Human Factors

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

First responder fatigue

Sleep and Situational Awareness

The work schedule, along with the physical and mental demands placed on first responders and people working in high risk environments, can quickly cause brain fatigue. Most responders know that fatigue can have an impact on critical thinking and mental acuity. This, in turn, can have a significant impact on situational awareness. Situational awareness is …

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Time Distortion: A Barrier to Situational Awareness (Episode 269)

This episode discusses the connection between time distortion and situational awareness. Length: 20 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 out the Situational Awareness Matters Online Academy. CLICK HERE for …

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Relationship Bias – A Barrier to Situational Awareness

During a recent Flawed Situational Awareness program I conducted an exercise to show just how stubborn our brains can be. Without going into too much detail here, the exercise is designed to demonstrate the consequences of relationship biases. The results of the exercise are quite predictable and consistent. Whether we like it or not, our …

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Pre Arrival Lens and Situational Awareness

The pre-arrival lens is a neurological phenomenon that can both help and hinder situational awareness. The “lens” is your mental view of the incident you are responding to, developed prior to your arrival,  and based on the triangulation of three primary data sources – dispatch information (shared via radio), past experience and imagination. This article …

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Situational Awareness Matters

The Perfect Storm

In one of my recent Mental Management of Emergencies classes a participant was describing an incident that resulted in several first responder casualties. As he shared the details, he described the unfolding of events as “The Perfect Storm.” This article will discuss the origins of that phrase and share why we should consider changing our …

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Top Ten Near-Miss Interviews (SAM 248)

In this episode, I recap the events surrounding our most downloaded near-miss interviews in the history of the show. Length: 33 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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Pre-Arrival Lens, Task Fixation, Mission Myopia and Fear (Episode 246)

In this episode, you get to sit in on a segment of a situational awareness program where Dr. Gasaway discusses four situational awareness barriers. Length: 33 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 …

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How We Understand (Episode 245)

In this episode, you get to sit in on a short segment of a situational awareness program where Dr. Gasaway explains the second component in the situational awareness process – how your brain develops understanding. Length: 47 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in …

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Seven Situational Awareness Thieves

Recently I had a video clip shared with me of a residential dwelling fire. The video captures a flashover event. It was reported to me that firefighters were operating inside the structure when it occurred. As I watched the video progress, it was apparent interior conditions were getting worse, the color of the smoke was …

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Weather Can Impact Situational Awareness

You may recall from earlier discussions that situational awareness is formed by gathering information about what is happening in the environment around you. Then, your brain takes that information and attempts to form an understanding of what it all means. Finally, after understanding what it means, you make predictions of future events. This is a …

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