Presented on: 29 September, 15:00 CEST

Public safety is all about people, so exploring how citizens behave in emergency situations is essential for emergency management. By understanding people’s reactions and decision-making, we can gain important insights to re-evaluate response procedures and make them as effective as possible. This can be useful for all aspects of emergency operations, whether collecting information from an emergency caller, communicating with the public about a widespread threat, or managing a major incident on the field.

In this webinar, we heard from two outstanding experts about the human behaviour and decision-making in emergencies and the impact on both large-scale crisis management and response to smaller-scale emergencies such as house fires.


presented by

Chris Cocking 5

Dr. Chris Cocking

Principal Lecturer, School of Health Sciences, University of Brighton, UK
For a long time, collective behaviour in large-scale emergencies has been seen in terms of a panic model, shaping the way we respond to incidents. But research has shown that this is not accurate. Chris Cocking busted the myths of crowd behaviour and group decision-making in emergencies by explaining collective resilience and the potential of citizens to assist in such responses. Knowledge of crowd behaviour can impact the whole chain of emergency response in many circumstances and help establishing effective public messaging during recent dangers of pandemic or attacks.

David Wales

Researcher and customer experience expert, UK
David drew upon his research and insights into the public experience of fires in the home to discuss what they mean for the emergency services. By understanding the behaviour and decision-making of those who experience fires, we can adapt emergency procedures to maximise the safety of the public. This includes asking questions such as "What are the implications of failing to recognise public needs, experience and capability in emergencies?" and "What is required to improve future resilience and outcomes?".