This book provides an overview of state-of-the-art research that has been conducted within Australia, funded by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre. The chapters source and contextualize their own research practice within the context of the international research literature. Therefore, while the research has occurred within Australia it will be of particular interest to scholars, students and practitioners in a number of other countries, particularly within the United States of America and in Europe. The fire and emergency services is a particularly large industry - in Australia alone it employs 250,000 personnel - yet there is very little by way of published human factors books addressing this sector directly. Emergency events frequently involve problems for which there may be unanticipated consequences and highly interdependent consequential effects. In short, emergency events are not necessarily as containable as may be work in other domains. As Karl Weick once commented, emergency events do not 'play by the rules'. This means that these research chapters tell us something about a potential future world of work that is highly dynamic, interdependent and for which improvisation and critical thinking and problem-solving are necessary pre-requisites. The discussions about individual and team performance will also be pertinent to others working in similar high-reliability, high-consequence domains. The chapters connect into an integrated body of work about individual and group performance and their limitations.
Table of Contents
Contents: Human factors in emergency management, Dr Christine Owen and Dr Peter Hayes; Stress and wildland firefighter safety-related decisions and actions, Prof. Jim McLennan, Roger Strickland, Dr Mary Omodei and Dr Joel Suss; Expert decision making and the use of worst case scenario thinking, Dr Claire Johnson; What were they thinking? A model of metacognition for bushfire fighters, Dr Lisa M. Frye and Prof. Alexander J. Wearing; The role of affect in individual and collective performance in a sociocultural context, Dr Jan Douglas; The impact of team member familiarity on performance: ad hoc and pre-formed emergency service teams, Dr Peter Hayes; Leadership, communication and teamwork in emergency management, Dr Christine Owen; Firefighter decision making at the local incident and regional/state control levels, Peter Bremner, Dr Chris Bearman and Andrew Lawson; Coping ugly: errors, decisions, coping and the implications for emergency management training, Dr Benjamin Brooks; Creating cultures of reflective learning in the emergency services: two case studies, Dr Sue Stack; The challenges of change in future emergency management: conclusions and future developments, Dr Christine Owen, Dr Karyn Bosomworth and Steve Curnin. Index.
Christine Owen is an established senior researcher with 20 years experience in investigating communication, coordination and collaborative practices in high-technology, high-intensity, high-reliability environments. She is conducting research in aviation, and emergency medicine and emergency management environments. She has an interest in using theories of learning to understand work practices and development in work organisations. Her focus is a socio-cultural one and includes investigating what enables and constrains learning development and change in the workplace. She also has a strong commitment to teaching and research utilisation illustrated in the educational leadership and utilisation roles she has held during her career.