Safety Stand Down: The Importance of Situational Awareness
By Member Joyce Shry
June 17, 2022

A joint initiative of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) Safety, Health and Survival Section, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC), the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and the Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA) this year’s Safety Stand Down program will take place June 19-25. Responder agencies are encouraged to suspend all non-emergency activities during this week to focus on training and education related to situational awareness.

Situational awareness is a critical component of emergency response operations. It is a process that helps firefighters solve problems, prevent bad outcomes, and make better decisions in high stress environments. In recognition of its importance, the theme of the 2022 Safety Stand Down campaign is “Situational Awareness: The Foundation for Good Decision-Making.”

The goal of these organizations is to reduce the number of preventable injuries and deaths in the fire and emergency services. Safety Stand Down focuses on the critical importance of responders taking care of themselves both on and off the emergency incident scene. The week is designed to increase awareness and action so that safety and health become a priority in all fire and emergency service departments.