Category Archives: Culture

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity – Part 2

In this segment, we continue our discussion about the seemingly insane things that firefighters do at structure fires. I use the word insane not because the firefighters suffer from a mental affliction. Rather, I use the word insane because we … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Safety, Situational awareness, Staffing, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a fair question

I had the opportunity today to talk with a very progressive fire chief about situational awareness. I really enjoy my conversations with him because I always learn something. He was telling me that his department just hired 17 new paid-on-call … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, firefighter situational awareness, Leadership, Physical Fitness, Safety, Situational awareness, Training | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Are you assuming risk or creating risk?

I recently read an article where the author was taking exception to the risk management maxim: ‘We will risk a lot to save a lot and risk little to save little.’ There are several variations on this maxim, including: ‘Great … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

A Recipe From Hell’s Kitchen – Part 5

This is the final segment of the Recipe From Hell’s Kitchen series. In this article I want to share my personal perspectives on the catastrophic outcomes that result when the ingredients of the recipe come together. You may recall in the first … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, firefighter situational awareness, Incompetence, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Penalties and Discipline Will Not Improve Safety

I read with great interest (and concern) an article recently published about how the San Francisco Fire Department is being fined $21,000 by state investigators for violations to safety laws that led to the deaths of two firefighters on June … Continue reading

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It’s Just a Vehicle Fire

I’d like to thank one of the loyal Situational Awareness Matters readers (whose name and department I am holding in confidence) for sending me a picture and a story about a van fire, no, a ‘routine van fire‘ his department … Continue reading

Posted in Complacency, Culture, firefighter situational awareness, Personal protective equipment, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A must-see safety video

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.

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 | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Five Step Assertive Statement Process

You’re a firefighter assigned to a roof job. It’s a flat metal roof and there’s a lot of water on it. (Set aside for a moment all your judgement about why you’re on the roof in the first place). Your … Continue reading

Posted in Crew Resource Management, Culture, Ego and Self-Esteem, Fear, Safety, Situational awareness, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

The overconfident incompetent

There are four levels of progression a person goes through in the development of competence. The pathway begins with a complete unawareness of how little a person knows and progresses to a complete unawareness of how much a person knows. … Continue reading

Posted in Competency, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Emotions, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Incompetence, Safety, Situational awareness, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Attention Management, Complacency, Culture, Decision Making, Distractions and Interruptions, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Incompetence, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, Stress, Task saturation, Teamwork, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments