Category Archives: Mental Models

These are the first responder situational awareness and decision making issues and opportunities related to mental models.

Expectations and situational awareness

The ability to develop and maintain situational awareness is a far more complex process than most people realize. I’ve had many responders say to me that as long as they are “paying attention” or “keeping their head on a swivel” … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Mental Models, Meta Awareness, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, size-up | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 14: The need for realistic training

  Available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio! (Click the icon below or search SAMatters Radio)       __________________________________________________________________ Episode 14: Interview with Dave Casey, Director of Louisiana State Fire & Emergency Training Institute on the need for realistic training. Length: … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, building construction, Competency, Culture, Decision Making, Equipment, firefighter situational awareness, Leadership, Mental Models, Personal protective equipment, Repetition, Safety, Simulation, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, size-up, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Tacit knowledge, Teamwork, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resilient Problem Solvers

Perhaps you’re going to think I’ve been out in the South Carolina sun too long when you read this proclamation: I want you to make more mistakes! What? It’s true, I do. But before you stop reading this article out … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, Mental Models, Neuroscience, Repetition, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Teamwork, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Expect the Unexpected and Improve your Situational Awareness

The advice “expect the unexpected” can lead to a great deal of criticism. For example, if one can expect something to happen, then it is (technically) no longer unexpected… and so on. Setting all the hair-splitting aside, to expect the … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Decision Making, Mental Models, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Situational Awareness: Think Past, Present & Future

Flawed situational awareness (SA) is one of the leading contributing factors to first responder near-miss and casualty events. In fact, it is nearly impossible to find a line-of-duty death investigation report that does not implicate flawed SA, or one of … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Mental Models, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up | 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

5 tips for improving situational awareness through training

The overall number of structure fires are down nationwide. For the sake of the citizens we protect, this is a good thing. But for the sake of firefighters who need to gain valuable experience through the proverbial baptism by fire, … Continue reading

Posted in Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, Emotions, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Mental Models, Repetition, Safety, Simulation, Situational awareness, Stress, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Nine Dangerous Mindsets: Part 4 – The Superior

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Dangerous Mindsets series. Previously I talked about the dangerous mindsets of the Starter, the Subordinate and the Specialist. This article addresses the Superior or, more appropriately, the Superior with personal issues and how … Continue reading

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

Expectations are Important to Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness is developed, maintained, lost, and regained at three levels. The highest level of situational awareness is developed from being able to make realistic and accurate projections of the future events. The projections are sometimes called “mental models.” Projecting … Continue reading

Posted in Mental Models, Situational awareness, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment