Category Archives: Information overload

19 Ways Communications Barriers Can Impact Situational Awareness

If you are a student of near-miss and casualty reports then you know, without a doubt, that flawed communications is a major contributing factor when things go wrong and flawed communications is often a factor when situational awareness is lost. … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Auditory exclusion, Communications, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Distractions and Interruptions, Emotions, Equipment, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Information overload, Multitasking, Safety, Situational awareness, Stress, Teamwork, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity-Part 3

This series is focused on the seemingly insane things that first responders do while operating in high-stress, high consequence environments. Oftentimes, those trying to make sense of these behaviors are quick to judge the participants, saying things like: “How could … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Auditory exclusion, Communications, Confabulation, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Information overload, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Stress, Tacit knowledge, Task saturation, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Twelve Ways to Situational Awareness

Ho, Ho, Ho. Merry Christmas everyone! I know everyone’s feeling particularly festive this time of year and I have caught the Christmas spirit in a very situational awareness sort of way. Surely you’ve heard of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Complacency, Culture, Decision Making, Gasaway Consulting Group, human factors, Incompetence, Information overload, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, size-up, Staffing, Stress, Teamwork, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Task Saturation Impacts Situational Awareness

There’s no doubt that in dynamically changing, high-risk, high-consequence environments someone could be called upon to perform many varied tasks, some at the same time. When staffing levels are low, the likelihood of this situation can increases significantly. The problem … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Checklists, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, Emotions, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Information overload, Safety, Situational awareness, Staffing, Stress, Task saturation, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Radio Traffic Can Improve or Destroy Situational Awareness

When it comes to first responder radio traffic I am reminded of the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. You may recall that in the story Goldilocks samples three bowls of porridge. One is too hot. One is too … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Auditory exclusion, Communications, Complacency, Decision Making, Distractions and Interruptions, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Information overload, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, Stress, Training, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using the simulation environment to improve situational awareness

Many first responder training programs use simulation in the development of decision making competencies. Simulation exercises help develop skills in setting strategy and tactics, in applying policies and procedures and in developing critical thinking skills. But how can simulations be … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, Human Behavior, human factors, Information overload, Mental Models, Neuroscience, Safety, Simulation, Situational awareness, Stress, Technology, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Technology can help and hurt situational awareness

You don’t have to look far and wide to locate cleaver marketing campaigns that make outrageous claims to improve our lives or solve our problems. I’ve been noticing this trend now as it relates to products claiming they “create” situational … Continue reading

Posted in Computers, firefighter situational awareness, Information overload, Mental Models, Safety, Situational awareness, Technology, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Complex Communications

We have many traits that make us uniquely human. Among them is our ability to engage in complex communications. We can look at black ink squiggled on a piece of bleached paper and derive meaning from those symbols.  We call … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Auditory exclusion, Communications, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Information overload, Mayday and RIT, Safety, Situational awareness, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Dispatchers role in situational awareness

One of the situational awareness best practices discussed during the Fifty Ways to Kill a First Responder program is the role played by the dispatcher during an emergency incident. As I have discussed this many times with first responders throughout … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, Equipment, firefighter situational awareness, Information overload, Mayday and RIT, Personnel location, Safety, Situational awareness, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Teamwork, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

High Reliability Organizations – Processes

Last month I wrote a piece on the traits of high reliability organizations (HROs) and received a lot of very positive feedback. Thank you! This article will focus on the processes used by HROs. These processes definitely provide some valuable … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Communications, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, Information overload, Leadership, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, Teamwork, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments