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.

Standards Can Harm Decision Making Under Stress

I am a big advocate of departments having standardized procedures to guide operations as tools to help develop and maintain situational awareness. I don’t really care if you call them Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) or Standard Operating Guidelines (SOGs). The important thing is you have a set of commonly understood Standards that guide performance. Standards …

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Life and Death Matters – Chris and Sam Adams Interview – Part 1 (Episode 282)

This episode is part 1 of a 2-part interview with Chris and Sam Adams discussing their book, Life and Death Matters: Professionalism and Decision-Making for the First Responder. Length: 42 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk …

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Task Saturation Impacts Situational Awareness

There’s no doubt that in dynamically changing, high-risk, high-consequence environments someone could be called upon to perform many varied tasks, some at the same time. When staffing levels are low, the likelihood of this situation increases significantly. The problem this creates is the brain does not perform well when task saturated, especially in stressful situations. …

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Drone Responders Interview with Charles Werner (Episode 281)

In this episode, Fire Chief (ret.) Charles Werner discusses how drone technology can be used to enhance first responder situational awareness and improve access to critical decision making information. Length: 61 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and …

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Selective Listening Can Be A Barrier To Situational Awareness

Because first responders frequently operate in environments where there are multiple auditory inputs (e.g., radio traffic, face-to-face communications, ambient sounds, etc.) they are often forced to prioritize what they listen to (or don’t listen to). This can cause issues with situational awareness.

Interview with Captain Alex Charoni on Near-miss reporting evaluations (Episode 280)

  In this episode, South King County Fire & Rescue Captain Alex Charoni discusses his passion for determining the root cause of near-miss events and the approach his department is taking to improve firefighter safety. Length: 72 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking …

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Situational Awareness is a Complex Topic

The topic of situational awareness is growing in popularity in the fire service and this is a good thing. For decades the casualty reports have revealed that flawed situational awareness leads to poor decision making and has contributed to tragic fireground outcomes. I am honored to see many of the teachings being shared here on …

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Interview with Adam Kinakin, host of The Tactical Breakdown Podcast Show – Part 2 (Episode 279)

This episode is part 2 of a 2-part interview with the host of The Tactical Breakdown Podcast, Adam Kinakin, discussing the importance of situational awareness in high-risk decision-making scenarios Length: 52 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and …

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Situational Awareness and Decision Making Tips for Training

I recently received an email from a SAMatters community member asking for tips to improve size-up, situational awareness and decision making while training in a flashover simulator. It was a great question (thank you Captain Scott Byers from the Tracy Fire Department)! I offered Scott a number of ideas and thought it would be good …

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Interview with Adam Kinakin, host of The Tactical Breakdown Podcast Show – Part 1 (Episode 278)

This episode is part 1 of a 2-part interview with the host of The Tactical Breakdown Podcast, Adam Kinakin, discussing the importance of situational awareness in high-risk decision-making scenarios Length: 50 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and …

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