete training that follows through the training cycle.
I now have a much better understanding of how we can either fail or succeed in both decision making and recognizing a problem or danger. I have a better understanding of how my mind processes information and can be tricked by itself or my own past or my lack of experience. It has made me understand more about why I have made some of the decisions I have made in the past. The class definitely made me want to learn more.
This was a great presentation. It was very relevant to all aspects of emergency response and at all levels but especially for command personnel who must manage, command and control dynamically changing situations.
The realism in Dr.Gasaway’s voice combined with the activities he conducted, the multiple stories he shared, the analysis of situations, the videos and all of the great insider information pertaining to neuroscience was mind- blowing!
It was a perfect blend of exciting, fascinating and realistic that kept me totally engaged the whole time.
Each time a take one of his classes I walk away feeling a little more confident about dealing with an emergency. I learn new things and reinforce previous lessons so I always look forward to your class schedule.
This seminar was probably the most informative class/seminar/conference I have attended in 27 years of being a firefighting!!
WOW! What an eye opener class. You sure know how to make a fella feel like he has been careless and reckless for 19 years, both in the volunteer and career capacity. I actually thought I was pretty good at my job until you scientifically proved me wrong… Thank you, I see now what I don’t or didn’t see.
I would have loved to work for you while at the fire chief rank – problem is, it would be a waste of talent for you to be a fire chief. You have a gift as a speaker, researcher, and an educator. PLEASE continue to preach your lesson as you have been doing. In six hours I set in a chair and listened to you like it was twenty minutes. Talk about situational awareness – time lapse!
I told you it should literally be illegal for anyone to ride a fire truck until they have listened to you and I meant it. If you are within 100 miles of any firefighter and they don’t take the opportunity to listen, they are jeopardizing their crew, crippling themselves, and doing an injustice to the fire service and the public they protect.
This is how much I appreciate the hard work you have done, your research, and your willingness to promote your knowledge.
Carrboro Fire Rescue
“I’m reading Rich Gasaway’s book Situation Awareness Matters Volume one at the ambulance station. If it only had the quotes (used to anchor the points of each lesson) it would still be a great read.
Incompetence without consequence builds confidence. Who hasn’t met that guy?
You cannot train too hard for a job that can kill you.
“Good Morning, Rich.
I just read your article on Aggressiveness and Situational Awareness. My only comment is RIGHT ON! This one will be required reading for all of our officers and will be discussed at upcoming training sessions with all of our folks.
We are gaining success at changing our culture from an “always a green light for offensive interior attack unless a red light stops me” to “always a red light for interior offensive attack until the situational analysis gives me green lights”. It is a subtle change but so important with the changes in building construction and fuel loads.
Your website is EXCELLENT. Thanks so much!”
Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
“Greetings Chief Gasaway,
I hope this finds you well after all your travels (which I am sure are not over). I wanted to bring you up to date on some items from your visit here.
The representative from our insurance carrier liked the presentation a lot. I think she is figuring out how to best present the information to a large, diversified group.
My people loved the day—they can’t stop talking about it or repeating certain quotes.
My Fire Commissioner couldn’t speak highly enough. He waited to bring it up at the commissioner’s meeting last week. He was blown away with the information and how easy it was to understand. He also gave me a big pat on the back “because it fits in exactly with what the Chief has been talking about—culture change.” He thought it was spot on for what I am trying to accomplish here.
The high school students loved it. They couldn’t stop talking about it at the meeting on the following Tuesday. Even on the way home they kept talking about—and mostly about how it affects them with studying and sports practicing.
Again, I thank you for coming out to our little corner of the world. I would also like to say thanks again for sharing your story with me over dinner—it capped off a great day of learning for me.
Here is a link to our weekly paper: http://www.lakespokaneoutpost.com/story/2013/02/27/community/fire-district-hosts-national-speaker/4869.html
I posted on our Facebook page as well and it quickly became our most-viewed posting.
If there is ever anything I can do for you—let me know. I am sure I will see you around this year.
Stevens County Fire Protection District #1
Stevens County, Washington
Feedback from attendees of the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute’s prestigious National Fire Service Staff and Command Program following my four-hour program on Mental Management of Emergencies.
Great job! Always a pleasure to learn from Dr. Gasaway.
Awesome. Very Passionate. Great Class. Very informative. Gained a lot of knowledge.
Very informative! I left with may things to ponder in my organization.
