Our People

Associate Prof Chris Bearman
Project Leader
Key interests:

About

Chris Bearman's research involves conducting industry-focused studies in laboratory and field settings with the aim of creating results that have both a strong theoretical underpinning and a robust application to industry. This involves working closely with industry partners and government organizations around the world. Chris also supervises a number of PhD, Masters & Honours students in the Safety Science and Human Factors areas.

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Project leadership

How can incident management teams function to the best of their ability in challenging and high stakes environments? This research has developed practical techniques and strategies to help emergency managers to function in complex situations – situations which can exert extreme pressures on response and management teams, sometimes causing breakdowns in teamwork that can lead to impaired operational response.

Two tools have been developed, 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, during emergencies, and in after-action reviews. Agencies that are already trialling these techniques include the South Australian Country Fire Service, Tasmania Fire Service and NSW State Emergency Service.

Year Type Citation
2017 Journal Article Bearman, C., Grunwald, J., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Tools for monitoring teams in emergency management: EMBAM and TBM. Australian Journal of Emergency Management 32, (2017).
2017 Journal Article McLennan, J., Every, D., Bearman, C. & Wright, L. On the concept of denial of natural hazard risk and its use in relation to householder wildfire safety in Australia. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 21, 176-186 (2017).
2017 Conference Paper Bearman, C., Rainbird, S., Owen, C., Brooks, B. & Curnin, S. Enhancing team performance. AFAC17 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Conference Paper Brooks, B., Curnin, S., Bearman, C. & Owen, C. Identifying lessons from exercising and training for emergency management decision-making. AFAC17 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Journal Article Grunwald, J. & Bearman, C. Identifying and resolving coordinated decision making breakdowns in emergency management. International Journal of Emergency Management 13, (2017).
2017 Report Bearman, C. et al. Decision making, team monitoring and organizational learning in emergency management: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2016 Journal Article Bearman, C. & Bremner, P. A. Don't just do something, stand there! Mitigating goal seduction in emergency management. National Emergency Response 29, 12-17 (2016).
2016 Report Every, D. et al. Capturing community experiences in the 2015 Sampson Flat fire. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Journal Article Every, D. et al. Contacts versus connectors: The role of Community Fire Safe Group coordinators in achieving positive bushfire safety outcomes. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction 19, (2016).
2016 Report Bearman, C. et al. Decision making, team monitoring and organisational learning in emergency management: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Report Bearman, C., Rainbird, S., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Proposed tools for monitoring teams in emergency management. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Journal Article Owen, C., Brooks, B., Bearman, C. & Curnin, S. Values and complexities in assessing strategic-level emergency management effectiveness. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management 24, 181-190 (2016).
2015 Report Bearman, C. Decision making, team monitoring and organisational performance: Part three team performance monitoring research stream. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Practical Decision Tools for Improved Decision-Making in Complex Situations Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C. et al. Decision making, team monitoring and organisational performance: Part One Executive Summary. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Bearman, C. et al. Practical decision tools for improved decision-making in complex, time-constrained and multi-team environments: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Trigg, J. et al. Capturing community experiences: South Australian bushfires January 2014. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Journal Article Bearman, C., Grunwald, J., Brooks, B. & Owen, C. Breakdowns in coordinated decision making at and above the incident management team level: An analysis of three large scale Australian wildfires. Applied Ergonomics 47, 16-25 (2015).
2015 Conference Paper Owen, C., Brooks, B. & Bearman, C. Challenges of Measuring Emergency Management Performance Under Adversity: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2013 Journal Article Bearman, C. & Bremner, P. A. A day in the life of a volunteer incident commander: Errors, pressures and mitigating strategies. Applied Ergonomics 44, 488 - 495 (2013).
2013 Report Owen, C., Bosomworth, K., Bearman, C. & Brooks, B. Strategic emergency management in Australia and New Zealand - discussion paper on implications of research. (2013).
2013 Conference Proceedings Bearman, C., Owen, C., Brooks, B. & Grunwald, J. The Problems of Maintaining Effective Teamwork During Out-of-Scale Events. 2013 Research Forum (2013). at <http://www.bushfirecrc.com/resources/research-report/problems-maintaining-effective-teamwork-during-out-scale-events>
2013 Conference Proceedings Owen, C. et al. Politics, Policies and Paradigms: Challenges of Change in Future Emergency Management. 2013 Annual Conference (2013). at <http://www.bushfirecrc.com/resources/research-report/politics-policies-and-paradigms-challenges-change-future-emergency-managem>

Resources credited

Type Released Title Download Key Topics
Presentation-Slideshow 08 Sep 2014 Challenges of measuring emergency management performance under adversity Save (1.69 MB) decision making
Presentation-Audio-Video 20 Oct 2014 Measuring EM performance under adversity: The good, the bad, the ugly capability, emergency management
HazardNoteEdition 19 Mar 2015 How three South Australian communities responded to the 2014 bushfires Save (130.53 KB) communication, communities, decision making
Presentation-Slideshow 10 Apr 2015 Decision Making 2015 NSW RAF Presentation Save (1.98 MB) decision making, education
HazardNoteEdition 06 Apr 2016 Sampson Flat community bushfire experiences Save (519.63 KB) communities, fire, fire impacts
Presentation-Slideshow 17 May 2016 Decision making, team monitoring and organisational learning Save (1.79 MB) communication, decision making, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 30 Aug 2016 "I’m going to be frightened out of my wits": Insights on psychological preparedness from the Sampson Flat fire - Danielle Every Save (970.63 KB) communication, communities, fire
Presentation-Slideshow 30 Aug 2016 Team monitoring tools - Chris Bearman Save (674.21 KB) capability, decision making, emergency management
Presentation-Audio-Video 27 Oct 2016 Practical decision tools for improved decision-making - project overview Save (0 bytes) decision making, emergency management, multi-hazard
Presentation-Slideshow 18 Apr 2017 Team Monitoring, Decision making & Organizational Learning Save (1.33 MB) decision making, emergency management
HazardNoteEdition 23 Jun 2017 Tools to enhance emergency management team performance Save (568.01 KB) decision making, emergency management, multi-hazard
HazardNoteEdition 28 Jun 2017 Helping agencies learn from experience Save (656.75 KB) decision making, education, risk management
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Jul 2017 Enhancing capability in emergency management Save (1.15 MB) capability, decision making, emergency management
Presentation-Slideshow 07 Sep 2017 Enhancing teamwork Save (349.78 KB) capability, decision making, emergency management

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