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Situational Awareness Lessons from a Line of Duty Death

Watch this  YouTube video detailing the circumstances of a firefighter line of duty death in which a firefighter from British Columbia was tragically killed when a shipping container exploded without warning.

Oftentimes when a firefighter is killed in the line of duty the lessons are not shared. Credit to the department and the province for creating a video that details the circumstances and shares the powerful lessons learned. This is a powerful way to honor the life of a fallen firefighter.

Discussion Items

Avoiding judgment, discuss:

  1. The clues and cues that might have forewarned these firefighters of this tragic event.
  2. The role complacency may have played in this tragedy.
  3. The role that task fixation may have played in this tragedy.

Pause and reflect how this tragedy has impacted the fallen firefighter’s family, his department and the community. No firefighter ever responds to a call thinking they will lose their situational awareness and, as a result, will not return home.

This department’s engine returned to the station with an empty seat. May we all strive to ensure all of our members return home safely from every call.



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 details, enrollment options and pricing.


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.




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