Confronting a Boss With Flawed Situational Awareness

  I recently read a post on social media where a firefighter said at an incident scene that he doesn’t worry about his situational awareness. That’s what he has an officer for. Further, he didn’t worry about having situational awareness about the larger incident scene, that’s what he has an incident commander for. I could […]

How Flawed Expectations Can Impact Situational Awareness

The development of situational awareness happens on a three-tiered continuum. It begins with perceiving your environment. Then, what is perceived must be understood (and this is not as simple as it may appear). Finally, understanding is used to predict the future. Summarizing, the three-step process: Perception – Understanding – Prediction. This article provides an example […]

Explanations for Situational Awareness Insanity – Part 2

In this segment, we continue our discussion about the seemingly insane things that firefighters do at structure fires. I use the word insane not because the firefighters suffer from a mental affliction. Rather, I use the word insane because we keep doing the same things over and over again while expecting different results.  [tweet this] […]

Episode 133 | The Devil’s Advocate

In this episode, we discuss the role of the devil’s advocate on emergency scenes and how the advocate can help when there is a flawed perception of reality. Length: 27 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20133207C20The20Devil27s20Advocate.mp3 _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out the Situational […]

Radio Show

Available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio! (Click the icon below or search SAMatters Radio)       __________________________________________________________________   Episode 189 This episode discusses the cognitive overload that can occur when there is too much verbal information to process. CLICK HERE for the episode show notes. Length: 31 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20189207C20Communications20Overload.mp3 __________________________________________________________________ Episode 188 This episode […]

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 primary data sources – dispatch information (shared via radio), past experience and imagination. This article […]

Episode 110 | Live Events Q&A

          In this episode I share some of the more commonly asked questions that come up during live Situational Awareness events. Length: 51 minutes http://traffic.libsyn.com/samatters/SAM20110207C20Live20Events20Q26A.mp3 _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out the Situational Awareness Matters Online Academy. […]

19 Ways Communications Barriers Can Impact Situational Awareness

If you are a student of near-miss and casualty reports then you know, without a doubt, that flawed communications is a major contributing factor when things go wrong and flawed communications is often a factor when the quality of situational awareness erodes. In fact, flawed communications was the second most frequently cited barrier to flawed […]

Five best practices for managing the mental workload

The research I have conducted on the neuroscience of situational awareness and high-risk decision making has been fascinating and extremely enlightening to me. Over the past 9 years, it has been very rewarding to take the lessons of research and apply them for the benefit of first responders. For those who have attended one of […]

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 […]

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