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Situational Awareness for Firefighters


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Does anyone know of any Services who do situational awareness training for firefighters? We seem to do it to death for Commanders, yet very little if any for the guys and girls actually in the hazard area. 

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Would it really be necessary for firefighters? As an OIC you need a greater degree of overall awareness of the big picture. Firefighters obviously need situational awareness but not to the same extent.

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I believe critical decision making, hazard identification and situational awareness is vitally important for FFs yes. I agree ICs need it obviously but once FFs cross into the hazard area they do their own DRA  and hence in my opinion need training on it. Just a thought from years of teaching recruits and receiving all the IC training. 

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4 hours ago, Geeta77 said:

I believe critical decision making, hazard identification and situational awareness is vitally important for FFs yes.

I don’t disagree with that at all. What I mean is it’s obviously required from OICs to a greater extent, hence the training/extra responsibilities when taking charge. I do think it’s something that comes with time on the job and common sense though. I would welcome such training I just can’t see how it would be a priority at firefighter level given everything else we already have to keep on top of, unfortunately.

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It just seems a shame to me that we'll put time in for all kinds of training, be it ops or other, but don't ever seem to be able to find time for this. And as for common sense that seems to be the hardest thing to teach some firefighters, especially in my opinion, the newer ones

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Yeah I see what you’re saying. I definitely think time could be better spent sometimes. As for the newer ones having less common sense. Maybe this is just how new recruits appear to seasoned and experienced staff? Its inevitable that you will always get “that’s not how we did it in my day” because practices and procedures change, and in 20 years time this generation will do doubt be saying the same things about the next generation.

Im also not really sure you can teach common sense? I think it’s developed over time.

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it’s two different things though isn’t it? situational awareness for commanders is a skill to be able to step back from the initial instincts at an incident and take scope of a greater amount of information to resolve the incident in the safest way. 

situational awareness for firefighters is the ability to identify immediate hazards in front of them and mitigate the risk of those hazards to themselves and others. 

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Without getting bogged down in semantics, my original point was if any Services have ever done or considered doing some type of hazard / decision making / situational awareness training with firefighters. I would happily argue with anyone that in a going job firefighters make at least as many critical decisions as the guy in the white hat standing outside, it's just that they get theirs wrong they mightn't go home that night. I think it's something that needs to be explored and wondered if anyone had had any experience of it

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