Inderscience Publishers

A model for learning in emergency response work

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Several studies have shown that emergency response personnel repeatedly perform inadequately in the critical phase of responses, thus bringing into question their ability to learn from failures occurring in these situations. This paper presents a model for describing, analysing and planning learning in emergency response settings. The model focuses on the individual's need to learn, and is based on a combined approach to learning (socio-cultural elements and individual cognitive aspects). It acknowledges the importance of decision-making during emergency responses, and hence the importance of learning to make adequate decisions and reflecting on these after responses. Finally, founded on a view that learning in emergency response work is essentially about improving performance or making sure that chosen behaviour during responses is adequate and appropriate, the model considers learning to be related to
in structures, behaviours or working methods,
of existing knowledge and/or
of existing practice.

Keywords: learning, decision-making, reflection, emergency management, emergency response work, emergency response organisations

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