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Situational Awareness: Think Past, Present & Future

Flawed situational awareness (SA) is one of the leading contributing factors to first responder near-miss and casualty events. In fact, it is nearly impossible to find a line-of-duty death investigation report that does not implicate flawed SA, or one of the barriers that flaw SA, as contributing to the tragedy. As often as flawed SA […]

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Periodic Chart

Sponsored by Midwest Fire Thank you for visiting the Periodic Chart of Situational Awareness page. If you would like to purchase the chart, please visit the SAMatters store at: Each situational awareness barrier identified on the Chart is clickable link that will take you to articles, audio and/or video lessons about the barrier that

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Unexpected Information Can Be a Barrier to Situational Awareness

One of the foundations of situational awareness development is being able to make accurate predictions of future events. Making (accurate) predictions is a fairly complex neurological process that relies heavily on gathering information, comprehending the meaning of the information, tapping into your stored knowledge of past experiences, trusting your intuition and using your imagination to

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Where Does Intuition Come From?

  It is amazing how many articles and videos I have watched lately in which they are talking about decision making based on “gut feel.” It is also disheartening how many first responders I have interviewed who have admitted to me that they have dismissed their gut feelings and proceeded to do things that resulted

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The Normalization of Deviance

      It’s an odd term –  normalization of deviance. But the term and the premise behind the term provides a valuable explanation as to some of the behaviors we observe in the first responder world. Defining the term Normalization: To make normal; to make an established standard. Deviance: Departing from the norm; performing

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Understaffing Impacts Situational Awareness

Understaffing can have a big impact on first responder safety. We all know that. But it can also have a huge impact on first responder situational awareness… more than I ever imagined. I have experienced understaffing issues many times throughout my career but I never gave much thought to how my situational awareness was being

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Situational Awareness and Accountability

Not long ago,  I was provided with the opportunity to present a webinar for Firehouse. The webinar was sponsored by Scott Safety. The program addressed the situational awareness/accountability connection. Thank you to Firehouse and Scott Safety for the opportunity to discuss this important topic.    

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Situational Readiness of the Personal Variety

This contribution comes to Situational Awareness Matters by way of a great LinkedIn connection I made recently with Tim Greene, CEO of EMS Options LLC. I found out about Tim and his mission while surfing his bio on LinkedIn. (Yes, I am among the few who actually read about the people I get connected with

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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

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