Outstanding presentation. Appreciate the zeal and enthusiasm for the topic and the fire service in general.
Outstanding presentation. This program was of great value to me.
He was enjoyable to listen to. He was very passionate about his work and kept you involved in the presentation.
Great instructor! I’ve seen him a couple of times and he’s always good. A lot of energy.
Dr. Gasaway did a great job. I took away that a judging mind is not a learning mind.
Great presentation! Very energetic. Presented new ideas on training – new perspective.
“Most outstanding fire service class I have ever had as an officer.”
“This guy is awesome! You should consider giving him eight hours. Good, good stuff.”
“It was incredible!“
“This guy rocks!“
“Off the chart. Rich did a great job! This should have been a full day program.”
“Most impacting lecture. This topic could cover a whole day.”
“Top notch. Fascinating topic. Thoroughly enjoyed and learned a lot. Recommend!”
“Dr. Gasaway presented a topic that was extremely interesting and might be a root cause to a lot of our problems. As with some other programs this could have been given more time as I think a lot of the students were highly interested in learning more about the mental component of our profession. This was the best presentation and topic this week.”
“Great passion for subject.”
“Excellent! Fantastic presentation. I will certainly recommend this program to others.”
“Outstanding presentation. Excellent use of visual aids.”
“Great presentation. Very informative. Very passionate. Very useful & will use immediately.”
“Class was very engaged. Best program so far!“
“Rich could use a whole day. Excellent material and presentation.”
“Good student interactions.”
“Excellent presentation. Best lecture so far!“
“Excellent presentation & material. One of my top 3 classes.“
“Good class. Great job.”
“So far the best speaker for ‘take home’ material I can easily share with my co-workers. He should be a full day class in the future.”
“Highly recommend. I will use his approach for decision making. Great speaker.”
“One of two best presentations of the conference. Needs a full day to cover material like it needs to be.”
“Excellent – would like to have a full day class of this instructor.”
“Great group activities and well-needed topic.”
“This is the third time I have heard Rich speak and I hope it won’t be the last. He instructs/teaches from the heart and his passion on the topic shows.”
“He is very inspirational and his passion is intoxicating. I thank him for sharing his wisdom with all of us here today.”
“Would have liked a full day program from Rich. The presentation for the first time for me, explained using science based data, fire ground habits and some personal IC failures. It is also framed so it can be brought back to my department and begin to address why we, fire service, act in caveman like cultures and why we need repetitive training to support conditioned responses.”
“Dr. Gasaway was outstanding! This information presented was not only pertinent, but it was presented in such a way that it was easily understood – and can easily re-delivered to members of my department. His presentation contained “must know” information for every fire ground commander, officer, crew leader, and supervisor charged with the responsibility of making decisions on emergency scenes.”
“I really enjoyed listening to Dr. Gasaway. He did a very good job of relating the information to me.”
“Absolutely awesome!! Could have listened to all day.”
“Great instructor and materials matter. Thank you.”
“Very good interaction.”
“Awesome program. Great instructor!”
“Awesome. Very touching and got my attention.”
“Powerful and very insightful.”
“Very helpful in understanding the thought process of decision making.”
“Chief Gasaway, I would like to thank you for your presentation at the SD Fire Chiefs’ Conference. It was informative and made you stop and reconsider some of our training scenarios that we currently utilize. Thank You!”
Brookings Fire Department
New Albany Fire Department
“Rich, I am so grateful that you came to our department with your message. I am also thankful that you took the time to sit down with me Friday morning. I took a lot away from that conversation.
Hopefully we can get you back down here, perhaps for the situational awareness presentation. Please keep me updated on when and where you are conducting those programs. I would be willing to drive a long way to attend one of your program and I know several who would tag along. Stay safe in your travels. Take care!”
New Albany Fire Department
Clarksville Fire Dept.
“Chief Gasaway, I love your passion and commitment to improving Firefighter safety. THANK YOU!! See you in June in Beautiful Richmond BC!!”
Deputy Fire Chief
Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue
“Rich, Thank you! I was in your class in Hillsboro Oregon about this time last year, and here a few weeks ago I did forward your website to all of our crews in the hopes that they will read it regularly on their own and that the shift leadership will use it for training ideas. Great work!“
Fire and Life Safety Division Chief & Public Information Officer
Forest Grove Fire & Rescue
“Rich, I took several classes from you last year at the Utah Winter Fire School. They were… in a word… “incredible”. It’s kind of funny how I ended up in your class, all of the ones that I wanted were full. My thought was, I hope I am not wasting my time with another class that could be mediocre in content and teaching ability (of course few classes are since I learn things even from those that don’t seem very good).
