Assessing Operational Preparedness in Incident Commanders

  • Sophie WardEmail author
  • Gail Steptoe-Warren
  • Thomas Rhys Evans


This chapter focuses on operational preparedness in incident commanders, and in particular, the assessment of such within tactical incident commanders within a Fire Service in the United Kingdom. This chapter provides an overview of some of the recent incidents within the Fire Service which have raised concerns over the Operational Preparedness of incident commanders, such as Atherstone on Stour in 2007, as well as a theoretical framework of Operational Preparedness developed in relation to the Fire Service, focusing in detail on the five theoretical constructs of trust, information gathering, skills, experience and incident learning. The contrast between analytical and intuitive decision making in the context of the Fire Service practice is explored. Recent research undertaken by the authors surround the initial development and validation of a situational judgement test to assess whether tactical incident commanders within a Fire Service are operationally prepared to deal with unusual and complex incidents. The methodology, results, conclusions, as well as recommendations for future development of the situational judgement test and implications for practice are presented. This chapter then concludes by looking at future development and validation opportunities.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Ward
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gail Steptoe-Warren
    • 1
  • Thomas Rhys Evans
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Psychological, Social and Behavioural SciencesCoventry UniversityCoventryUK

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