Date: 18th February 2014 |18.30
Venue: Connections Conference Room, Four Shires, FSC, Moreton-in-Marsh
Guest Presenter: Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton. FRS Group Manager and contributing author to the National Operational Guidance for Incident Command.
Decision making is a core feature of Incident Command which can have far reaching consequences. The brain processes that drive decisions have been areas of longstanding theoretical interest to psychologists. Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton is an Operational Group Manager within South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, and is also an experimental psychologist with a doctorate in the field of Behavioural Neuroscience.

To begin to understand the mechanisms of decision making, psychologists have explored how cues we that experience in a given situation can prime the way we respond. For example, cues that people are exposed to - in this case, at an incident - can form strong associations with other cues, outcomes, or even emotions and physiological reactions, that can later bias the decision made at a different point in time. Sabrina’s research focuses on exploring the mechanisms that underpin these processes, such as a phenomenon known as Pavlovian-Instrumental transfer, and the role of different brain regions in this process. Such processes may reflect the type of ‘gut’ decisions that commanders are likely to make in high pressure environments, where there is little time to deliberate.

“My research so far has been highly focused on isolating the specific brain processes that drive behaviours which are primed by a cue in a given situation. This was essential to provide a firm evidence base to continue studying the psychological factors that influence Incident Command” said Sabrina.

Her findings have been published in several scientific journals, and she has presented internationally at such events as the Federation of European Neuroscience, the European Brain and Behaviour Society meeting and the Associative Learning Symposium. She was also recently awarded the JURY prize in recognition of this research from the School of Psychology, Cardiff University.

Sabrina is currently the lead author on a section of the NOG for Incident Command that considers Non-Technical command skills, such as situation awareness and decision making. As part of this programme, she is leading on a piece of research that further explores the human factors that influence Incident Command at operational incidents. “My aim is to integrate the academic with the practical and ensure the findings can be pragmatically applied in a way that makes sense to the context of Incident Command.”

Programme for the evening

18.30 - Arrival and welcome drinks/light refreshments
19.00 - Welcome from Jez Smith, MD, The Fire Service College
19.10 - Guest presentation from Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton
19.50 - Questions and networking
20.00 - Event close

Please note this is a FREE to attend event, to book your place visit www.fireservicecollege.ac.uk/up-coming-events/18th-feb-college-forum-sabrina-cohen-hatton/