Keynotes and Programs Descriptions

Rich GasawayKeynotes

Keynote addresses are customized to meet the needs of your audience and range from 30-90 minutes in duration.


  • 2-hour breakouts
  • Half-day workshops
  • Full-day seminars
  • Multi-day safety and leadership development programs


My areas of speciality is delivering powerful, results-oriented, high-impact, experience-based safety and leadership programs. I have been delivering content rich programs for first responders from all over the world for more than 25 years. Let me know how I can help your organization improve safety and leadership.

Safety Programs

Mental Management of Emergencies SMRich Gasaway
Improving decision making under stress
CLICK HERE for the program description

Fifty Ways to Kill a First Responder SM
Improving first responder situational awareness
CLICK HERE for the program description

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly SM
First Responder Safety: Mistakes and best practices

When Brain Science Meets Public Safety: What have we learned? SM
Fifteen things you need to know about how your brain works under stress

The Competent Commander SM
Twenty One essential skills for improving incident outcomes

Training for Failure: Why we must change the way we train first responders SM
Nine amazing examples of trained failure and the solutions to fix the problem

Real World Incident Management For Small Fire Departments SMRich Gasaway
Incident management for departments with limited resources

Realistic Incident Accountability SM
Understanding why most accountability systems don’t work and how to fix the problem

A Recipe From Hell’s Kitchen SM
Understanding the ingredients that produce catastrophic outcomes

Stop the Insanity! SM
Understanding why casualty investigations are not improving safety

Multitasking and Seven Other Deadly Misconceptions SM
What you don’t know about how your brain works… can kill you!

In the Blink of an Eye SM
Understanding how to make high-stress, high consequence decisions

Leadership Programs

Preparing for the Storm on the Horizon SM
Preparing for the tough questions about your organization’s operational efficiency and effectiveness.

The Courage to Lead 
The seven qualities of courageous leadership.

Leader’s Toolbox SM
Essential tools to survive and thrive as a leader
CLICK HERE to view the program description

Rich Gasaway

Company Officer Development Institute SM
Developing essential skills to ensure company officer success
CLICK HERE to view the program description

Chief Officer Leadership Institute SM
Developing strategic skills to ensure chief officer success
CLICK HERE to view the program description

Recruit and Retain the Best
Strategies to attract and keep the best members

Working successfully with diverse groups to achieve a common goal

Improving Motivation
Understanding why people behave… and don’t be have… the way you want them to.

Building Customer Loyalty Through Exceptional Services
How to provide service that exceeds expectations

Gen Y is gonna rock your world, dawg. SM
Think you know your new workers… or your kids for that matter. Think again.
* This program is presented jointly with Cameron Gasaway.

Instructor Development ProgramsRich Gasaway

The Competent Public Speaker SM
Deliver powerful messages with a lasting impact

Leave Your Mark SM
Using simile, metaphor and storytelling to impact your audience

Throw Away Your PowerPoint and Start Teaching SM
Engage your  audience using adult facilitated learning techniques

Personal Development Programs

Climbing down the ladder of success SM
Preparing to leave your public service career

Dealing with Difficult People SM
Surviving and thriving in a challenging environment


The Mental Management of Emergencies

Delivery Formats

Keynote: 1 hour

Workshop: up to 1/2 day

Symposium: Full-day

Mental Management of Emergencies program description: This powerful training program is designed to build  first responder knowledge of situational awareness – one of the leading contributing factors to first responder casualty incidents. During this program, I combine my 22 years of chief officer command experience with my extensive research on the topic of first responder situational awareness and presents material that is catastrophically important for all responders. This program is presented in my signature hallmark style – packed full of humor and examples that resonate well with the first responder community. I won’t try to impress you with complex terms from neuroscience. The lessons in this program are too important to risk anyone misunderstanding.


Fifty Ways to Kill a First Responder

Delivery Formats

Workshop: up to 1/2 day *

Symposium: Full-day

Fifty Ways to Kill a First Responder program description: This program shares leading factors that erode the situational awareness of first responders operating under stress. While conducting my research I amassed a list of more than 100(!) barriers to situational awareness. This program focuses on the top 50. This presentation is ideal for commanders, supervisors and line personnel and is valuable for new responders just learning how to make quality decisions in emergency situations. The program’s focus on leading barriers to situational awareness includes recommendations for how to improve decision making in high-risk, high consequence environments. While the program is focused predominately on decision making and situational awareness at residential dwelling fires, other domains are discussed and the lessons are, truly, universal.

* It takes a full day to cover the fifty ways. If the 1/2 day workshop version is requested, the program title will change to “Many Ways to Kill a First Responder” and I will discuss as many barriers (in descending order of importance) as time will permit.


The Courage to Lead

Delivery Formats

Workshop: up to 1/2 day *

Symposium: Full-day

The courage to lead program description: It’s not easy being a leader. It take knowledge, skills and abilities. But, above all else, it takes courage! If leadership were easy, we’d all work for great bosses and we know that’s simply not the case. This program focuses on what it takes to be a strong, principled, courageous leader in the face of adversity. You’ll learn best practices for how to be a courageous leader, including:

  • How to hire the right people for the right reasons;
  • How to fire the wrong people for the right reasons;
  • How to overcome fear of criticism and embarrassment;
  • How to adapt and overcome adversity;
  • How to resolve conflict;
  • How to motivate under performing workers;
  • How to evaluate performance;
  • How to sell your ideas for change;
  • How to coach subordinates to be courageous leaders; and much, much more.


There’s a new breed of worker lining up to be your next member: Are you ready?

Like it or not, here they come… The Generation Y first responder!  Are you ready? There are 80 million of them and they’re going to be your next crop of new firefighters and EMS providers. They’re a force to be reckoned with and they’re changing the rules for successful recruitment & retention. They’re tech savvy, family-centric and attention craving. And if you don’t know how to handle them, they can drive you crazy!  This program introduces you two Generation Y employment candidates.

The first candidate is your stereotypical Gen Y teen. He’s chillin’, saggin’, textin’, Ipodin’, X-Box playin’ and Facebookin’. He’s coming to you with no credentials and unreasonable demands. He’s going to tell you how it is! Like him or not, he is who he is and he ain’t changin’ to conform to what he sees as antiquated ways of management. Are you ready?

Your second candidate is the not-so-stereotypical Gen Y teen. He’s an Eagle Scout, honor student, national EMS competition award winner and a distinguished honor graduate from the United States Marine Corp crash-rescue firefighter training program. He’s coming to you with quality credentials and very high expectations.  He’s going to tell you how it is! And, like his fellow Gen Y teen, he’s not changing to conform to what he sees as antiquated ways of management. Are you ready?

Finally, to help you manage through this quagmire, you will participate in a discussion facilitated by a public safety leader with 30+ years of experience and the contributing author of The Leadership Guide to Combination Fire Departments, co-author of The Leadership Guide to Volunteer Fire Services (both Jones & Bartlett Publishing), and author of On Fire About Leadership (self-published).

If you have a headache and heartburn just reading this program flyer, come and get a dose of both the new reality and sage, solution-based advice.