If you want to improve your situational awareness, just pay better attention!
Oh my goodness. No, it is hardly that simple.
I just read an article where the author was giving advice about how to improve situational awareness. He said that situational awareness can be improve by paying better attention. At the very most basic level, that is true.
It has taken me over seven years of research and earning a doctoral degree on the subject to even begin understanding the complexities of the brain and how behavior changes under stress. Situational awareness is NOT as simple as paying better attention. [tweet this]
But those who don’t understand the complexities of situational awareness and the neuroscience behind attentiveness offer this very simplistic advice if, for no other reason than they don’t know any better. In their defense, that’s where I was ten years ago. But not any more.
It takes a full day of training for me to help first responders understand how to develop and maintain situational awareness and make a quality decision under stress.
Don’t be fooled by simple people giving simple advice and simple solutions to complex problems. There are over Fifty Ways to Kill a First Responder from flawed situational awareness.
Chief Gasaway’s Advice:
SOLUTION: Be sure that when you are learning about situational awareness in high-stress, high consequence environments that you are learning from credible experts who understand the neuroscience behind how decisions are made. There are lots of resources out there for you to improve your understanding on this incredibly important first responders safety topic. You can get it from me… or you can get it from someone one else. The important thing is… you get it… and you don’t let a novice teach you how to be an expert. There’s too much at stake to be set-up for failure.
1. Where have you found credible sources about how to develop and maintain situational awareness in high-stress, high consequence environments?
2. Have you ever watched a video or read a casualty report where firefighters were hurt or killed and thought they may have avoided the catastrophic outcome if they’d just paid better attention?
3. Describe what factors have contributed to an erosion of your situational awareness? (Here’s a hint: I’ve discovered over 100 barriers to situational awareness… it’s pretty scary stuff).
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!
Share your comments on this article in the “Leave a Reply” box below. 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.
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/SAMatters
LinkedIn: Rich Gasaway
iTunes: SAMatters Radio