Wednesday, August 12, 2015

AMRM Training.... Man (Woman) versus Machine

An instructor conducting AMRM training seeks to have a picture painted.  But for a class to be really good, the people in the room must do the painting.

I was corresponding with my friend Randy Mains recently about AMRM training. Air Medical Resource Management has it's roots in studies conducted in the 1950s on group dynamics. The airlines adopted Cockpit Resource Management training after some horrific events that killed hundreds. In time, they recognized that the entire flight crew has a part in what happens on an aircraft, and the name, and focus, were changed to "Crew" resource management. Randy and I adhere to the idea that everyone in our organizations, from com-specs to security guards to flight crews to the CEO...Everyone affects the outcome.

I think the world of Randy and enjoy our talks and messages back and forth. Randy conducts week-long training sessions for aspiring AMRM instructors, to prepare them to go out into the HEMS world and spread the gospel of staying alive by working together.

Ninety percent of every dollar we spend on training goes towards technical proficiency. Ninety percent of our crashes have nothing to do with technical proficiency. They involve what is going on between someone's ears as a bad situation develops. A dime spent on AMRM training is a dollar well spent... Even without the FAR requirement, even without the CAMTS requirement, it's the right thing to do for your people.

Randy and I and others believe that AMRM training should take place in a group environment - in person - facilitated by someone not part of the immediate-organization. This precludes preconceptions about who is good or bad, smart or dumb...

An instructor conducting AMRM training seeks to have a picture painted.  But for a class to be really good, the people in the room must do the painting. The instructor's job is to take a screwdriver and pry the lid off the paint can. Sometimes the lid pops right off - at a program that has just suffered a fatal crash for instance... Other times, we have to patiently work our way around the edges; pry here, pry there, tell a story that resonates with a student and off comes the lid...

As fellow AMRM instructor Jonathon Godfrey pointed out, you can't tell people how to think and feel about things. They draw their own conclusions based upon what they experience. The student's own experiences are key to this effort - this shaping of good attitudes that lead to good behaviors, good decisions, good outcomes.

I was instructing in  Charlotte a couple of months ago.   In the middle of a story about something bad that happened to someone, a young woman - very new to the program - held her hand up and asked to tell me a story about a flight she had been on. A "remarkable" flight...

My inner voice said, "shut up Dan and sit down..

The can popped open.

You see, your program's near-miss, accident, event etc... discussed openly and honestly - without fear of ridicule, embarrassment, or adverse action - will resonate more effectively with your team than any story about some stranger who made a mistake. I let you teach me about  your event. What it means. How it happened. How we learn from it, and never repeat it... Most of my material comes to me from the people sitting in my classes. As I tell my friends in class, "the person who will prevent your next fatal crash is sitting in your seat right now..."

This training is about humans, (we make mistakes) and it doesn't work when it's conducted by computers... I urge you to have AMRM training for your team using a group setting and a dedicated instructor.

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