Search Results for: Angry

The Communications Specialist Role in Forming Situational Awareness

Some of the least appreciated members of the emergency response team are the communications specialists (in some venues, termed dispatchers). How do I know this? First, I served as a communications specialist (my job title was dispatcher) early in my career and I was routinely subjected to criticism and ridicule from responders because the information …

The Communications Specialist Role in Forming Situational Awareness Read More »

Situational Awareness and Decision Making Tips for Training

I recently received an email from a SAMatters community member asking for tips to improve size-up, situational awareness and decision making while training in a flashover simulator. It was a great question (thank you Captain Scott Byers from the Tracy Fire Department)! I offered Scott a number of ideas and thought it would be good …

Situational Awareness and Decision Making Tips for Training Read More »

Situational Awareness Matters

The Perfect Storm

In one of my recent Mental Management of Emergencies classes a participant was describing an incident that resulted in several first responder casualties. As he shared the details, he described the unfolding of events as “The Perfect Storm.” This article will discuss the origins of that phrase and share why we should consider changing our …

The Perfect Storm Read More »

Situational Awareness Matters

Nine Dangerous Mindsets: Part 8 – The Slacker

Welcome to part eight of the Nine Dangerous Mindsets series. In this installment I’m going to take on one of the most challenging and perhaps one of the most frustrating mindsets – the Slacker. This mindset is dangerous to situational awareness because a Slacker does so little to ensure his or her personal readiness for …

Nine Dangerous Mindsets: Part 8 – The Slacker Read More »

Ignoring the Signs of Danger

A lesson on situational awareness: The tones drop for a reported residential fire. On the way, dispatch reports multiple calls, confirming a working fire. On arrival the crew sees fire blowing out the B-C corner of the single story, detached residential. The resident is standing in the front yard. A quick inquiry reveals they are …

Ignoring the Signs of Danger Read More »

Firefighting: It’s a whole new ballgame

There is little doubt the economic recession of 2008-2009 had a significant impact on the nation’s fire service. Hardly a day went by where there wasn’t some news about an organization that downsized, rightsized or capsized. There are all kinds of terms being attached to what happened. One I heard at the time was this …

Firefighting: It’s a whole new ballgame Read More »

Explaining Resistance to Change

Imagine for a moment that you’re part of a 4-person first-due crew responding on to an apartment fire. On the way to the call the dispatcher announces over the radio that a caller is reporting the fire to be on the first floor of a three-story apartment building. Your company officer tells you that on …

Explaining Resistance to Change Read More »

Don’t shoot the messenger

Situational awareness is developed by combining three component parts: perception, understanding and prediction. The first part, perception, is a process of gathering information – clues and cues – about what is happening in the environment around you. Some of those clues and cues are obvious. Others are subtle. Some happen right in front of you. …

Don’t shoot the messenger Read More »

Culture And Situational Awareness

Each member of an emergency response team is guided by a unique system of values, beliefs, assumptions and norms. Every member also brings their own unique habits and routines. What happens when you combine the values, beliefs, assumptions, norms, habits and routines of many unique individuals within an organization? You create culture. Organizational culture can …

Culture And Situational Awareness Read More »

Situational Awareness Matters

Another False Alarm: A Tale of Complacency

Complacency is a big deal for first responders because it impacts your situational awareness on multiple levels. I would like to give every responder the benefit of the doubt that if or when they have found him or herself being complacent that it wasn’t happening on purpose. In other words, I hope every responder desires …

Another False Alarm: A Tale of Complacency Read More »