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 […]

Appoint a DA to improve your SA

In the business world it is not uncommon for executives to appoint someone on the senior staff to serve as the Devil’s Advocate (DA) when considering a major strategic decision. The role of the DA is to look at the strategy from a critical perspective and to raise objections about flaws in the strategy before […]

Sensory Conflict

The process by which situational awareness is formed begins with using your five senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling) to gather information from your environment. That may arguably be the easiest part of the situational awareness developmental process so long as you are “paying attention” to your environment. Once the senses gather information, it […]

Episode 58: Mission Myopia

            A responder can become so dedicated to the mission at hand that critical clues and cues are missed, misunderstood or ignored. This episode explores the challenges of mission myopia. We also share a near-miss event where a cardiac arrest call turns into a haz-mat incident and flawed situational awareness is […]

Team Situational Awareness

This is going to be an uncomfortable conversation as we talk about assessing your team to identify your weak links – the members who are not adequately trained, prepared or fit to perform the duties of a firefighter. During my SA programs we talk about the need to complete a situational awareness “size-up” of the […]

Mission Myopia

The tones drop for an apartment building fire. On the way, dispatch is advising multiple calls, confirming a working fire and the possibility of people trapped. The mind of the officer on the aerial platform is busy processing – thinking – anticipating – what will need to be done upon arrival? Of course, truck work […]

First, do no harm

    Primum non nocere is the Latin phrase that means “first, do no harm.” This is a commonly taught principle in healthcare. In fact, the Hippocratic Oath, taken by doctors, promises they will abstain from doing harm to their patients. The premise is it may be better to NOT do something or to do […]

Multiple Awarenesses

The mission of this website and my personal passion for situational awareness is to help first responders see the bad things coming in time to change the outcome. Consistent with that mission, I try to help responders understand how various aspects of the job – from training, to human factors, to command competence and everything in […]

Independent Actions Can Impact Team Situational Awareness

For some public safety agencies it is standard practice for the first arriving personnel (or crews of personnel) to deploy independently. Oftentimes these responders are highly trained, highly motivated and action oriented. What they are lacking is coordination of their efforts. The potential problem with this independent action is it may be unrealistic to think […]

Nine Dangerous Mindsets – Part 7: The Superman/Superwoman

Welcome to installment seven of the Nine Dangerous Mindsets series. While these mindsets may have many dangerous implications, my focus is to bring light to how they can impact situational awareness and first responder safety. I have been receiving some amazing feedback so far on this series. Readers are sharing that I have struck a […]

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