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Do ya feel lucky? Well, you shouldn't...

Have you ever heard someone say on the fireground or back at the firehouse, "Man I sure was lucky on that one", I have and I thought to myself, why do they say or feel that way? Shouldn't we be saying, "Man, if it weren't for my training I wouldn't have got out of that situation". Your training is what you fall back to each and everyday. When the stuff hits the fan or you find yourself in a sticky situation, don't rely on "luck" but what you have learned throughout your career to see you through those situations. There is no room for luck on the fireground but there is plenty of room for training and experience. It all starts with situational awareness. Situation awareness is what allows you to tap into the training and experience you hold within and we must pull from that, if not, our "luck" will run out and the situation goes bad!

So my question to you is, what are you doing to prepare yourself, to get yourself and your crew ready for the next alarm? Start with the critical parts and this is accomplished by paying attention to details around you. Do you know that there are three levels to situational awareness? It's not just looking around you, it goes much deeper than that. First you must have a preception of the situation around you, pick up on the very important elements around you in the environment. Then, you must understand their meaning. Lastly, you must be able to predict their status in the near future. Thats situational awareness! If you can do that then you can throw luck out of the equation and pull from the training you have because you see a problem and you know how to react and mitigate the situation.

That's what you want, you want to rely on what you know and not what you hope or guess. If we can understand situational awareness and how it helps on the fireground then we can use that to our advantage and make educated and correct decisions on the fireground. There is nothing worse than forgetting the "lucky rabbits foot" in the locker, but situational awareness, training, and experience is something that is inside of each and everyone of us. Use it and I promise you that it will overpower luck everytime! Then you can say with confidence, "I knew what to do when it happened!", I like that much better, don't you?

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