Decisions on Fire.

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Decision making on the fireground is a complex activity reflected in the cultural image of fire in contemporary Western societies, the expertise of firefighters and the public demand for response to fire. The split second decisions that must be made by incident commanders on the fireground demonstrate that the dominant models of rational, logical argument and naturalistic decision making are incapable of dealing with this complexity. Twelve senior ranking Australian fire officers participated in the investigation from which I propose that fireground incident commanders are relying on aesthetic awareness and somatic responses, similar to those of an artist, and that due to the often ineffable nature of their responses these sources of information are usually unacknowledged. As a result I have developed my own theory of decision making on the fireground, termed ‘Multimodal Decision Making’, which is distinguished from formal rationality and informal sense-based rationality in that it approaches art, science and practice as a complex and irreducible whole
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalM/C Journal - A Journal of Media and Culture
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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