Category Archives: Tunneled Senses

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

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

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

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

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

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

Station Alerting Noise Can Impact Situational Awareness

Noise can erode situational awareness in many ways. Loud noises, soft noises, lots of noise, odd noises, familiar noises, annoying noises… all noise can present challenges. In this article, I want to explore some of the challenges first responders face … Continue reading

Posted in Auditory exclusion, Emotions, Fear, Human Behavior, human factors, Safety, Situational awareness, Technology, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ignoring the Signs of Danger

A lesson on situational awareness: The tones drop for a reported residential fire. On the way, dispatch reports multiple calls, confirming a working fire. On arrival the crew sees fire blowing out the B-C corner of the single story, detached … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Communications, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Teamwork, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Seeing the bad things coming in time to change the outcome

The mission of Situational Awareness Matters! is “Helping responders see the bad things coming… in time to change the outcome.”  That is often easier said than done. In fact, the lessons that sharpen our situational awareness often comes after the … Continue reading

Posted in Complacency, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Personal protective equipment, Personnel location, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understaffing Impacts Situational Awareness

Understaffing can have a big impact on first responder safety. We all know that. But it can also have a huge impact on first responder situational awareness. More than I ever imagined. I have experienced understaffing issues many times throughout … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Safety, Situational awareness, Staffing, Stress, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment