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.

Preview of the AskRail® App (Episode 290)

In this episode, we interview Retired Fire Chief Charles Warner as he explains the features and benefits of the free AskRail® mobile app. Length: 36 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 …

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Situational Awareness Matters!

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 are a major contributing factor when things go wrong and flawed communications are often a factor when the quality of situational awareness erodes. In fact, flawed communication was the second most frequently cited barrier to flawed …

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Preview of the Task Fixation Chapter of My New Smart Workers Book (Episode 289)

In this episode, I preview the chapter on Task Fixation from my new book, How Smart Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety. Length: 33 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 …

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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 …

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Preview of the Auditory Exclusion Chapter of My New Smart Workers Book (Episode 288)

In this episode, I preview the chapter on Auditory Exclusion from my new book, How Smart Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety. Length: 27 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 …

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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 …

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Thirty Seconds from Death – The Randy Hanifen Story (Episode 287)

In this episode, West Chester Captain Randy Hanifen shared the details of a near-miss inside a residential dwelling fire where, if circumstances were just slightly different, he might have been killed in a flashover. Length: 54 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your …

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Teaching Decision Making to Firefighters

In a recent class, I engaged in a discussion with an officer who took exception with my recommendation that firefighters should be taught how to use situational awareness to make good decisions. His contention was that the fire service is a paramilitary organization and firefighters should not be decision-makers. Further contention was firefighters should obediently …

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A Near-Miss While Responding – The Brian Collins Story (Episode 286)

In this episode, Brentwood Battalion Chief Brian Collins shares a story about how he almost died when the door on the apparatus he was riding in unexpectedly opened while responding to a call. Length: 40 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding …

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The Challenge of Disengagement

Why is it so hard to let go of a decision or an action once we have committed ourselves to it? As I think back on my life, it is easy for me to identify a number of times where my situational awareness eroded and it led to bad decisions. I can attribute a number …

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