Category Archives: Workload Management

These are the first responder situational awareness and decision making issues and opportunities related to responder and commander workload management.

Shared Situational Awareness

Shared situational awareness simply means two or more people have a commonly understood mental model (mental image of what’s happening… and what is going to happen in the future). When responders arrive at the scene of an emergency at different … Continue reading

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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

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

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

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

Firefighting: It’s a whole new ballgame

There is little doubt the recent recession has had a significant impact on the nation’s fire service. Hardly a day goes by where there’s not some news about an organization that had downsized, rightsized or capsized. There are all kinds … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Emotions, Fear, Human Behavior, Leadership, Mayday and RIT, Personnel location, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, Staffing, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Stress, Teamwork, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Administrative chiefs and emergency responses

I recently received an email from a firefighter asking for my opinion as to whether or not the administrative chief officers in his department should respond to reported structure fires. My initial response was: “Well, Duh! Yes!” But then I … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Crew Resource Management, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Incompetence, Safety, Situational awareness, Staffing, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Teamwork, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 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 , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Begin With The End In Mind

One of the essential components of well-developed situational awareness is being able to accurately predict the future. This prediction should be made during the initial scene size up and then it should be updated often as the incident progresses. In … Continue reading

Posted in Attention Management, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Leadership, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment