Fire fighting and emergency responding

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter examines the study of expertise in the context of firefighting and emergency responding. The distinction is made between descriptive and experimental approaches, and the need to develop and validate a theoretical perspective that explains expertise in situations that are high dynamic, uncertain, and where the consequences of errors can be significant. Gaps in current knowledge are identified, including the mechanisms by which expertise is acquired and maintained, how it can be measured accurately and reliably, and how and when the capacity for expertise degrades over time and in absence of exposure to emergency conditions. The outcomes of existing research initiatives are discussed, with an emphasis on accurate and precise mental models that are acquired through active interaction within the operational environment. The role of cues and cue utilization are also considered as triggers to activate mental models. Future research directions that will ensure the development of a comprehensive understanding of the nature expertise in firefighting and emergency responding are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford handbook of expertise
EditorsPaul Ward, Jan Maarten Schraagen, Julie Gore, Emilie Roth
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780198795872
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameOxford handbooks online


  • expertise
  • emergency responding
  • firefighting
  • mental model
  • cue utilization


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