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  • After Action Reviews

    How many departments do something like this?

    The Army concept of training relies a great deal upon what are called after action reviews being conducted after each training and each real incident. Basicly, the entire team sits down, in a loosely structured but led discussion, and gives thier impressions about what went well, what needs improvement, what resources worked well, what resources are needed. It is not a critique, but a discussion, and it is led and kept on track by the highest ranking person or his/her designee.

    These reviews should be an enviornment where the lowest ranking person can still speak thier mind without fear, because even when all the leadership thinks things went well, that impression may not be shared by those lower down who may have some definate ideas for improvement. Reviews should also be conducted as soon as possible after the end of activity, when memories are still fresh and all involved are still present.

    One person should write down every point brought up, and that should be kept on file for further review by the leadership.


    Does anyone practice this? This has worked very well in the Army, and I am about to try to see it extended to my department. Currently we discuss anything major at the next meeting, but that can often be several weeks away and not everyone involved will be there.

  • #2
    It is not a critique,
    I'm not sure what I'm missing but this sounds like what the original version of a critique was. Todays critiques have become more focused on the mistakes but still include the overall operation from each members perspective.

    I think what you discribe is, in fact, a critique.

    Comment


    • #3
      cri·tique (kr-tk) n.
      A critical review or commentary, especially one dealing with works of art or literature.
      A critical discussion of a specified topic.
      The art of criticism.


      A critique is, by its very nature, negative and will focus on the negative, whereas a properly done review will focus on all aspects negative and positive, and if all went well you will spend 90% of your time discussing what went right and WHY it went right. A critique is based upon criticism, a review is based upon input of all kinds, from all players, not just the negative.

      Comment


      • #4
        so after all these years we been doing it wrong...see you learn something new everyday.
        ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
        NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
        343
        CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
        LT. John Ginley Engine 40
        FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
        FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
        FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
        FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
        FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
        FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
        FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
        FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
        FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

        Charleston 9
        "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
        *******************CLICK HERE*****************

        Comment


        • #5
          No we don't and Yes we should.

          The Army AAR is one of the best lessons I took with me from my time in. I'm not in a position to do anything about it beyond the company level, but my day will come.

          Sometimes things work well because we trained for it. Sometimes things work well because we got lucky. It's important to recognize when and why each happens. A proper AAR is a good way to do that.
          ullrichk
          a.k.a.
          perfesser

          a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

          Comment


          • #6
            Throw the book definitions away. We have an open discussion on the entire incident, lots of feedback both positive and negative, and we still call it a critique.

            Call it what you want, but yes, they should be done. We do them, we learn from them, we will continue them. We normally have it within a day or two of the incident.
            "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Bones42
              Throw the book definitions away. We have an open discussion on the entire incident, lots of feedback both positive and negative, and we still call it a critique.

              Call it what you want, but yes, they should be done. We do them, we learn from them, we will continue them. We normally have it within a day or two of the incident.
              Cool, terminology always gets us. The army got away from the "critique" label because too many associated it with just one person pointing out all the negatives, or juts a negative session, but like anything else what matters is not what you call it, but how you do it.

              I am glad to hear many are doing them, I am trying to get ours more consitant and routine, so we discuss things once we return from the call, even if it is just for a few minutes while we clean the SCBA masks, instead of waiting what could be over 2 weeks for the next meeting. I am probably going to make up a standard form to be filled out during such, to be completed and turning in to the chief with the state fire report.

              Comment


              • #8
                Sounds like a critique to me pal. My department does this after an unusually large incident or if something may have gone wrong @ a job or something along those lines. We look at any mistakes and how to correct them.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another aspect of the Army AAR model that should be hilighted is that each operator in the incident describes what he saw and did during the course of the incident. After the IC and other main leaders relate their observations the main points have usually been covered, but others are allowed to add additional observations.

                  The real benefit of this approach is that it lets everyone understand a leader's motivation for making certain decisions (which would be based on the information AS HE PERCEIVES IT).

