Overload

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

Complacency: A Lesson Worth Sharing – The Eric Wappel Story – 390

Captain Eric Wappel shares a tale of complacency and how he faced it head-on with his department. On January 3, 2022, the North Judson – Wayne Township Fire Department was dispatched for the second time to the same residence for a “furnace smoking.” Captain Eric Wappel wasn’t available for the first response, but responded to …

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The Violence Project: How to stop a mass shooting epidemic. An interview with Dr. James Densley – 389

This episode is an interview is with Dr. James Densley, discussing his book: The Violence Project: How to stop a mass shooting epidemic. Dr. James Densley is Professor and Department Chair of Criminal Justice at Metro State University, part of the Minnesota State system. He is also co-founder of The Violence Project Research Center, best …

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Hands-Free Driving Laws are a Bad Idea

Before you get too upset and refuse to read this article, I’ll ask you to give me just two minutes to explain the situational awareness lesson behind this statement. The first premise is: We must acknowledge (and accept) that it is easy for drivers to get distracted and have their situational awareness impacted while talking …

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Twelve tips to improve situational awareness – SAM 383

In this episode, a special guest (Santa) presents twelve tips to improve situational awareness while working in high-risk, high consequence environments. Merry Christmas everyone! I know everyone’s feeling particularly festive this time of year and ole Santa is feeling the situational awareness love. Surely, you’ve heard of the “Twelve Days of Christmas.” – You know …

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Distractions and Interruptions – SAM 368

In this episode, we preview the distractions and interruptions chapter from the book, How Smart Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety. Along a worker’s journey toward envisioning, developing, and implementing their plan to guide their (hopefully) successful outcome, they are likely to encounter two situational awareness barriers that can quickly derail their focus. Distractions …

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Short-Term Memory – SAM 367

In this episode, we preview the short-term memory chapter from the book, How Smart Workers Use Situational Awareness to Improve Safety. Short-term memory can create a formidable challenge to situational awareness. Long-term memory is huge, some might argue it’s limitless. Short-term memory, not so much. The capacity of the average person’s short-term memory is about …

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19 Ways Communications can Impact SA – SAM 359

In this episode we discuss 19 ways that communications issues can impact Situational Awareness.     First responders spend a lot of time together, on calls, in the station, and in many cases in social settings outside of work. All of this interaction builds relationships that allow responders to trust their lives to each other. We’ll …

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Information Overload – SAM 355

This episode explores the capacity of the human brain to process sensory stimuli into short-term memory and the impact it can have on situational awareness. The San Francisco Fire 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 …

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The Myth of Multitasking – SAM 346

This episode explores the challenges workers face while operating in dynamically changing conditions that require sharing attention to multiple, concurrent activities – a.k.a., multitasking.  If you are the type of person who can work on your notebook, listen to music on your iPod, talk on your cell phone and text message at the same time, …

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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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