Rich Gasaway

Richard B. Gasaway served 33 years on the front lines as a firefighter, EMT-Paramedic and fire chief. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree while studying how individuals, teams and organizations develop and maintain situational awareness and make decisions in high stress, high consequence, time compressed environments. Dr. Gasaway is widely considered to be one of the nation's leading authorities on first responder situational awareness and decision making. His material has been featured and referenced in more than 400 book chapters, research projects, journal articles, podcasts, webinars and videos. His research and passion to improve workplace safety through improved situational awareness is unrivaled. Dr. Gasaway's leadership and safety programs have been presented to more than 42,000 first responders, emergency managers, medical providers, military personnel, aviation employees, industrial workers and business leaders throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Surrounded by Fire: The Roree Payment Story – Part 2 (Episode 298)

This episode is part 2 of a 2-part interview with Clearview Fire & EMS Chief Roree Payment, sharing the details of a residential dwelling fire near-miss where he was caught in a fireball due to rapidly changing, wind-driven conditions. Length: 51 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If …

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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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Surrounded by Fire: The Roree Payment Story – Part 1 (Episode 297)

This episode is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Clearview Fire & EMS Chief Roree Payment, sharing the details of a residential dwelling fire near-miss where he was caught in a fireball due to rapidly changing, wind-driven conditions. Length: 47 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If …

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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 terms Normalization: To make normal; to make an established standard. Deviance: Departing from the norm; performing in a non-standardized way. …

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Overconfidence – A Dangerous Minefield (Episode 296)

In this episode, we review the Overconfidence chapter of my new book, How Smart Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety. Length: 28 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check …

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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 …

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The Impact of Stress on Memory and Recall – Part 2 (Episode 295)

This episode is part 2 of a 2-part presentation where we talk about how stress can impact memory and recall. Length: 34 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check …

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Weapons of Mass Distraction

The foundation for developing situational awareness is perception – using your senses to gather information about what is happening around you. In lay terms, we call it paying attention. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to develop strong situational awareness if you are not paying attention to what is happening around you. For better …

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The Impact of Stress on Memory and Recall – Part 1 (Episode 294)

This episode is part 1 of a 2-part presentation where we talk about how stress can impact memory and recall. Length: 30 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check …

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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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