Instead it was an eyeopening class and ever since that day I have become a “nurohalic” reading several books (over 15 this year) on the brain and how it operates. This new approach has given me a new way to look at accidents in the wildland fire environment and on scene command decision making which has answered many questions.
This year I will be taking another class but will stop by and say hello. I also had the chance to read your two books that I purchased “On Fire About Leadership” and “Fireground Command Decision Making” they are simple to understand and make good points. I will be purchasing some more of your DVDs, books and audio training I would like to establish a library of fire knowledge in electronic form at my workplace.
The one thing that I liked about your books was the importance of maintaining a level of physical fitness and the role it plays in decision making and overall wellness. I have been a student of Sholin Kung Fu for over 30 years those folks knew the link between body and brain wellness and have known them for thousands of years hence yin and yang and the balance between body and brain.
I could take lots of your time talking about the brain and how it works but I am a lousy typest and I am sure that you have heard it all before. I have tried to convince those who work with me to have you as a guest speaker but have had only minor success at convincing management but I will keep trying. Meanwhile keep up the good work and keep opening up minds to understanding the brain and how it works. I look forward to seeing you this January.”
“Rich, I wanted to express my appreciation for the work you have put into improving the fire service. Our training program was partially influenced by your research findings. We enjoy sharing what has worked for us and welcome your thoughts. Stay Safe!”
Woodbury Fire Department
“Chief Gasaway, I just wanted to thank you for the hard work you are doing for us. The information is invaluable to all fire departments and I know we will be able to use the information we received last night in our department, from the newest rookie to us chiefs. It is good to see that we are doing some things right and like you said, we just need to make some tweaks to what we are doing to keep the “close calls” from being part of our “normal” way of doing things.
From Wyoming Fire… Thank you. It was the best 3 hours I could have spent last night. My week was very busy and I was almost not going to come. I am very glad I did. God bless you and your family. Thanks for taking time from them to be there for us.”
Wyoming fire department
“I just finished ON FIRE ABOUT LEADERSHIP. It is a FANTASTIC book for anybody in the fire service! I would describe it as a blueprint for a better firefighter and better fire department. I look forward to your next book. If you get a chance to hear Dr. Gasaway speak or take one of his classes…run, don’t walk! Dr. Rich ‘gets it’ when it comes to the fire service.”
New Albany Fire Department
“Dr. Gasaway, Thank you!! We just had a class using your DVD set and it was a huge success! Thank you for all that you do!”
Development & Training Specialist
AMR Alameda County
“Chief Gasaway, Thank you for your hard work and dedication to keep us alive and safe. As more and more gets put on our plates it’s easy to take shortcuts and let safety slide and not intentionally. We say a Prayer every night that we will always send them home safe, so thanks for helping and driving this. You truly are a great example for who and what we as firefighters stand for. May you always have the energy for this cause! Thanks Again.”
Linwood Fire Department
“Good afternoon Dr Gasaway, I am writing you today to say THANK YOU for what you did for me. I have been in the service for 15 years now and grew up around the fire service since I was 3. My father was a Past Chief of Sea Breeze also. He passed away when I was 16 and I have always wanted to follow in his footsteps. With a lot of hard work I made it there.
This scholarship gave me the great opportunity to look at many things in different ways. All of the knowledge that I learned in the short time I was there will come into play within the way I run my department moving forward. Again I cannot thank you enough for paying it forward to emerging leaders, I have done the same with helping smaller rural departments with equipment we can no longer use ourselves. You should be very proud of what you do and I will be talking to you in the near future for classes in our local area, would love to have you come speak in our town. Firematically yours and very gracious,”
Sea Breeze Fire Department
Lexington County Fire Service
“Chief Gasaway, Great information! Gee, that’s simply a cheap way to describe your topic and content. I enjoyed it and I believe wise municipal’s that realize shortcomings will seek your knowledge and be able to apply improved processes/practices. I look forward to talking more soon.”
George O. Gonzalez
Captain II, EMS Supervisor
Fox Mill Fire and Rescue Station #31 BAT 1-A
“Rich, I wanted to take a minute to say thank you for the time you spent with us at the National Fire Academy. I remember first hearing you present a situation awareness class at the CFAI Excellence Conference and I can say your classes have always been very good and I look forward to sitting in one of your sessions again in the future. Thanks again.”
