Don’t panic! Meet the experts with a steady hand when catastrophe strikes

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In an extreme life-or-death situation, would you be able to hold your nerve? Candice Pires speaks to the people whose job it is to make snap decisions in disaster situations

was sitting on a remote beach with my husband and friends when our five-year-old daughter came running towards us screaming. She had a gash on her forehead and blood was streaming down her face. I felt sick and yelped, and then remembered I had to comfort her. My husband and I looked at each other and at her. For a second we didn’t know what to do. Then it clicked that we had to take her to a hospital. But we had no phone reception. We decided to head to where we thought the nearest town was. On the drive, between making up stories to distract my daughter and checking my phone for signal, I kept thinking back to the interviews, below, which I had been working on before the accident. Each of the interviewees makes quick decisions in extreme circumstances for a living. In those few minutes, I had experienced some of the tunnel vision they describe. I began by speaking to Dr. Sara Waring at the University of Liverpool who researches decision-making in critical and major incidents, such as terrorist attacks and natural disasters.

 

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Sully Sullenberger
Sully Sullenberger
Captain "Sully" Sullenberger has been dedicated to the pursuit of safety his entire adult life. While he is best known for serving as Captain during what has been dubbed the "Miracle on the Hudson," Sullenberger is a safety expert, speaker, and author. He currently serves on the U.S. Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee for Automation in Transportation, and still flies privately.

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