Firefighter Situational Awareness

These articles related to firefighter situational awareness.

High Reliability Organizations – Traits

There’s a lot being talked about these days about the concept of high reliability organizations. The concept is being embraced by many hospitals throughout the United States and, arguably, for good reason. The principles of highly reliable organizations have direct application to first responders. This contribution focuses on helping you understand the overarching concept of …

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Situational Awareness Conference Call

A free Situational Awareness conference call was held  on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 (during International Fire/EMS Safety & Health Week). Thank you to Tiger Schmittendorf (Erie County, New York), Ryan Pennington (Charleston, West Virginia) and Will Ball (Williamsport, Maryland) for being my guests panelists as we took caller questions and discussed topics that included:

Healing and growing from tragedy

I had an opportunity today to present along side Asheville Fire Chief Scott Burnette at the North Carolina Society of Fire Rescue Instructors Conference. This opportunity came as a result of another wonderful opportunity that Chief Burnette extended to me to conduct facilitated debriefings following the line-of-duty death of Captain Jeff Bowen. During the debriefing …

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Trained to Fail

There are probably few things I say in a classroom that raises the ire of instructors more than “You’re training your members to fail.” I understand why they wouldn’t want to hear that. No instructor wants a member to fail. Even more so, no instructor wants to be implicated for being the one responsible for …

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Staffing for the Mayday/Rapid Intervention

I recently received an inquiry from an SAMatters member asking my thoughts on front loading command personnel in the event of a Mayday. Specifically, the reader wanted to know if I thought it was a good idea. I could answer the question in one word: Yes. However, I like to help my readers build deep …

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Tracking of personnel

Accountability: A critically important component to emergency scene safety when personnel operate in a hazardous environment. From the perspective of situational awareness, accountability plays several roles. The obvious role is personnel accountability facilitates the rapid deployment of rescue teams if something goes awry. Command knows the crew sizes and where they are operating at and …

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Thank you Stowe Fire Department

In 2011 I had the opportunity to deliver a Mental Management of Emergencies class for the Stowe Fire Department. The program focused on how to improve first responder situational awareness and decision making processes under stress. I have been afforded the wonderful opportunity to share this message with many fire departments over the years. This …

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Five Situational Awareness Lessons from SFFD LODD

On June 2, 2011, the San Francisco Fire Department suffered the tragic loss of 2 firefighters at 133 Berkeley Way. The department conducted an internal review of the incident and issued a 156-page report on their findings. Many of the lessons relate to situational awareness and it is from that perspective that I would like …

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When The Puzzle Pieces Don’t Fit

The med unit is responding to a report of a person down in a hotel room. While in route, dispatch notifies them that CPR is in progress. As they arrive a police officer meets them outside and tells them there now two victims and CPR is in progress on both. The officer further advises the …

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Fireground Safety: Mistakes and Best Practices

Utah Winter Fire School: 117 more first responders are now “in the loop!” On January 13 I presented two sessions of Fireground Safety: Mistakes and Best Practices at the 2012 Utah Winter Fire School. There were 117 attendees in the two programs. The programs focused on 10 common mistakes and 10 best practices to fix …

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