Crew Resource Management

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

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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The Overconfident Incompetent

There are four levels of progression a person goes through in the development of competence. The pathway begins with a complete unawareness of how little a person knows and progresses to a complete unawareness of how much a person knows. There is a dangerous cognitive phenomenon that can occur along this continuum known as the …

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Tired Brains (fatigue) and Situational Awareness

I get asked often about the role of fatigue in situational awareness. Sometimes the question is based on general curiosity. Sometimes the inquiry is a result of someone seeking support for (or against) an extended work schedule. I sure don’t want to get caught in the middle of that debate but the question is a …

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Trapped Under A Ceiling Collapse. The Ron Hunter Story (Episode 291)

In this episode, I interview Spartanburg Fire Lieutenant, Ron Hunter, as he recounts the mayday and RIT activation after being trapped under a collapsed ceiling at an apartment building fire. Length: 71 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness …

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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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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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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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Coffee Talk with Carl Potter from The Safety Institute (Episode 285)

In this episode, I am interviewed on the Coffee Talk Show with Carl Potter, founder of The Safety Institute.  The Safety Institute is a resource for organizations that want to create workplaces where it’s difficult to get hurt. Length: 68 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you …

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Using the Simulation Environment to Improve Situational Awareness

Many first responder training programs use simulation in the development of decision-making competencies. Simulation exercises help develop skills in setting strategy and tactics, in applying policies and procedures and in developing critical thinking skills. How can simulations be used in the development of situational awareness skills? The answer lies, in part, in understanding what situational …

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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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