Search Results for: Fatigue

Tired Brains (fatigue) and Situational Awareness

I get asked often about the role of fatigue in situational awareness. Sometimes the question is based on general curiosity. Sometimes the inquiry is a result of someone seeking support for (or against) an extended work schedule. I sure don’t want to get caught in the middle of that debate but the question is a …

Tired Brains (fatigue) and Situational Awareness Read More »

Fatigue Impacts Situational Awareness

Research has shown that fatigue can impact situational awareness in disturbing ways. [tweet this] Some responders think if they take a “safety nap” it will help. In a small way, it may, as any rest is better than no rest. However, a nap does not resolve systemic fatigue. Rest is a critical component to brain function and …

Fatigue Impacts Situational Awareness Read More »

Episode 16: The impact of fatigue on situational awareness

Episode 16: The impact of fatigue on situational awareness Back in episode 7 I answered a listener question about the impact of fatigue on situational awareness. I promised in that episode that I would dedicate more time to this topic in an upcoming episode. So I want to explore the issue of fatigue some more. …

Episode 16: The impact of fatigue on situational awareness Read More »

Big Data Could Spell Big Trouble

There is a lot being written these days about how “big data” can help emergency scene commanders improve situational awareness and, subsequently, make better decisions. While information (data) is critical to the formation of situational awareness, it is very easy for a commander to become overwhelmed with data. I say this often during my Mental …

Big Data Could Spell Big Trouble Read More »

Commanders in Turnout Gear

I recently read, with great interest, a very long thread on Facebook about whether or not an incident commander should wear turnout gear at a fire scene. As my focus and passion is improving first responder situational awareness, I would like to address this issue from that perspective. The feedback on Facebook was, as expected, …

Commanders in Turnout Gear Read More »

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 impacts. As I was writing this article I recalled various times during my thirty years …

Three types of stress Read More »

Situational Awareness Matters!

The Two Headed Incident Commander

A subscriber to the Situational Awareness Matters newsletter recently sent me a photograph of an emergency incident scene that caused me to reflect on a very important situational awareness lesson. This lesson, unfortunately, is often overlooked and is often implicated as a contributing factor to near-miss and casualty events. Let’s spend a little time examining …

The Two Headed Incident Commander Read More »

First responder fatigue

Sleep and Situational Awareness

The work schedule, along with the physical and mental demands placed on first responders and people working in high risk environments, 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 …

Sleep and Situational Awareness Read More »

Seven Ways Frustration Can Impact Situational Awareness

Anyone who’s been frustrated knows it can consume a lot of your mental energy and thinking space. This can significantly impact your situational awareness. In fact, depending on the level of frustration, your brain can be hijacked by  all-consuming thoughts about what is causing the angst. While operating at an emergency scene, frustration may draw …

Seven Ways Frustration Can Impact Situational Awareness Read More »

Situational Awareness on the Roadway

There are an untold number of incidents in which responders have been struck by vehicles while working on roadway incidents. The roadway is one of the more dangerous work environments for emergency responders to operate in because conditions can go from being totally benign to total chaos in just a matter of seconds.