February 9, 2016

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Hot Wash and Post Incident Analysis (PIA)

Gordon Graham
Category: Fire, EMS

Gordon Graham here with Today’s Tip from Lexipol and Today’s Tip deals with the critical need to review operations with an eye toward continuous improvement. 

Conduct what is referred to as a “hot wash” while still on scene or as soon as everyone is back in quarters.

The environment in which fire and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel operate can often be unchartered, dynamic and chaotic.

Sometimes operations go well with positive outcomes that you can take pride in and learn from. Other times, issues on scene bring to light flaws in your approach that deserve attention and improvement. 

In either case, there is a benefit to looking back at those operations.

Conduct what is referred to as hot wash while still on scene or as soon as everyone is back in quarters. This is helpful to clarify on-scene operations and outcomes once the chaos has subsided.

Similarlya more in depth Post Incident Analysis (PIA) should be performed. All of the responders should meet for a more detailed review of what went well and what didn’t.

When done properly, “hot washes” and PIAs allow for a free exchange of critical information without the worry of blame or embarrassment. 

This is everyone’s opportunity to point out the things that had impact  on each aspect of the operation.

By critically reviewing your performance, you demonstrate your commitment to professionalism and desire to constantly improve how you assist other during an emergency.

And that is Today’s Tip from Lexipol. Gordon Graham signing off.

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