Human Factors

These are the first responder situational awareness and decision making issues and opportunities related to human factors.

Physical Condition Assessments Improve Situational Awareness

One of the primary purposes of a Personnel Accountability Report (PAR) is to ensure that the incident commander and safety officer knows where crews are and that all members are accounted for. In the event of a rapid change in conditions or an unforeseen turn of events, the PAR can be used to quickly account …

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What You Don’t See Can Save You

I dedicate a lot of time during my situational awareness programs ensuring that first responders understand how clues and cues serve as the foundation for developing and maintaining good situational awareness. We also spend considerable time making the connection of how strong situational awareness becomes the foundation for good decision making. For the most part, …

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Overconfidence – A Dangerous Minefield (Episode 296)

In this episode, we review the Overconfidence chapter of my new book, How Smart Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety. Length: 28 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 level, check …

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Three types of stress

In this article, we discuss three types of stress: Acute stress, episodic acute stress, and chronic stress. First responders can, and often do, experience all three. Stress can impact firefighter situational awareness and, equally concerning, stress can have devastating long-term impacts. As I was writing this article I recalled various times during my thirty years …

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The Impact of Stress on Memory and Recall – Part 2 (Episode 295)

This episode is part 2 of a 2-part presentation where we talk about how stress can impact memory and recall. Length: 34 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 level, check …

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Weapons of Mass Distraction

The foundation for developing situational awareness is perception – using your senses to gather information about what is happening around you. In lay terms, we call it paying attention. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to develop strong situational awareness if you are not paying attention to what is happening around you. For better …

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The Impact of Stress on Memory and Recall – Part 1 (Episode 294)

This episode is part 1 of a 2-part presentation where we talk about how stress can impact memory and recall. Length: 30 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 level, check …

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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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