Category Archives: size-up

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

Mission Myopia: A situational awareness barrier

The primary mission of all first responders is to save lives and property. In some agencies when a new member is inducted into the organization they take an oath of office that includes pledging their commitment to this mission. The … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Decision Making, Distractions and Interruptions, Ego and Self-Esteem, human factors, Meta Awareness, Multitasking, Risk Assessment, Safety, size-up, Task saturation, Tunneled Senses | 2 Comments

Near-Miss Reporting System Expert Panel

Situational Awareness Matters Radio Show Special Episode 002 Topic: Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System Expert Panel Discussion (from Fire-Rescue International, Dallas Texas) The purpose of the SAMatters Radio show is to improve situational awareness and decision making for individuals and teams … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Communications, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Personal protective equipment, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Tacit knowledge, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A situational awareness paradigm shift

Paradigm: A set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitutes a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them. Recent research conducted by Underwriter’s Laboratory (UL) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have revealed a … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Attention Management, Complacency, Decision Making, Emotions, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Incompetence, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Stress, Task saturation, Tunneled Senses, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 , , , , | 2 Comments

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