Trending Topics

EMS and the art of situational awareness

With a focus on scene safety, the discussion delves into the complicated dynamics of emergency response and the importance of staying vigilant

Sponsored by

In this week’s episode of Inside EMS, cohosts Chris Cebollero and Kelly Grayson delve into situational awareness, and the complexities and challenges faced every day by EMS professionals. The discussion emphasizes the importance of staying alert and prepared in emergency situations, following Cooper’s Colors – a model illustrating different states of awareness from “tuned out” to “comatose.”

This week’s conversation touches on:

  • The significance of situational awareness in EMS and how it can be the difference between life and death in emergency scenarios.
  • Strategies for maintaining and improving situational awareness on the job, including practical applications of Cooper’s Colors and mental preparation techniques.
  • The psychological and emotional challenges of EMS work, offering insights into how EMS professionals navigate stress, uncertainty and the complexities of emergency response.

Memorable quotes

  • “I think that paramedics are great at ensuring the scene is safe. I think paramedics and EMTs are poor once we say the scene is safe ... we forget about what’s going on.” — Chris Cebollero
  • "’Safe scenes’ are what get EMTs killed because we don’t go into unsafe scenes. It’s the scene that we initially deemed safe that gets you killed because you don’t see it coming.” — Kelly Grayson

About the sponsor

This episode of the Inside EMS Podcast is sponsored by LogRx. Learn a better way to track your narcotics at

EMS1 uses generative AI to create some content that is edited and fact-checked by our editors.

The Inside EMS podcast is a regular expert discussion of hot topics, clinical issues, operational and leadership lessons for EMTs, paramedics and chiefs