OODA

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The OODA-Loop decision model was developed during the Korean War by Colonel John Boyd of the US Air Force.  It provides an decision-making rubric for combat that is easily transferable into the social sector.

Observe
Orient
Decide 
Act

During my decade serving as a volunteer firefighter/EMT these attributes were readily called upon when responding to an emergency situation.  As we arrived on-scene one would often watch the commanding officer approaching the incident at a slower than anticipated pace.  After a few months one realized that these few seconds before interacting with actual emergency served as the observation phase.  Then there was shift to thinking about issues such as life-safety, water supply, exposures, resources, and size of the incident.  A decision to attack, surround, retreat, or call for additional resources was made and orders given.  The phases often blended together but in reality the most challenging emergencies were the calls where one of these steps was skipped or consider too late.

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