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How to Improve Responder Safety Margins

If you’re a responder, you’ve likely been on the receiving end of a fair amount of bludgeoning by Safety briefings, Safety Power Points, Safety reminders, etc. by the double-gloved hand of the Safety Nazi.

Of course, we understand the importance of not getting ourselves hurt. In a disaster, it adds another victim to an already sizable list of victims. And that’s not good.

Sometimes it’s because we just don’t understand or appreciate the risks involved in our operation.

Or perhaps we’ve grown complacent.

A few years back, on one of the rubble pile’s where I train with my USAR team, I was working alongside a teammate with whom I had a sometimes, uh, difficult relationship. This teammate and I were near a ledge and I noticed that the chinstrap on their helmet was not buckled. I motioned them to secure it, which they reluctantly and defiantly (with a look of disdain) did. Moments later as they turned, my team mate slipped and tumbled about 8 feet, landing on their head, helmet still attached, head trauma averted.

There was shared look of concern, then acknowledgment when all was well.

My teammate knew to put their chinstrap on, they had just grown complacent, like many of us do. In this case, correcting it likely saved their noggin from a nasty trauma.

Oh and that day’s exercise was preceded by an Event Action Plan with a 209 Safety Message.

Yet there we were, dealing with another ‘close call’. (keep reading for a better way…)

Responder Safety Margin


In the late 1990’s, the concept of “L.C.E.S.” was born after the tragic – and preventable – deaths of several wild land fire fighters in Arizona.

The acronym – referring to Lookout, Communication, Escape Route and Safety Zone – has since made it’s way into other areas of emergency service.

Yet whenever I hear it or see it discussed, there is very little comprehension of what to actually do.

Such a simple message that falls on deaf ears, giving a false sense of safety simply because someone regurgitated the correct acronym.

That’s not good enough.

So I created a focused and efficient online course – certificate and CEU’s included – that fills the persistent knowledge gap found in the current application of L.C.E.S.

Those that take the course emerge with a better understanding of where it applies, to whom it applies and when it applies. So that responder risk is actually reduced.

My course isn’t theoretical and it’s not a rehash of dry, federal doctrine.

It is – like all of my courses – intended to built actual knowledge, confidence and leadership in responders who actually perform the job.

Click now to check out this important Responder Safety course and receive a sample lesson for free (no enrollment necessary). Just scroll to the bottom and click on the hyperlinked Lesson.

It’s as easy as spelling L.C.E.S. 🙂

Responder Safety Margin

Responder Risk Management and L.C.E.S.

Responder Risk Management for responders expected to operate near a structural collapse or other disaster environments.

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