There are any number of great programs out there to teach people how to respond when critical incidents happen... but none of those trainings are worth much if you don't have situational awareness. When we fail to maintain an awareness of our surroundings, we surrender both the time and space often needed to mount an effective response.
This is not a new problem, but it is a compounded problem when you factor in our love affair with personal electronic devices. This is also not a young person problem; it transcends all generations. The simple fact is we are trading situational awareness for virtual awareness. As a result, people are literally walking up to danger and bumping into it before they even know they have a problem.
While this is a societal problem, educators need to start with solving it in schools. It is only when people learn basic strategies to enhance their situation awareness will all the other great tools available to help keep them stay safe become effective and increase their chance of survival.
Like many problems, we need to commit to working the problem until a solution is found. I haven't seen one yet, so let's keep the dialogue going and the movement active as we help people reduce their virtual awareness and return to a higher level of situational awareness.
This is John Baker for safetysolutions4school.com.