Researchers are seeking multi-agency UK incident commanders

Cardiff University (CU) and Robert Gordon University (RGU) researchers from the Natural Hazard Research Australia (the Centre) Enhancing decision-making in emergency management project are seeking multi-agency UK incident commanders to participate in the first phase of their research study.

Natural Hazards Research Australia is Australia’s national research centre for natural hazard resilience and disaster risk reduction. Prof Rhona Flin (RGU) and Dr Philip Butler (CU) are conducting the UK arm of the project as part of an international research team led by A/Prof Chris Bearman and Dr Peter Hayes from CQ University. The study seeks incident commanders from every work and shift pattern (including volunteers) working at all levels of command in ambulance, fire and rescue, and police services to provide input on current practices in operational decision-making. This research will aid in the understanding of how people currently make decisions, the tools they use, and the gaps in training and organisational doctrine on decision making.

The study is split into two parts; Part 1 is an anonymous online survey to provide a snapshot of current decision-making practice in incident command. Part 2 is an in-depth interview to further understanding of key issues such as:

  • how practitioners learn and develop their operational decision-making skills
  • possible gaps in decision-making training
  • use of decision-making tools and frameworks
  • challenges and opportunities to improve operational decision-making
  • alignment of organisational guidance to operational decision-making practice
  • and the degree to which pressures (such as stress and fatigue) may undermine operational decision-making.

A key feature of this project is to gain a perspective on operational decision making of UK incident commanders that will contribute toward an analysis of the current practice and future requirements of such decision-making in support of the research aims:

  • to develop a set of prototype training and learning products for Australian emergency management organisations that supports the needs of decision-makers working in a variety of operational environments, and
  • to develop a skills acquisition framework to assist such organisations, teams, and individuals to better understand operational decision-making.

The online survey and interview will remain open until the end of April 2024.

The Centre encourages UK emergency service incident commanders to participate in this study.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More