Tag Archives: firefighter safety

Expectations and situational awareness

The 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” … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, Mental Models, Meta Awareness, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, Situational Readiness, size-up | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Episode 18: What I learned in two minutes – A close call survivor story

__________________________________________________________________ Episode 18: What I learned in two minutes. 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 … Continue reading

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

Pre Arrival Lens and Situational Awareness

The 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 … Continue reading

Posted in Communications, Decision Making, firefighter situational awareness, human factors, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

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

Situational Awareness Survey

Recently 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 … Continue reading

Posted in firefighter situational awareness, Multitasking, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Three types of stress

In 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 … Continue reading

Posted in Decision Making, Human Behavior, human factors, Safety, Situational awareness | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity – Part 4

  This article continues the series focusing on the seemingly insane things that some first responders do while operating in high-stress, high consequence environments. Oftentimes, the individuals trying to make sense of these behaviors are quick to judge those on … Continue reading

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

Crawl, Walk, Run Theory of Skill Development

The inspiration for this article comes from Situational Awareness Matters member and Fire Chief, Todd Johnson, and the members of the Woodbury Fire Department. I was invited to observe a skills-based training evaluation that was more than a year in … Continue reading

Posted in Checklists, Safety, Situational awareness, Training | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Ten explanations for unsafe actions and a bad outcome

I recently had a situational awareness conversation with a firefighter who shared the details of an incident that made him both proud and disappointed. His company officer decided to do an exterior attack at a residential dwelling fire because the … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Culture, Decision Making, Ego and Self-Esteem, firefighter situational awareness, Risk Assessment, Safety, Situational awareness, size-up, Teamwork | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments