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 being reposted here. The message is short and powerful.
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 decision making, fire chief, firefighter, firefighter safety, firefighter situational awareness, fireground command, incident command, incident management, risk assessment, situational awareness
The work schedule, along with the physical and mental demands placed on first responders can quickly cause brain fatigue. Most responders know that fatigue can have an impact on critical thinking and mental acuity. This, in turn, can have a significant impact on situational awareness.
Situational awareness is developed and maintained by using your senses to capture, and your brain to process (and understand) critical clues and cues. When you are fatigued, the sensory inputs can be dulled and the brain’s ability to comprehend the sensory inputs can be diminished.
Posted in Attention Management, Competency, Culture, Decision Making, Fatigue, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness
Tagged brain function, decision making, fatigue, fire chief, firefighter, firefighter situational awareness, fireground command, incident command, neuroscience, situational awareness, sleep deprivation
Congratulations to Bazetta Fire Department (Cortland, Ohio) Captain Brian Taylor on being selected to receive the 2013 “Emerging Leader” Scholarship. Brian will receive a $1,500 check and free registration to attend the VCOS Symposium in the Sun Conference in Clearwater Beach, Florida, November 7-10.
The annual scholarship award is endowed by The Gasaway Consulting Group.
“I am a big proponent of the concept of paying it forward,” notes GCG President (and webmaster for Situational Awareness Matters!) Richard B. Gasaway. “The VCOS and the Symposium in the Sun have played a very important role in my development as a chief officer. I am delighted to be able to give back to the VCOS and help a new chief attend this world-class conference.”
It’s time to PAY IT FORWARD
There are dozens (if not hundreds) of speakers, trainers and consultants earning their living from working with fire departments. You know who you are! It’s time to step up and give back by investing some of your earnings in the future leadership of the fire service. I challenge you to sponsor a scholarship to a conference of your choice. Don’t skimp. Make it a full-ride scholarship. Go on… Pay It Forward!
Past recipients of the Emerging Leader Scholarship include:
Fire Chief Ryan Pierson of the Pitman (N.J.) Fire Department
Fire Chief David DeRoller of the Sea Breeze (N.Y.) Fire District
Fire Chief Scott F. Brewer of St. Tammany (La.) Parrish Fire District #9
If you have visited SAMatters before, you know the mission of the site is to help first responders improve situational awareness by “Helping you see the bad things coming in time to change the outcome.”
Something happened today that I didn’t see coming and I’d like to share the story with you. Thank you for allowing me the latitude to veer from my mission of improving first responder safety… if only momentarily.
I am very excited to announce the release of two powerful new DVDs and a special offer.
Posted in firefighter situational awareness, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, Training
Tagged decision making, fire chief, firefighter, firefighter situational awareness, fireground command, incident command, situational awareness
How significant (or stated another way… “How big a deal”) is flawed situational awareness as a contributing factor to firefighter near-miss events at structure fires?
A. Not that big a deal
B. Pretty big deal
C. Really big deal
(If you have attended one of my situational awareness programs you probably already know the answer to this question.)
Posted in Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Safety, Situational awareness
Tagged contributing factors, decision making, firefighter situational awareness, fireground command, line of duty death, National Firefighter Near Miss Reporting System, near-miss reporting, situational awareness, structure fires
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 structure fire, arriving responders are trained to conduct search and rescue operations and to extinguish the fire (stop the loss). Other tasks, such as ventilation, securing a water supply, shutting off utilities, assigning a rapid intervention team, salvage, overhaul, etc. support the overarching mission of saving lives and property.
However, a narrow focus on the mission can impact first responder safety. Let’s explore how mission myopia can impact situational awareness.
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 decision making, decision making under stress, EMS, fire, fire engineering, fire service leadership, firefighter safety, firefighter situational awareness, first responder, mission, mission focus, mission myopia, myopia, pennwell, police, situational awareness, situational awareness for emergency response
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