Mental Models

These are the first responder situational awareness and decision making issues and opportunities related to mental models.

The 360 Degree Size-up (Episode 329)

You might think that by now the importance of completing a 360-degree size-up would be second nature for firefighters.  But it’s not.  In fact, failing to complete a proper size-up remains one of the most often cited contributing factors in NIOSH Line-of-Duty death reports.  There are lots of reasons why proper size-ups are not completed. …

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Situational Awareness Best Practices for Incident Commanders (Episode 326)

There are three component parts to situational awareness – perception, understanding and prediction.  There are barriers that can impact awareness on all three levels. The application of best practices can help incident commanders reduce the impact of barriers. Length: 35 minutes Click the YouTube icon to watch the full video.   __________________________________________________ All of our …

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A line of duty death perspective – The Jeff Dickey Story (Episode 312)

Lieutenant Jeff Dickey has served the Washington, D.C. Fire Department for more than 30 years.  Jeff was an acting officer during an incident where a DC firefighter was killed and Jeff was on the crew that recovered his body. Length: 59 minutes     Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     …

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Situational Awareness: Think Past, Present & Future

Flawed situational awareness (SA) is one of the leading contributing factors to first responder near-miss and casualty events. In fact, it is nearly impossible to find a line-of-duty death investigation report that does not implicate flawed SA, or one of the barriers that flaw SA, as contributing to the tragedy. As often as flawed SA …

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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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Preview of the AskRail® App (Episode 290)

In this episode, we interview Retired Fire Chief Charles Warner as he explains the features and benefits of the free AskRail® mobile app. Length: 36 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 …

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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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Situational Awareness and Accountability

Not long ago,  I was provided with the opportunity to present a webinar for Firehouse. The webinar was sponsored by Scott Safety. The program addressed the situational awareness/accountability connection. Thank you to Firehouse and Scott Safety for the opportunity to discuss this important topic.    

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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