Attention Management

These are the first responder situational awareness and decision making issues and opportunities related to the management of attention.

The Impact of Oversharing on Situational Awareness

Have you ever been around someone who takes twenty minutes to tell a five-minute story? What does that do to you? I know what it does to me. It lowers my vigilance (i.e., the amount of attention I am channeling to them), it can cause me to become frustrated, bored, tune them out and find …

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Responders Overcome by Carbon Monoxide – The Mukilteo Fire Story – Part 2 (Episode 309)

This interview is part 2 of a 2-part interview with three members of the Mukilteo Fire Department who were overcome by carbon monoxide on an EMS call. Length: 49 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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The Communications Specialist Role in Forming Situational Awareness

Some of the least appreciated members of the emergency response team are the communications specialists (in some venues, termed dispatchers). How do I know this? First, I served as a communications specialist (my job title was dispatcher) early in my career and I was routinely subjected to criticism and ridicule from responders because the information …

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Responders Overcome by Carbon Monoxide – The Mukilteo Fire Story – Part 1 (Episode 308)

This interview is part 1 of a 2-part interview with three members of the Mukilteo Fire Department who were overcome by carbon monoxide on an EMS call. Length: 43 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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Big Data Could Spell Big Trouble

There is a lot being written these days about how “big data” can help emergency scene commanders improve situational awareness and, subsequently, make better decisions. While information (data) is critical to the formation of situational awareness, it is very easy for a commander to become overwhelmed with data. I say this often during my Mental …

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It’s Only A Vehicle Fire!

I’d like to thank one of the loyal Situational Awareness Matters readers (whose name and department I am holding in confidence) for sending me a picture and a story about a van fire, no, a ‘routine van fire‘ his department had recently. On the arrival of the engine, the officer reported a working fire and …

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Mission Myopia

The tones drop for an apartment building fire. On the way, dispatch is advising multiple calls, confirming a working fire and the possibility of people trapped. The mind of the officer on the aerial platform is busy processing – thinking – anticipating – what will need to be done upon arrival? Of course, truck work …

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Commercial Building Mayday. The Atascocita Fire Story – Part 2 (Episode 304)

Today’s episode is Part 2 of my 2-part interview with three command officers from the Atascocita Fire Department in Houston, Texas, sharing a story of a commercial building fire that resulted in a mayday. Length: 63 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking …

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Commercial Building Mayday. The Atascocita Fire Story – Part 1 (Episode 303)

Today’s episode is Part 1 of my 2-part interview with three command officers from the Atascocita Fire Department in Houston, Texas, sharing a story of a commercial building fire that resulted in a mayday. Length: 67 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking …

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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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