Situational Awareness MattersSituational Awareness Matters is dedicated to improving first responder decision making and situational awareness in high-stress, high-consequence environments.

This mission is accomplished by providing situational awareness training with a singular purpose: To help you see the bad things coming… in time to avoid bad outcomes.

Whether you got here from a redirect from my existing website ( or you found this site through a web search or a link from another website, welcome. I’m glad you’re here.

Situational Awareness MattersThis is SAMatters. The “SA” is the acronym for Situational Awareness and in the context of the title “Matters” means it’s important!

To say that situational awareness is important for first responders is a ridiculous understatement. Flawed situational awareness is the leading contributing factor identified in first responder near-miss events and is an often cited contributing factor in fatality investigation reports.

I’d like to add the word catastrophically before the word important. It helps underscore the vital importance of situational awareness for first responder safety.

Why mark this page and visit often?

I have dedicated the past nine years of my life to the study of the art and science of high risk, high consequence decision making and to learn as much as I possibly could about situational awareness for the benefit of first responders, pilots, medical providers, soldiers, nuclear energy technicians and industrial workers.

Situational Awareness MattersThe desire to improve first responder situational awareness and decision making has consumed me. I am both an active researcher and a first-responder practitioner on this subject. In addition to my direct first responder experience of 30+ years, I also completed doctoral degree while researching the neuroscience of first responder decision making and situational awareness.

At one time in my career I thought I knew it all about situational awareness and how to make good decisions until I went back to school and studied the neuroanatomy and cognitive psychology behind it… and there is A LOT more behind it than I ever imagined. And every day, I’m learning something new that I want to share everything I know with the community of my first responder brothers and sisters.

This site will be my forum to share what I have learned. I hope you will come along with me on this journey, sign-up for my newsletter and become a member of the community. Participate in the discussion so we can learn from each other while keeping our #1 goal in mind… doing everything we can to keep first responders safe.

My Mission: Help first responders see the bad things coming… in time to change the outcome.

My slogan: Safety starts with SA!

Thanks for visiting.

Fire Chief (ret.) Richard B. Gasaway, PhD
Founding Editor, Situational Awareness Matters!


Thank you Lord for the many gifts
you have given me, for my family,
for my health and for my happiness.

Lord, please watch over all first responders
as they do your will. Please give them strong
situational awareness and return
them safely to their families.

Finally, Lord, please give me the strength,
the wisdom and the courage to teach first
responders about situational awareness so
I may help them see the bad things coming…
in time to change the outcome.

~ Amen