Dr. Richard B. Gasaway entered the fire service in 1979 and has served as firefighter, paramedic, lieutenant, captain, assistant chief and fire chief in 6 fire and EMS agencies in West Virginia, Ohio and Minnesota. After completing his 30-year fire service career, Chief Gasaway founded Situational Awareness Matters! a consulting and teaching organization dedicated to improving how individuals, teams and organizations make decisions in stressful environments.
Chief Gasaway earned a doctor of philosophy degree while researching how individuals and teams use situational awareness to improve high- risk decision making. His research is rooted in cognitive neuroscience and human factor analysis.
Dr. Gasaway is a resident faculty member in the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and has been a long-standing instructor for the Executive Development Program at the Maryland Fire & Rescue Institute. He is also a graduate of the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program and is a Credentialed Chief Fire Officer through the Commission for Public Safety Excellence.
A prolific speaker and author, Dr. Gasaway has contributed to more than 450 books, book chapters and journal articles on topics related to leadership, safety, situational awareness and decision making. His best selling books, Situational Awareness Volumes 1, 2 and 3, Fireground Command Decision Making and Situational Awareness for Emergency Response (Fire Engineering Books & Videos) serve as essential guides for both developing and experienced company officers and Situational Awareness Matters!incident commanders. His high-energy, humor filled presentations are a favorite with emergency service providers and have earned him over 2,200 program and keynote address invitations throughout the United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia.
In 2014 Dr. Gasaway earned the National Speaker’s Association’s highest honor, Certified Speaking Professional. In 2016, he received the Next Level award from the National Speaker’s Association Minnesota Chapter for the exceptional growth his speaking business has achieved.
Dr. Gasaway has been the recipient of several prestigious honors including the American Heart Association’s Phoenix Award, the C. B. Shingleton Academic Scholarship, the William J. Litzinger Outstanding Instructor Award, and the British Fire Journal ? W.L. Gore Research Excellence Award.
Chief Gasaway hosts the SAMatters Radio podcast show (available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. The show features close call survivor stories and shares lessons on how to improve situational awareness and high risk decision making. The show has been downloaded over 100,000 times making it one of the most popular fire service safety-oriened podcast shows on the Internet.