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EVACUATION!. Understanding Behavioral Aspects of Emergency Response in Individuals David R. Blossom, ALCM, CFPS, CIF1 Sr. Consultant—Amerisure PCG. Why This Topic?. Revelation—Challenged

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evacuation

EVACUATION!

Understanding Behavioral Aspects of Emergency Response in Individuals

David R. Blossom, ALCM, CFPS, CIF1

Sr. Consultant—Amerisure PCG

why this topic
Why This Topic?
  • Revelation—Challenged
  • “I think that when people die in fires it’s not because of panic, it’s more likely to be the lack of panic”
  • Neil Townsend
          • Divisional Fire Officer
          • London Fire Brigade
why this topic1
Why This Topic?
  • We must understand how people react.
  • This will allow us to—

Anticipate challenges

Conduct Effective Planning

Avoid evacuation problems

Provide effective training

Save more lives

incident perception
Incident Perception
  • Recognition
  • Validation
  • Definition
  • Evaluation
  • Commitment
  • Reassessment
recognition
RECOGNITION
  • Identification of cues
  • Elements of notification
  • How we first become aware
  • Prior personal experience a factor
  • Threat recognition
  • Often cues must be overwhelming
event recognition
Event Recognition
  • Event recognition
  • Different recognition/same event
  • Different response/same recognition
  • Key elements
  • Individualized Factors
validation
VALIDATION
  • Validate the initial cues
  • Ambiguity = more information
  • More information = delay in response
  • Reassurance of the situation
  • Action not taken yet--confirmation
definition
DEFINITION
  • Relating information to the individual
  • Just what are we experiencing
  • Correct identification of the incident
  • Proximity and magnitude
  • Lack of definition = increased stress
  • Personalization of the threat
  • Most stress before definition occurs
  • Structure and interpretation to define
evaluation
EVALUATION
  • Understanding the situation
  • Necessary to develop response
  • Development of strategies
  • Initial decision making
  • Putting it all together
  • Formulating a response
  • Initiating response
commitment
COMMITMENT
  • Initiate the behavioral response
  • Formulated in the evaluation process
  • Results in the active response
  • To a perceived threat
  • Results: completion, partial completion, non-completion of response strategy.
non completion results
NON-COMPLETION RESULTS
  • Reassessment
  • Commitment
reassessment
REASSESSMENT
  • Most stressful
  • Failure of previous attempts
  • Increased intensity
  • Less selective response
successful outcome
SUCCESSFUL OUTCOME
  • Commitment / Reassessment
  • Rapid decrease in anxiety
  • Reassurance
successive failures
SUCCESSIVE FAILURES
  • Increased anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Probability of success decreases
  • Increased potential for panic
  • Alternatives decrease
  • Less responsive
  • More reactive
panic
PANIC
  • Is Panic bad?
  • What is Panic?
  • What causes Panic?
  • Is Panic Good?
panic behavior
PANIC BEHAVIOR

A fear-induced flight behavior which is non-rational, non-adaptive, and nonsocial, which serves to reduce the escape possibilities of the group as a whole.

Flight or fleeing behavioral response that also involves extravagant and injudicious effort.

nonadaptive behavior
NONADAPTIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Panic Behavior
  • Reentry Behavior
  • Rescue
evidence supports this
EVIDENCE SUPPORTS THIS
  • Multiple studies
  • Panic often not a factor
  • Should have been
  • Understanding
fire study results
FIRE STUDY RESULTS
  • Panic is very rare
  • Central motivation—seek information
  • Often a social response
  • Problems encountered during “normal” building use will be exacerbated during an emergency.
reality what we do
REALITY—WHAT WE DO
  • Investigate conditions
  • Compare with experiences
  • Decide on action(s)
  • NOT “code” related
  • Familiar entry routes most often selected
we re only human
We’re Only Human
  • “You must think about people’s reactions to a fire in terms of the three basic stages of making sense of what’s going on, preparing to act and then acting”

David Carter

Professor, Liverpool University

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