Category Archives: Ego and Self-Esteem

Ten explanations for unsafe actions and a bad outcome

I recently had a situational awareness conversation with a firefighter who shared the details of an incident that made him both proud and disappointed. His company officer decided to do an exterior attack at a residential dwelling fire because the … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

The irrational obsession with loss

There is a growing body of research revealing that many human’s have an irrational obsession with loss. Or, perhaps more accurately, an irrational obsession with AVOIDING loss. This phenomenon is something I have seen played out in my evaluation of … Continue reading

Posted in Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Leadership, Mayday and RIT, Safety, Situational awareness, Stress | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Defensive Decision Making

The decision to be defensive or to transition tactics from offensive to defensive at a structure fire requires strong situational awareness and it may be one of the hardest decisions a commander can make. The difficulty with this decision is … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, Fear, Leadership, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | 2 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

Safety Trumps Self-Esteem In Good Decision Making

Part of the process to develop and maintain situational awareness at an emergency scene is having the ability to predict the future of the event. It’s called projection and it’s the highest level of situational awareness. To be good at … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Will denial make the problem better or worse?

I received the following feedback to a recent Situational Awareness Newsletter. I thought I’d share it and use it as an introduction to this article. Here’s what he had to say: __________ I forwarded your newsletter to every one of … Continue reading

Posted in Complacency, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , | 12 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

Peer Pressure Can Impact Situational Awareness

The social interaction between coworkers may not be on your mind as you think about first responder situational awareness. But the fact is we are all influenced by our relationships with others. We have an inherent internal desire to be … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Leadership, Safety, Situational awareness, Stress, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment