posted on Jan, 1 2018 @ 03:52 PM
Crew Resource Management of CRM is multi part system that is designed to mitigate human errors. It was born out of the 1977 Tenerife disaster and a
1978 United airlines crash. In both incident had the crews used CRM processes and techniques the accidents in all likely hood could have been
prevented. NASA was instrumental in developing CRM and the culture of safety it ensures. Recently in the aviation forum there are a few instances we
are discussing where crews ignored CRM and disasters almost ensued. So lets take a quick look at what involved.
If you look at an aviation disaster there is frequently a distinct chain of events. If at anytime a crew member had spoken up of pointed out the
issue, the chain of events could have been broken.
CRM is not about an individuals skill in performing a task or say operating a particular piece of equipment. It is rather a principle of
communication, and empowerment for those to speak up if they are uncomfortable.
The primary goal of CRM is enhanced situational awareness, self awareness, leadership, assertiveness, decision making, flexibility,
adaptability, event and mission analysis, and communication. Specifically, CRM aims to foster a climate or culture where authority may be respectfully
questioned. It recognizes that a discrepancy between what is happening and what should be happening is often the first indicator that an error is
This principle can also be applied to not only aviation, but many other fields.
As the Team Leader of a Pediatric Critical Care Transport Team, I am often leading a team that can comprise up to 7 people. I am the final medical
authority in most cases. But we practice CRM. Its impossible to know everything and If I miss something ITS essential that other crew members from our
basic EMT's on up feel the environment is a safe one to voice concerns. I as the leader need to be open to having my decisions questioned. This is
not about my ego this about safety. Be it a medical issue or a safety one I depend on my team as much as they depend on my. After stabilizing and
packaging we ALWAYS do a brief summary of the patient, I go over emergency plans, assign roles, and ask if there are any unresolved concerns. We also
do this in the pre arrival brief.
Another example. on 12/30 we hopped from Moffett Field to Santa Monica. As we were approaching the LA Area, the TCAS made the loud announcement
'Traffic Traffic". All conversation ceased immediately (we went into "sterile cockpit" which means no talking unless safety related) , eyes out
and we searched till we could ID the traffic. Once identified and the traffic shifted locations we each would call when when we had eyes on or off
until it was no factor.
The TCAS readout
That was a prime example of CRM in an active airspace.