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James R. Chiles
Year Published:

Cataloging Information

Fire Communication & Education
Crisis Communication

NRFSN number: 15873
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While technology has provided the means for achieving unprecedented control over land, air, and sea, it has also become increasingly complex. As a result of this complexity, disasters are difficult to predict, and they are even more difficult to prevent. This book exposes many common mistakes that have culminated in unnecessary tragedies, ranging from equipment failures on oil tankers to the Challenger space shuttle tragedy. Many of the lessons learned from these tragedies have direct application to wildland firefighters, such as training for realistic emergencies, encouraging and maintaining open communication between managers and crew members, avoiding over-confidence in technology or previous experience, demanding safety despite deadlines, welcoming bad news as opportunities to catch unsafe situations, developing a healthy fear of work conditions, and focusing on small problems to avoid large problems. Managers who want to avoid technology related disasters will benefit directly from the examples and suggestions this book has to offer.


Chiles JR. 2002. Inviting disaster: lessons from the edge of technology. New York: Harper Business. 368 p.

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