Category Archives: size-up

These are the first responder situational awareness and decision making issues and opportunities related to size-up.

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

Situational Awareness in Hoarder Homes

Firefighter-Paramedic Ryan Pennington with the Charleston (WV) Fire Department has been conducting extensive research on the epidemic problem of emergencies in hoarder homes. Emergencies including everything from fires to EMS calls to animal hoarding issues – the whole gamut. Ryan … Continue reading

Posted in building construction, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 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

Four Size-up Priorities to Improve Situational Awareness

During my open conference call last Friday to discuss situational awareness challenges and opportunities (which, by the way… was really enjoyable) I had a chief officer from Wisconsin (thanks Lance) ask a question about company officer priorities on sizing up … Continue reading

Posted in Neuroscience, Repetition, Situational awareness, size-up, Stress | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Completing the 360-Degree Size-Up

Situational awareness starts with capturing clues and cues in your environment (perception) and then understanding what those clues and cues mean (comprehension). At a structure fire the process of capturing information should involve a complete 360-degree size-up of the scene. … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines | 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

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

Every EMS Call Starts with Scene Safety

“Scene Safe, BSI.” These words have been uttered by every first responder who has ever received medical training. In fact, any responder who has performed a practical exercise for certification knows the first two mandatory skills to be completed on … Continue reading

Posted in Checklists, Communications, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, size-up, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Buildings are disposable

Buildings are disposable. Firefighters are not! This guest editorial contribution is provided by Chief John Buckman III, Director of the Indiana State Fire Training and Certification System. Chief Buckman posted this piece on Facebook and, with his permission, it is … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, building construction, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Leadership, Mayday and RIT, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Staffing, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mission Myopia: A situational awareness barrier

Every emergency scene operation should begin by determining the mission (sometimes called strategy) and setting task-level goals (sometimes called tactics). Strategy and tactics establish what is to be done and how it is to be done. For example, at a … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Repetition, Risk Assessment, Safety, Simulation, Situational awareness, size-up, Stress, Tacit knowledge, Training, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment