Fatigue can impact situational awareness

Situational Awareness Matters Radio Show

Episode 16

Topic: Fatigue can impact situational awareness

Situational Awareness Matters!
The purpose of the SAMatters Radio show is to improve situational awareness and decision making for individuals and teams who work in high risk, high consequence environments.

The SAMatters mission is simple… To help you see the bad things coming… in time to avoid bad outcomes.

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Pre Arrival Lens and Situational Awareness

pre-arrivallensThe pre-arrival lens is a neurological phenomenon that can both help and hinder situational awareness. The “lens” is your mental view of the incident you are responding to, developed prior to your arrival and based on the triangulation of three primary data sources – dispatch information (shared via radio), past experience and imagination. This article explores how the pre-arrival lens is developed and how it can help or hinder situational awareness.

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Episode 15: Radio Communications Can Impact Situational Awareness

Situational Awareness Matters Radio Show

Episode 15

Topic: Radio communications can impact situational awareness

Situational Awareness Matters!
The purpose of the SAMatters Radio show is to improve situational awareness and decision making for individuals and teams who work in high risk, high consequence environments.

The SAMatters mission is simple… To help you see the bad things coming… in time to avoid bad outcomes.

Continue reading

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A situational awareness paradigm shift

New ParadigmParadigm: 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 flaw in a long standing paradigm about fire attack. As this blog does not focus on matters of strategy and tactics, we will focus on the situational awareness implications of the finding of the UL/NIST research.

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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

Episode 14: The need for realistic training

Situational Awareness Matters Radio Show

Episode 14

Interview with Dave Casey, Director of Louisiana State Fire & Emergency Training Institute on the need for realistic training.

Situational Awareness Matters!


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Situational Awareness Survey

surveyRecently I conducted an informal survey on my social media networks (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), asking: In your opinion, what is the #1 barrier to situational awareness. As expected with social media, the responses were varied and some were intended to be humorous. I would like to share a few of the responses. Continue reading

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Episode 13 – Training for Failure

Situational Awareness Matters Radio Show

Episode 13

Training for Failure

Situational Awareness Matters!

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Posted in Decision Making, Emotions, Fear, firefighter situational awareness, Human Behavior, human factors, Neuroscience, Safety, Situational awareness, Training | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Risk Versus Reward

At 2:04 am the fire department was dispatched for a fire in a commercial building. Upon arrival the first engine reports a working fire and commences with interior fire attack. Upon entry, the engine crew reports high heat conditions and low visibility, but they pressed onward. Situational awareness is marginal. Soon the second engine and first truck arrives and are pressed into action. A second line is pulled and the truck commences with rooftop ventilation. The fire conditions worsens and a second alarm is called. Additional resources are deployed with additional hose lines. Despite the tenuous conditions, the firefighters remained true to their sworn calling, fight the dragon, and valiantly declare victory. The fire is out and no one is killed, despite several close calls. Been there? Seen that? What is to result of this heroic endeavor?

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Three types of stress

imagesIn this article we discuss three types of stress: Acute stress, episodic acute stress and chronic stress. First responders can, and often do, experience all three. Stress can impact firefighter situational awareness and, equally concerning, stress can have devastating long-term impacts. Continue reading

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Explanations for situational awareness insanity – Part 5

fearThis is going to be, admittedly, an uncomfortable read for some. But, nonetheless it is a conversation we need to have. I need to discuss the “F” word. No, not THAT “F” word. The “F” word that is more dreaded than the F-bomb – Fear. Many first responders enjoy discussing fear as much as they enjoy discussing that other “F” word – feelings. Ironically, fear is a feeling. More accurately, fear is an emotion. And this emotion can save your life. It can also cost you your life. Continue reading

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