Tools to enhance emergency management team performance



Incident management during the 2015 Sampson Flat fire in South Australia. Photo Mark Thomasson, CFS
Incident management during the 2015 Sampson Flat fire in South Australia. Photo Mark Thomasson, CFS

Effective teamwork is vital when managing emergencies. Emergencies can exert extreme pressures on response and management teams, their leaders and co-responders. These pressures sometimes cause breakdowns in teamwork that can lead to impaired operational response. Hazard Note 33 explains research that is helping to improve teamwork through better real-time identification and resolution of teamwork issues. To do this the project has developed two tools: the Emergency Management Breakdown Aide Memoire and the Team Process Checklist. The tools' flexibility and ease of use helps emergency managers to strengthen teamwork before, during and after emergencies. The tools can be used during training, in actual emergencies, and in after-action reviews, with emergency managers finding the tools to be highly valuable.

This research will be featured at Research Driving Change - Showcase 2017 in Adelaide on 4-5 July, with emergency management practitioners from the Country Fire Service SA, NSW State Emergency Service and Tasmania Fire Service sharing their insights on how this research has helped them in their business.

Further reading

Bearman C, Grunwald JA, Brooks BP and Owen C (2015), Breakdowns in coordinated decision making at and above the incident management team level: an analysis of three large scale Australian wildfires, Applied Ergonomics,47, pp. 16-25.

Bearman C, Rainbird S, Brooks BP, Owen C and Curnin S, (2017), Tools for monitoring teams in emergency management: EMBAM and TBM, Australian Journal of Emergency Management,32, pp. 40-43.

Grunwald JA and Bearman C (2017), Identifying and resolving coordinated decision making breakdowns in emergency management, International Journal of Emergency Management,13, pp. 68-86.

Wilson KA, Salas E, Priest HA, Andrews D (2007), Errors in the heat of battle: taking a closer look at shared cognition breakdowns through teamwork, Human Factors, 49(2), pp. 243-256.


All the resources from our 2016 conference

Research program in detail

Where, why and how are Australians dying in floods?

2015-2016 year in review

Bushfire planning with kids ebook

Explore by keyword