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working command

Episode 108 | Working Command and Situational Awareness

            This episode explores how situational awareness may be impacted when the first arriving officer establishes a “working command.” Length: 32 minutes click the YouTube icon to listen     _____________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking your understanding of situational awareness and high-risk decision making to a higher level, check out …

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Working Command and Situational Awareness

I seem to be getting asked a lot lately about what the first arriving company officer should do at a working structure fire. Specifically, the debate revolves around two basic premise. Should the first arriving company officer assume a fixed command position outside the structure and coordinate the activities of incoming units? Or, should the …

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Periodic Chart

Sponsored by Midwest Fire Thank you for visiting the Periodic Chart of Situational Awareness page. If you would like to purchase the chart, please visit the SAMatters store at: www.SAMatters.com/store/ Each situational awareness barrier identified on the Chart is clickable link that will take you to articles, audio and/or video lessons about the barrier that …

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Tracking of Personnel

Accountability: A critically important component of emergency scene safety when personnel operates in a hazardous environment. From the perspective of situational awareness, accountability plays several roles. The obvious role is personnel accountability facilitates the rapid deployment of rescue teams if something goes awry. Command knows the crew sizes and where they are operating and can …

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The Communications Specialist Role in Forming Situational Awareness

Some of the least appreciated members of the emergency response team are the communications specialists (in some venues, termed dispatchers). How do I know this? First, I served as a communications specialist (my job title was dispatcher) early in my career and I was routinely subjected to criticism and ridicule from responders because the information …

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Big Data Could Spell Big Trouble

There is a lot being written these days about how “big data” can help emergency scene commanders improve situational awareness and, subsequently, make better decisions. While information (data) is critical to the formation of situational awareness, it is very easy for a commander to become overwhelmed with data. I say this often during my Mental …

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Commercial Building Mayday. The Atascocita Fire Story – Part 2 (Episode 304)

Today’s episode is Part 2 of my 2-part interview with three command officers from the Atascocita Fire Department in Houston, Texas, sharing a story of a commercial building fire that resulted in a mayday. Length: 63 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking …

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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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Commercial Building Mayday. The Atascocita Fire Story – Part 1 (Episode 303)

Today’s episode is Part 1 of my 2-part interview with three command officers from the Atascocita Fire Department in Houston, Texas, sharing a story of a commercial building fire that resulted in a mayday. Length: 67 minutes   Click the YouTube icon to watch the full VIDEO     __________________________________________________ If you are interested in taking …

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Where Does Intuition Come From?

  It is amazing how many articles and videos I have watched lately in which they are talking about decision making based on “gut feel.” It is also disheartening how many first responders I have interviewed who have admitted to me that they have dismissed their gut feelings and proceeded to do things that resulted …

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