Blog by Dr. Richard B. Gasaway, CFO, EFO, Fire Chief (ret.)
The precursor to situational awareness is situational readiness. I define situational readiness as having the ability to anticipate what things need to be in place to be well-prepared for an emergency response; and then, taking the steps necessary to ensure those things are done in advance of the actual response.
What precisely is needed to ensure situational readiness? Here are 10 things that make a good start to the list:
Situational Readiness List
1. Hiring of the right people for the right reasons.
2. Firing the wrong people for the right reasons.
3. Developing a comprehensive program to train supervisors how to be leaders of people.
4. Building a safety culture where egos are kept in check and self-esteem is strengthened by supportive leadership.
5. Ensuring members have all the tools and equipment necessary to ensure success.
6. Ensuring members are thoroughly trained on how to use their tools and equipment.
7. Training members for success using realistic and repetitive evolutions, scenarios and simulations.
8. Ensuring the focus is first, and foremost, on the prevention of emergencies.
9. Evaluating opportunities for self-improvement following each emergency response.
10. Making small, incremental improvements over time. Avoid changing things at a pace that is faster than the organization can sustain.
Situational Non-Readiness List
Now, let’s look at the antithesis list. These are the hallmarks of organizations that are not well-prepared.