Decision Making Effectiveness in Wildfire Incident Management Teams

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Fire Management
TitleDecision Making Effectiveness in Wildfire Incident Management Teams
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMcLennan, J, Holgate, AM, Omodei, M, Wearing, AJ
JournalJournal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Pagination27 - 37
Date Published03/2006
AbstractDuring large scale wildfires, suppression activities are carried out under the direction of an Incident Management Team (IMT). The aim of the research was to increase understanding of decision processes potentially related to IMT effectiveness. An IMT comprises four major functions: Command, Operations, Planning, and Logistics. Four methodologies were used to study IMT processes: computer simulation experiments; analyses of wildfire reports; interviews with IMT members; and cognitive ethnographic studies of IMTs. Three processes were important determinants of IMT effectiveness: information management and cognitive overload; matching component function goals to overall goals; and team metacognition to detect and counter task-disruptive developments. These processes appear to be complex multi-person analogues of individual Incident Command processes identified previously. The findings have implications for issues such as: creating IMTs; training IMTs; managing IMTs; and providing decision support to IMTs.
Short TitleJ Contingencies & Crisis Man
Refereed DesignationRefereed