By Craig Nelson and Dane Carley
Where We’ve Been
- Recognizing discrepancies and exploring them instead of mindlessly categorizing them in familiar, comfortable places
- Questioning an error over and over to find the root cause, which often lies in a fire department’s culture and practices
- Collecting after-action reports quickly before stories of the various participants are “straightened out”
- Reducing distractions constructively through delegation without losing situational awareness
- Encouraging an un-simplification of operations by seeking out different perspectives, people with different backgrounds, and encouraging constructive, respectful feedback
- Doing away with rigid hierarchical decision making and replacing it with value-based decision making that is dynamic and flexible
- Recent changes in supervision*
- Issues delegated without follow-up
- Lack of questioning attitude*
- Missed steps in a procedure
- Loss of collective situational awareness; not everyone is on the same page*
- Staff spread thin*
Which bulleted points describing a preoccupation with failure above are relevant to this incident?
- Recognizing discrepancies?
- Encouraging an un-simplification of operations
- Lack of questioning attitude?
- Missed steps in a procedure?
- Lost, or even diminished, situational awareness?
A fire department’s preoccupation with error also enhances its effectiveness by capturing trends in data collection. What types of measures enhance a fire department’s effectiveness? Here are a few broad ideas, but each community has its specific needs.
- Identifying an emerging community hazard?
- Identifying an emerging building design hazard?
- Identifying services complementary to those already provided that meet citizens’ expectations and enhance responder safety while reducing the potential for future problems?
Please contact us at email@example.com .
Craig Nelson (left) works for the Fargo (ND) Fire Department and works part-time at Minnesota State Community and Technical College – Moorhead as a fire instructor. He also works seasonally for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources as a wildland firefighter in Northwest Minnesota. Previously, he was an airline pilot. He has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in executive fire service leadership.
Dane Carley (right) entered the fire service in 1989 in southern California and is currently a captain for the Fargo (ND) Fire Department. Since then, he has worked in structural, wildland-urban interface, and wildland firefighting in capacities ranging from fire explorer to career captain. He has both a bachelor’s degree in fire and safety engineering technology, and a master’s degree in public safety executive leadership. Dane also serves as both an operations section chief and a planning section chief for North Dakota’s Type III Incident Management Assistance Team, which provides support to local jurisdictions overwhelmed by the magnitude of an incident.
- Tailboard Talk: Introduction to Higher Reliability Organizations
- Tailboard Talk: HROs Use Human Factors to Improve Learning Within the Organization