News from the CRC
Learning from past experiences is integral to emergency management. Photo: South Australia SES (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Improving organisational learning and teamwork
Two CRC end-users have spoken about their first-hand experiences being involved in a research project that is shaping the way emergency managers think, learn and communicate information to their teams in highly stressful environments.
These case studies form part of the Improving decision-making in complex multi-team environments project lead by A/Prof Dr Chris Bearman.
Part of the organisational learning stream of the project focuses on how teams can improve their responses to emergencies by reflecting and learning from their previous mistakes.
Assistant Commissioner Rob McNeil from Fire and Rescue NSW talks about his experiences of being deployed as a task force leader in the aftermath of the Fukashima tsunami and earthquake in 2011.
Rob recalls the challenging decisions he made, including his choice to stay in Japan despite many other teams evacuating the area due to the threat of radiation from the nearby nuclear reactor.
A triad of theories and two checklists have been developed by the research team to assist incident management controllers to ease the stress of making complex decisions.
The research showcases Dr Christine Owen's work on learning that occurs in the post-disaster phase of an event.
Organisations will benefit from this research as it allows them to learn lessons from their past experiences and implement any changes while utilising research that is relevant to them and their response.