RescueDigest Resources: Cognitive Blindness

RescueDigest’s Top Picks of essential resources for critical topics in emergency services.

Cognitive Blindness: What you don’t see can kill you.

Call it size-up, assessment or situational awareness; the ability to perceive and interpret information is critical for managing any emergency incident. But when does focused concentration turn into tunnel vision? Sometimes the training and experience that we rely on to do our job can make us perceive and even recall events very differently than they actually are, sometimes with disastrous results.   How can we develop the ability to better direct attention to critical cues without losing sight of additional information vital to the emergency. 

Fog of War

Sometimes the blindfold stays on, even though you believe that you're looking!

How you can use these resources: RescueDigest curates great research and resources during the development of our articles and educational programs. Since our mission is to “Help You Help Others” we present the best of these resources for you to explore, share and use in your own agency.

Cognitive Blindness Experiments: Not Seeing is Believing.

Decision Making: How we know what to do.



RescueDigest’s Own Programs:

Rom Duckworth’s Illusion of Attention in Emergency Services 



Do YOU have questions, comments or know of research or resources that we should include here? Let us know below.


About romduck

Rom Duckworth is a dedicated emergency responder, author, and educator with more than thirty years of experience working in career and volunteer fire departments, hospital healthcare systems, and private emergency medical services. Rom is a career fire captain and paramedic EMS Coordinator for the Ridgefield (CT) Fire Department and director of the New England Center for Rescue and Emergency Medicine. Rom holds a master’s degree in public administration, is a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer program, and is the recipient of the NAEMT Presidential Award, American Red Cross Hero Award, Sepsis Alliance Sepsis Hero Award, and the EMS 10 Innovators Award. Rom is the author of "Duckworth on Education," as well as chapters in more than a dozen EMS, fire, rescue, and medical textbooks and over 100 published articles in fire and EMS magazines. A member of the NAEMT Board of Directors, as well as other national and international advocacy and advisory boards, Rom continues to work for the advancement of emergency services professions. Contact Rom via