WF/RS Training Division
Wilson, North Carolina
“Rich, Thanks for such a quick response regarding the information at the Firehouse Expo. I enjoyed the class and appreciate your willingness to share your thoughts and ideas. Take care.”
Daniel M. Curia
City of Durham Fire Department
“Chief Gasaway, It was a pleasure getting the opportunity to sit through your class and helping you become a greater actor. I also appreciate your son and your service. It is a wonderful feeling getting a thank you from people. I served 2 tours over seas as a special ops medic. It was fun and very exciting but something I would rather not do anymore. Again thank you and see you in the future I hope.”
“Chief, I wanted to update that I have downloaded some of your info and am looking forward to educating our crews with your message. Thanks for the presentations at the Fire Chiefs Association of British Columbia Conference. You instilled some better habits into my thought processes as we move forward in our organization.”
Northern Rockies Fire Rescue Service
Rapid City Fire Department
“Hi Rich, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for providing your presentation to our department. I thoroughly enjoyed your sessions that I attended at the recent Fire Chiefs’ Conference. Your style of lecturing was both entertaining and informative while driving home the very important lessons. I was made to ponder and think hard about many of the situations and points you brought forward. I have attached two scanned order forms for your book and DVD series. Once again thank you and I too hope to meet with you again.”
City of Campbell River
“Dear Rich. I wanted to drop you a short note and thank you for your exceptional presentations at the Chief’s conference in Abbotsford. You are clearly a passionate advocate for advancement of fire service safety and that passion touched me deeply. I left the conference with a new understanding of the reasons bad things happen and a rekindled desire to better understand the science behind the concepts you presented. Thank you for that knowledge.”
Charlie Boyte, CFO
Pender Island Fire-Rescue
“Hi Richard, Thank you for your great presentation and I have taken full advantage of your resources. I am the Emergency Program Coordinator as well as managing six volunteer fire departments so I am always looking for ways to help them be more effective and stay safe.”
Acting General Manager
Public Safety Department
Cowichan Valley Regional District
“Thanks Rich for your quick reply I really didn’t expect to hear from you so soon. Your workshop was very informative and thought provoking. It’s something I will definitely be taking back to my department. All the best,”
Roberts Creek Volunteer Fire Dept.
Roberts Creek, British Columbia
“Dear Rich, Thanks so much for the eye opening, mind stimulating presentation I would greatly appreciate a copy of your presentation so we as a department can review our operation to insure our firefighter continuing safety.”
City of Nelson
“Good Morning Chief, I just wanted to say thank you for the presentation that you presented at the NC Fire & Rescue Instructor’s Conference. The presentation was very informative and true. I hope it touched everyone else as it did myself. Thank you and have a safe day.”
I am stoked! Here is the feedback I received from Mary Flynn, the Conference Director at Cygnus, in response to my Mental Management of Emergencies program for EMS workers presented at the EMS World Conference in Las Vegas. Thank you so much to the attendees who offered these awesome words of encouragement. I am absolutely humbled. ~ Rich
Very good – This was very good! – Excellent! – Amazing class – Very glad I picked this session – Very entertaining – Very good – Great presenter, he is a very capable instructor to make humorous and topic material meaningful and comprehensible – Wow, eye opening and lots of fun! – Excellent instructor, very knowledgeable - THE best presentation of the conference, thank you – Great involvement – Excellent – Excellent class – Great visual presentation and audience participation – He was absolutely fabulous – Great! – Good stuff – Loved it! Very informative – Excellent topic and presentation – Excellent speaker! Fantastic – Great information – Awesome!! – Amazing! – This was an excellent class. Speaker is an expert on the subject matter – Great speaker. Really informative and effective presentation – Very dynamic speaker.
“The class information was very useful. I am a captain in the department and I am in command from time to time and I will use this information to better my abilities as a leader. I will recommend this class to others. Dr. Gasaway is a very good instructor and I would like to take more of his workshops. Thank you for recognizing the members of the military. I have a nephew and niece both serving in Iraq. Thank you!”
Brainerd Fire Department
“This program was very informative and an eye opener to thing we are missing and areas where we can do better. Dr. Gasaway is very knowledgable and easy to learn from. You can tell right away he believes 150% in his message.”
