a 1-day Program on Making Effective Risk Decisions at the Crew Level

2016’s “The Big Lie” essay (PDF) created some controversial dialog in the wildland fire community around the meaning of risk and complexity. Since then, risk guidance from senior leadership has been well intended, but often has been vague and without meaningful, concrete steps towards implementation. There is a critical need for a clear and practical path forward.

There is a growing gap between operational complexity and the sophistication of incident managers to plan and operate within that complexity. This gap will continue to widen without a serious evolution in how acceptable risk is defined, communicated and managed.

Luck Runs Out picks up where The Big Lie leaves off, presenting the data behind the uncomfortable truth that wildland fire is a very high-risk undertaking even under the best of circumstances. Stepping beyond wheel chocks, PPE and checklists, Luck Runs Out focuses on tangible and specific risk decision and intent-based planning tools and techniques for leaders and crew members. The program presents a holistic system of thought that starts with a Mission-Driven Culture philosophy and ends by using tools designed to accomplish the job. 

The course offers practices to put into action immediately for any crew member to effectively develop and communicate leader’s intent and determine acceptable risk during a project, a training event or a tactical assignment on an incident.

End State:  Participants have gained a deeper understanding of the risks involved in the wildland fire environment and the gaps in the current incident risk management system. Participants have gained proficiency with advanced tools and processes designed to make today’s risk professional more effective at lowering the odds of bad things happening while increasing the odds of good things happening.

Guidance for use of Standard Form-182 for Procurement

For Federal Government clients using the SF-182 (Authorization, Agreement and Certification of Training – Dec 2006)

The workshop courses were designed to meet the following criteria:

Training Purpose Type:  03 – Improve/Maintain Present Performance

Training to provide the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to improve or maintain proficiency in present job.

Training Type Code:  01 – Training Program Area

Training Type Sub Code:  07 – Planning and Analysis

Education or training in the concepts, principles, and theories of systems analysis; policy, program or management analysis; or planning, including strategic planning.

Training Delivery Type Code:  01 – Traditional Classroom (no technology)

Individual or multiple person led, face-to-face training.

Training Designation Type Code:  05 – N/A and N/A

Training Source Type Code:  03 – Non-government

Sources include commercial or industrial concern, educational institutions, professional societies or associations, or consultants or individuals who are not Government employees, (but are contracted to develop and/or provide training course or program.)

Training Objectives:

Luck Runs Out

  • Apply critical thinking to analyze the incident environment
  • Identify, analyze and prioritize Values at Risk (VaR)
  • Develop task, purpose and end state for each tactical task assignment
  • Clarify vague or unclear leader’s intent
  • Conduct a formal risk assessment of an assignment
  • Analyze risk vs. gain and determine acceptable risk for each assignment
  • Effectively communicate leader’s intent and associated risk
  • Negotiate risk decisions with incident supervisors
  • Use objective data in implementing Assignment Turndown Protocol
  • Develop trigger points to implement contingencies

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