Reading from the Same Map: Towards a New Situational Awareness Model for Emergency Management [open pdf - 641KB]
"Situational awareness (SA) is a critical issue for public safety disciplines, including emergency management, law enforcement, and the fire service. These fields operate substantially differently from each other, but share a common model for SA, based on John Boyd's OODA loop. Boyd's model, though applied widely, is heavily shaped by artefacts from its origin in the culture of fighter pilots. These artefacts include premises that the practitioner can perceive information directly, has a clear understanding of the nature of events, and is primarily concerned with their own actions. While some disciplines have enough in common with pilots for this SA model to match their activities, emergency management does not. In emergency management, practitioners are separated from the event, events are uncertain in type and duration, and coordination among teams is a primary function. These differences in culture create mismatches between emergency management activities and the SA model, which lead to repeated failures of SA across many organizations. Furthermore, despite a large body of applicable scholarly research on SA specifically and shared cognition in general, little of it has been adopted by practitioners in any discipline. This thesis will examine the SA model to identify mismatches with emergency management, consider research on shared cognition to identify useful elements, and summarize those elements to present options for consideration and further investigation."
Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: https://calhoun.nps.edu/