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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 the common mistakes.

The best thing about this program is the 10 best practices cost little money to implement. I explained to the attendees how the solutions to improving firefighter safety can be simple… but not easy. Simple because the department does not have to petition councils for more budget dollars. Challenging because the solutions involve changing human behavior.

On Saturday, I presented a full day leadership program titled “The Leader’s Toolbox: A No PowerPoint Zone for Learning.” The program is exactly what it says. Tools for leadership, taught without PowerPoint. This is a non-scripted, no baloney leadership program that uses facilitated adult learning, exercises and parables to convey important leadership lessons. An exercise at the start of the program allows the students to set the agenda for the day. On this day, we discussed:

  • Understanding motivation
  • Conflict resolution
  • Buddy-to-boss
  • Worst boss traits
  • Best boss traits

The 41 attendees left with tools they can immediately use to address challenges they are facing on and off the job.


The mission of Situational Awareness Matters is simple: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to change the outcome.

Safety begins with SA!


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If you want to send me incident pictures, videos or have an idea you’d like me to research and write about, contact me. I really enjoy getting feedback and supportive messages from fellow first responders. It gives me the energy to work harder for you.


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