                  Sometimes a commander makes a bad decision because someone else knew something important, but failed to relay that information to the IC.
                  ullrichk
                  a.k.a.
                  perfesser

                  a ship in a harbor is safe. . . but that's not what ships are for

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by firefiftyfive
                    Sounds like a critique to me pal. My department does this after an unusually large incident or if something may have gone wrong @ a job or something along those lines. We look at any mistakes and how to correct them.
                    With a critique, like you say you do, you focus on the mistakes, and the negative aspects. Being done only after a problem arises reinforces the negative aspect.

                    A review will focus on everything, from what went well to what went poor. If something went well, you determine why it went well. If everything went perfect with the whole call, you still sit down and discuss why it all went well and reinforce those positive things. And should be done after every call that requires any action, even routine MVA's have something that you can improve upon and something everyone can learn from.

                    What you describe, only taking place when mistakes are made or after major incidents, does sound more like the "critique" as we call it in the Army, as opposed to a review after every action.

                    I guess the hardest point I am pushing is the focus not just on what went wrong and why it went wrong, but equally as much on what went right and why it went right, and everyones views on what could have been done better and what is good.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I prefer to call it a post incident analysis.

                      You look at what went right, what went wrong and learn from the errors made, especially if you dealt with something out of the ordinary.

                      in other words,,,

                      A "PIA" is better than the PIA you'll get when you don't learn anything from what happened...
                      ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
                      Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Who cares what it's called!!!!!!!!!!

                        We called them post-mortems (sp?) or post-toasties......

                        Regardless what you call it, just make sure you highlight everything, good bad or indifferent. We used to do them after EVERY call, fire and EMS. Now, we don't do them as often as we should, but they can be helpful to all parties involved........
                        The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
                        We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
                        IACOJ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by E229Lt


                          I'm not sure what I'm missing but this sounds like what the original version of a critique was. Todays critiques have become more focused on the mistakes but still include the overall operation from each members perspective.

                          I think what you discribe is, in fact, a critique.
                          ATTENTION: After talking with all the Staff Chiefs on this issue we here in New York will not use the "C" word. The new "C" word will be replaced by using "The Round Table Talks". It was felt after over 150 years of cri·tique (kr?-t?k? n) we may have hurt the feelings of our Johnny's or Probies. So E229Lt PLEASE use the new terminology forthwith.
                          ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
                          NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
                          343
                          CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
                          LT. John Ginley Engine 40
                          FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
                          FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
                          FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
                          FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
                          FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
                          FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
                          FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
                          FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
                          FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

                          Charleston 9
                          "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
                          *******************CLICK HERE*****************

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Maybe we need a "After Action Review" to explain the meaning (contextualy) of Critique.

                            We call it a "Debrief" down here, focus on what went right, what went wrong and how to fix it. It must be done honestly and all members must be prepared to say if and where they stuffed up, and how they could have handled things better or differently.

                            Also how someone dealt with a specific part of the incident that may be inovative in its approach or equipment used.

                            In other words, to learn from the event and criticaly review it.

                            Most of them are dealt with in the truck on the way back and recomissioning afterwards at the station, unless it was a seriuos incident or we handled things badly, it probably will not make it into the staff room for a more formal approach.

                            PS. how many use a formal Brief style when going to the incident with the crews, I use SLOPER to get the information across.

                            Situation
                            Location
                            Operation
                            Personell
                            Equipment
                            Recovery

                            There is a fire (Situation) at xxx address (Location). 421(us) 451 and 356 (Personell = 3 x trucks of 4 FF) are attending. First in will provide initial search and interior crew, second in will provide water supply and rescue crew, 3rd due will be advised as to duties enroute. (execution). I want one 2 man BA team with 45mm for snap rescue or attack, Pump operator running BA tally board, and I will either do OIC or liase with the OIC from the first due(equipment).

                            Recovery is briefed once the execution is close to being completed. Benefit to this is it can be rapidly expanded at each incident as required, and everybody is clear on what is going on and what to do.
                            Last edited by FlyingKiwi; 10-04-2003, 04:26 PM.
                            Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
                            Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Wish we did but we don't. If you brought a truck to a call you drive it back to the station and park it and get in your car and go home. If you drove your POV to the scene you get in your car and drive home. Simple.

                              Comment

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