Moose Lake Fire Department
“I liked the program very much. Richard Gasaway was very informative. I can use everything he talked about. He is a very compassionate speaker. He has a deep commitment to the safety of all firefighters.”
Foley Fire Department
“The information was very useful to everyone, but especially to new firefighters who don’t always see the big picture. I would recommend this program to others. Dr. Gasaway is absolutely passionate about the fire service and has developed great knowledge and a great program.”
Brainerd Fire Department
“This was very useful information and I will immediately change my practices and recommend this workshop to everyone. This workshop is a wake up call and a mind opener. Dr. Gasaway is an asset to the fire service and his goal to reduce foreground injuries and deaths is a critical point.”
Brainerd Fire Department
“The information in this program is very useful. I most definitely can use it in my position as a firefighter. I would recommend this class to everyone. Dr. Gasaway is a very, very, very good speaker, very professional and full of very useful knowledge. He is definitely a man I look up to and will now be one of my role models. I absolutely loved his presentation.”
Brainerd Fire Department
“Dr. Gasaway talked from the heart and gave a very good presentation.”
“The whole topic, presentation and material were great. We can bring a lot of useful information back to our department. We would recommend this program to anyone.”
Eagle Lake Fire Department
“Very good information. Opened my eyes to both good and not so good practices. Could have listened much longer.”
“Very useful, very informative. Will be utilizing the web site for more information to share. This is one of the few classes I have taken that I did not look at the clock once.”
“Great class. I’m looking forward to making changes within my department. Awesome class. Instructor is very passionate about firefighting, firefighter safety and seeing that all go home safe after every call.”
“I found the information Dr. Gasaway presented very useful and will use it as my position as lieutenant and will recommend his workshop.”
East Bethel Fire Department
“This is the fourth class I’ve taken with Rich and I always come away with something.”
New Ulm Fire Department
“Very interesting information, eye opening and makes sense. Great presenter and very knowledgeable. I would come see him again.”
New Ulm Fire Department
“Very informative, eye opening. Will be sharing all the information with our fellow firefighters back home. Points things out that you never would have thought you were doing wrong. Explains things from a firefighter perspective.”
“Good information. I like that he can relate to small departments. Very good presenter.”
“Nice new way to look at the material concepts that are readily accepted in law enforcement being adapted to the fire service – long overdue!! (muscle memory, repetition, etc…). Great professional presenter. Good balance of presentation and humor to keep class engaged.”
“Very knowledgeable and energetic in his instructing. The “brain science” dynamics is very interesting and I wish our department talked more about this subject. I feel we as a department have been very lucky for many years!”
“I took notes on most of your 20 points. I will definitely incorporate what I learned to keep myself and my crew safe on the fire ground.”
“He is very knowledgeable & passionate about his job. It was very worth my while to come to the presentation.”
“Very useful. Definitely would advise others to attend. Very knowledgeable, easy to understand and believes in what he teaches.”
Watertown Fire Department
“This class was very useful and I will pass along this information to others and will implement the information in my duties.”
Tech Rescue Chief & Fire Assistant Chief
Wood Lake Fire Department
“Great information, would recommend this to all firefighters. This is my second time seeing this. He is very passionate and caring about what he believes in and shares that through the presentation. Very good, emotional, raw. Making the world of firefighting safer for everyone.”
“Very useful information. Highly recommend for all levels of firefighting. Very knowledgeable of topic. Really grabs our attention with actual events.”
New Ulm Fire Department
“It was very interesting and helpful. Every firefighter should hear your presentation. Very knowledgeable, excellent speaker. I’ve been on the Fire Dept. 23 years and learned a lot tonight, unbelievable.”
Courtland Fire Department
“This is by far one of the best oral presentations I have ever attended. I try to train as much as I can and this greatly helped my ability to be an incident commander. I would like to bring this presentation to our chiefs association because I believe every member of our department needs to hear this info. Being chief of our department for only a year I believe that this presentation will help make my department safer. I believe our department has become very habit forming in the last year and I hope this program will help me deal with this situation. Wish everyone on our department could have attended this!“
Courtland Fire Department
“Very useful. I think anybody in the chain of command should attend this. Very well presented and very knowledgeable.”
Winnebago Fire Department
“The information Dr. Gasaway provided was some of the best information I have ever received since I’ve been in the fire service. Dr. Gasaway is one of the best presenters I’ve heard.”
Welcome Fire Department
Testimonials from the Company Officer Development Institute, Indiana