Episode 21: Situational awareness lessons shared by a first responder struck by a car

 

Situational Awareness Matters Radio

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Situational Awareness Matters RadioOn this episode I interview Sean Balantic. After serving 6 years active duty as a United States Marine, Sean served as a federal firefighter prior to being employed by the Rochester, New York Fire Department where he has served for almost 7 years. Sean is assigned as a firefighter on Truck 3. In this interview, Sean shares his close call survivor story where he was struck by a car at an incident scene and has been off-work for nearly 3 months.

The episode begins with some exciting announcements about improvements coming to the Situational Awareness Matters community of learners, including: A rollout of the newly revised SAMatters Online Academy (adding the feature for departments to sign-up all their members for one price), a free class give away for new members, and the creation of a premium membership option on the website that will offer a whole host of features to improve safety and situational awareness. Watch the website for announcements.

Length: 37 minutes

Click the “Continue Reading” link below to access the show notes.

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Posted in Close Call Survivor, Competency, Decision Making, Emotions, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Personal protective equipment, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Stress, Training, Tunneled Senses | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expectations and situational awareness

spinningThe 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” or “looking up, down and all around”, they will have strong situational awareness.

I truly wish it were that simple. If it were, flawed situational awareness would not be one of the leading contributors to first responder near-miss and casualty events. Because, all we’d have to do to fix the problem is… pay better attention… keep our heads on a swivel… and look up, down and all around.

In this article, we are going to explore the role of expectations on forming and maintaining situational awareness.

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Episode 20: Mayday for Mental Health

 

Situational Awareness Matters Radio

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Situational Awareness MattersThis episode chronicles a father’s story of inspiration from tragedy. Listen in as I interview Fire Chief Patrick Kenny from the Village of Western Springs, Illinois Fire Department. Chief Kenny talks candidly about losing his son, Sean, to suicide – and the importance of mental health for first responders.

Length: 33 minutes

 

 

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Posted in Attention Management, Communications, Culture, Decision Making, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, Leadership, Mayday and RIT, Safety, Situational awareness, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Stress | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Teaching situational awareness and decision making

teachlearnSituational awareness is the foundation for good decision making. Situational awareness is formed by observing… and understanding what is happening in your environment, in the context of how time is passing. That “understanding” is then used to make predictions of future events. For those who have attended my full-day situational awareness classes you know this is a simplified explanation but it will due for the discussion we are about to have on teaching situational awareness and decision making.

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Episode 19: Situational awareness lessons from a first responder shot in the face

 

Situational Awareness Matters Radio

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Situational Awareness MattersThis close call survival story is an amazing interview with Okaloosa County Sheriff Investigator Steven Hough. This episode retells the story of a first responder shot in the face by an assailant during a standoff. He will share with you what happened as the suspect, armed with an assault rifle, charged the vehicle Investigator Hough and fellow officers were taking over behind. The show notes include audio and video content.

Length: 55 minutes

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Posted in Attention Management, Close Call Survivor, Competency, Decision Making, Emotions, Fear, Human Behavior, human factors, Intuition, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Stress, Teamwork, Training | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The myth of multitasking and situational awareness

PrintThink you’re good at multitasking? If so, you are just fooling yourself. Or, perhaps more aptly stated, your brain is fooling you. Multitasking is simply a way for us to be tricked into doing a whole bunch of things, poorly, all at the same time. When it comes to managing attention, the human brain cannot multitask. Let’s explore the myth of multitasking.

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Episode 18: Situational Awareness Lessons Learned in Two Minutes

 

Situational Awareness Matters Radio

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Situational Awareness Matters

This close call survival story is an interviews Aurora Fire Lieutenant Sean Dolan sharing amazing lessons from the house fire where he was caught in a flashover and sustained second and third degree burns. Sean is very candid in sharing the details of what happened and how close he came to death.

Length: 63 minutes

 

 

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Posted in Accountability, Attention Management, Auditory exclusion, Close Call Survivor, Communications, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Distractions and Interruptions, Ego and Self-Esteem, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Intuition, Mayday and RIT, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Staffing, Standard Operating Procedures/Guidelines, Stress, Tacit knowledge, Teamwork, Training, Tunneled Senses, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Confronting a boss with flawed situational awareness

downloadI recently read a post on social media where a firefighter said at an incident scene that he doesn’t worry about his situational awareness. That’s what he has an officer for. Further, he didn’t worry about having situational awareness about the larger incident scene, that’s what he has an incident commander for. I could not disagree more with this mindset. In fact, I would characterize this as a dangerous mindset and would like to defend why you would never want to relegate your situational awareness to anyone else.

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Episode 17: Situational awareness lessons learned from a double line-of-duty death

 

Situational Awareness Matters Radio

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Situational Awareness Matters“Lessons learned from the Athletic Club Hotel Fire.” This episode is an interview with Indianapolis Health & Safety Chief, Doug Abernathy. In 1992, Doug had been on the Indianapolis Fire Department for four years and was serving as a firefighter on Engine 13. He shares a powerful story about brotherhood, love of the job and how looking his friend and academy classmate impacted him. Listen in and learn from the tragic Athletic Club fire that claimed the lives of two Indianapolis firefighters.

Length: 50 minutes

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Posted in Accountability, Close Call Survivor, Complacency, Crew Resource Management, Culture, Decision Making, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, Line of Duty Death, Safety, Situational awareness, Staffing, Stress, Teamwork, Training, Workload Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mission Myopia: A situational awareness barrier

fireThe 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 mission is an important – even noble – calling. But what happens when a responder is blinded by the mission? The result is mission myopia.

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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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments