Experience says it all! Or not..? : Situation awareness on the fire ground

Bomhof, Lisan (2017) Experience says it all! Or not..? : Situation awareness on the fire ground.

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Abstract:This research was conducted to examine the association between experience and situation awareness (SA) of duty officers in the fire service of the Netherlands. For SA perception, comprehension and projecting the near future are important. Experience is researched in several ways, like the number of years of experience, training, incident experience, full-time or retained duty officers and subjective experience. Several hypothesis and research questions were proposed. One of the expectations was that SA would be higher when a firefighter has a higher number of years of employment (experience). This does not seem to be true. However, more years of experience do lead to a better comprehension of the fire and its environment. Apparently believing that you have more experience with specific, similar or large incidents is associated with a better comprehension of the intervention and environment of the incident. A remarkable finding was that training did not lead to a better understanding of a real fire or the projection of the future status of the fire. No difference in SA or bias was found between full-time and retained duty officers. A striking finding was that in this research duty officers who were not active as a firefighter or crew commander, seemed to have a greater tendency to reject information as false even if true and a greater tendency to zoom in, compared to duty officers who were still active as a firefighter or crew commander. The results confirmed the critical aspect about bias tendencies of firefighters. Displayed bias tendencies may well be only appropriate for the particular situation it is measured in. Investigation of bias tendencies would seem critical to understand the factors that influences these tendencies and if these tendencies are consistent over time and place. This research can be a big steppingstone for future research about experience on the fire ground. It showed that just the number of years of experience is not sufficient for professions with high risk, low frequency incidents. Subjective incident experience seems to be a better indicator for experience of duty officers of the fire service in the Netherlands. Also the way the fire service organises their training should be evaluated when looking at its contribution to situation awareness. To answer the main research question: a small percentage of the variance in situation awareness can be explained by difference in experience. There is a relation between situation awareness and experience of the fire service, it all depends on how you define experience.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/73492
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