After Action Review (AAR)

Conducting an after-action review, or debrief, enables crew members to analyze what happened, why it happened during an incident and what improvements can be made. It also provides department leaders suggestions for change, if necessary. After-action reviews in the formal sense were originally developed by the military and all effective leaders have used them as they support a culture of accountability. AAR debriefs can be structured and formal (appropriate after a large complex event) or informal, run by a company officer for a quick review. The key to successfully using the AAR as a tool for culture change in the fire service is that it has to be done after every incident, no matter how small or seemingly routine for, as we know, many firefighters die in connection to what are perceived to be routine calls.

For Students