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Psychology of Incident Command


2900 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church VA 22042

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Training includes:

  • Classroom instruction
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Certificates upon successful completion will be emailed following the event
  • Tour of the CHEMTREC Operations Center

Attendee Level

The course is also suitable for anyone who has an interest in the human minds ability to respond to dealing with incidents, and those who wish to understand why stress at even minute levels can have such strong impacts on our ability to effectively utilize non-technical skills (situational awareness, decision making, communications, team work and the ability to cope with stress and mental fatigue).

  • First Responders 
  • Incident Command Staff 
  • Emergency Management
  • Senior Leadership Team Members
  • Government Officials
  • Military Command Staff

Event Focus

Please note this is a Pilot session in the U.S. and we look forward to receiving feedback from all course attendees. This course has been delivered across the United Kingdom to many of the Countries most senior fire and rescue service commissioners, Police, Ambulance service, Coast Guard and local authorities who have an interest in not only Incident Command, but also, emergency planning, crisis and disaster management and local group Commanders. The demand for the course has been exceptional this year and continues to grow.

The course has been delivered 42 times across the UK’s County services over the past 24 months, and forms an integral part of the senior fire and rescue services International accreditation for Incident Command promotional qualifications.


The course is delivered by Chris Scott and Gareth Black, CHEMTREC’s crisis management consultants with a fascinating history spanning across 45 years of experience in their field, this is coupled with a minimum of master’s degrees in crisis and disaster management and are considered pioneers in their field of specialization.

This highly interactive, discursive, relaxed and somewhat informal session sets out to explore the relationships between the world in which we now live and the difficulties of high-pressure situations such as incident command and crisis management. We will explore why mistakes are made and how they are most commonly derived from pressure, often self-induced - to perform to high standard and suffer from ‘cognitive tunneling’ too focused on the task in hand without due care and consideration for the wider ‘strategic’ thinking. We will explore and understand why we default to lazy thinking aka intuitive thinking.

The course sets out to explore why, as humans, some people relish the opportunity to ‘flick a switch’ and step into the incident management arena, whilst for others, it may be a skill that stretches their cognitive capacity beyond reasonable capability.

Have you ever wondered why some people seem better at commanding incidents or dealing with high pressure situations than others? Is it a natural acumen that humans possess, or can we learn to be good at it?

Psychology of Incident Command – An exploration of stress factors and their effects on incident command

  • To discuss and recognize the psychological indicators of stress factors and emotional responses and its potential impact on our day-to-day business and beyond.
  • Striving for excellence in our work – curse of the strong?
  • Understanding statistics of the impacts of stress in high pressure environments.
  • Incident Command – Why some people thrive and others struggle to survive?
  • An exploration of non-technical skills – the key to unlocking next level incident command.
  • How do minimal stress factors impede and impact our ability to utilize non-technical skills?
  • Learning to balance mice, not elephant

Learn more about the role of CHEMTREC's Crisis Management Consultants here

Important Details

Please be onsite by 8:30AM for registration.

COVID Guidelines (all protocols are subject to change based on CDC guidelines and state/local authorities:

  • Pursuant to HITT policy, masks are not required for vaccinated participants in the HITT conference room. Efforts will be made to provide maximum space between seats and mask use will be optional. Anyone not fully vaccinated must wear a mask upon entering the building and for the duration of the meeting, unless a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the meeting is presented.
  • During the CHEMTREC Operations Center Tour all attendees, even those vaccinated must wear a mask. We recommend you bring your own mask; however, we will have extras onsite if needed.

Walk-ins are welcome to register on-site at the training event, however we strongly encourage pre-registration to expedite the check-in process at the front desk of the building.




Erica Bernstein

2900 Fairview Park Drive
Falls Church VA 22042

Phone  703-741-5524
Mobile  804-357-4758
Gareth Black
Chris Scott