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The Link Between Disorientation and Situational Awareness

BY CHRISTOPHER BRENNANThe fireground is a dynamic environment that is filled with threats to the firefighter. These threats exist in a 360° “bubble,” left and right, in front of and behind, and above and below the firefighter. To safely operate in this kind of environment, we must develop the skill to maintain situational awareness (SA). As defined by the U.S. Coast Guard, “Situational awareness is the ability to identify, process, and comprehend the critical elements of information about what is happening to the team with regard to the mission.”1 In other words, if you have SA, you constantly know what is happening around you and where you are in relation to t...

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