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A case study of decision making in emergencies

John Ash and Clive Smallman
Risk Management
Vol. 12, No. 3 (July 2010), pp. 185-207
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40660682
Page Count: 23
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
A case study of decision making in emergencies
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Abstract

The on-duty death of firefighters is a serious socio-economic issue. Research has identified significant risks associated with command, equipment, human error and standard operating procedures in emergency situations. We report the findings of a case study how an incident commander (the crew commander of the first fire and rescue appliance arriving at an incident) makes tactical decisions in emergency situations in the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service. Grounded in the naturalistic decision-making (NDM) paradigm, we simulated emergency rescue situations and recorded the response of strategic and incident commanders to these scenarios. Our findings are supported by elements of the emergency management and command, and organisational decision-making literatures, and while based on a small sample, offer answers to key issues posed by the NDM literature. In particular, we stress the need for the further development of training based on situational cue recognition, and suggest that this may have a wider role in leadership training.

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