Keynote addresses are customized to meet the needs of your audience and range from 30-90 minutes in duration.
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.
Flawed Situational Awareness: The stealth killer of first responders℠
Flawed Situational Awareness: The stealth killer of first responders
Keynote: 1 hour
Workshop: up to 1/2 day
Program description: This program shares the powerful findings of Dr. Gasaway’s extensive research on issues related to first responder decision making and flawed situational awareness. In his review of hundreds of near-miss reports, case studies, line-of-duty death reports and videos he continually found himself being frustrated because there were so many clues, indicators and signs that the incident was going to end in disaster.
Yet, for some reason, personnel operating at the incident scene – from company officers to incident commanders – could not see it coming. Or if they did see it coming, they did nothing to alter their course.
In his research to understand why first responders were (seemingly) blind and deaf to what was happening right in front of them, Dr. Gasaway uncovered and investigated over one hundred barriers that can destroy situational awareness and flaw decision making.
This program focuses on some of the most pervasive situational awareness barriers first responders will face while operating in stress-filled, dynamically-changing environments.
Barriers to be explored and discussed will include:
- Pre-arrival lens
- Mission Myopia
- Mind drift
- Staffing issues
- Cognitive biases
- Normalization of deviance
- Human factors
- The curse of knowledge
- Command location
- Peer and supervisor pressure
- Command support
- Fear-driven decisions
- Task fixation
- Task saturation
- And more!
Mental Management of Emergencies℠
Improving decision making under stress
The Mental Management of Emergencies
Workshop: 2 days
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℠
Improving first responder situational awareness
Fifty Ways to Kill a First Responder
Workshop: 3 days
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.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly℠
First Responder Safety: Mistakes and best practices
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly program description: This program looks at a summary of 10 common mistakes and 10 best practices discovered from the presenter’s extensive evaluation of more than 500 near-miss reports and line-of-duty casualty investigations. Improve your understanding of what’s killing firefighters at incident scenes and how to improve fireground safety.
During this fast-paced program we will look at the role staffing, communications, command activities, size-up, strategy, standardized procedures, training, near-miss events and post incident evaluations play in best practices and common mistakes.
When Brain Science Meets Public Safety: What have we learned?℠
Fifteen things you need to know about how your brain works under stress
Keynote: 1 hour
Workshop: up to 1/2 day
When Brain Science Meets Public Safety: What have we learned – program description: The presenter has 30+ years experience as a student and practitioner of the fire service including serving 22 years as a fire chief. During that time something strange and unexpected happen. He developed a fascination for how the human brain works.
The more he learned, the more obsessed he became with it. As he contemplated how brain science and emergency services might interrelate, alarm bells started sounding in his head, alerting him to how ridiculously important these lessons are for first responders.
If first responders’ collective lack of understanding of how the brain functions weren’t so dangerous, it might be funny.” But it’s not funny at all. It can be downright deadly!
This program shares the results of the presenter’s efforts to overlay the emergency services and brain science. We’ll discuss things like:
- Why talking on a cell phone while driving is so dangerous and why laws requiring the use of “hands-free” devices may be the worst solution one could possibly derive!
- Why multitasking is impossible and why it can be dangerous if you don’t understand what’s happening when you TRY to multitask.
- How you actively hallucinate… every day of your life and why you may see things that don’t exist at an emergency scene?
- Why you may not see things happening right in front of your eyes, even when you’re paying attention.
- Why responders may not give accurate size-ups. In fact, they may actually tell lies… and not even realize they’re doing it.
- Feeling sleep deprived? The need for a good night’s sleep is ridiculously important but not for the reasons you think and the consequences of sleep loss can have disastrous ramifications.
- How emotions can impact your decision making and make you do (seemingly) irrational things.
- Why your short term memory is so vulnerable and what you can do to improve it.
- Practice makes perfect, right? Not necessarily repetitive training can actually be dangerous.
- Your brain collects, stores and recalls information in ways you could never imagine and you’ll be amazed with how we prove it!
- And more…
The Competent Commander℠
Twenty One essential skills for improving incident outcomes
Training for Failure: Why we must change the way we train first responders℠
Nine amazing examples of trained failure and the solutions to fix the problem
Real World Incident Management For Small Fire Departments℠
Incident management for departments with limited resources
Realistic Incident Accountability℠
Understanding why most accountability systems don’t work and how to fix the problem
A Recipe From Hell’s Kitchen℠
Understanding the ingredients that produce catastrophic outcomes
Stop the Insanity!℠
Understanding why casualty investigations are not improving safety
Multitasking and Seven Other Deadly Misconceptions℠
What you don’t know about how your brain works… can kill you!
In the Blink of an Eye℠
Understanding how to make high-stress, high consequence decisions
Preparing for the Storm on the Horizon℠
Preparing for the tough questions about your organization's operational efficiency and effectiveness.
The Courage to Lead
The seven qualities of courageous leadership.
The Courage to Lead
Workshop: up to 1/2 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.
Essential tools to survive and thrive as a leader
Company Officer Development Institute℠
Developing essential skills to ensure company officer success
Chief Officer Leadership Institute℠
Developing strategic skills to ensure chief officer success
Recruit and Retain the Best
Strategies to attract and keep the best members
Working successfully with diverse groups to achieve a common goal
Understanding why people behave... and don't behave... 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.℠
Think you know your new workers... or your kids for that matter. Think again.
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.
* This program is presented jointly with Cameron Gasaway.