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Decision Making Under Stress

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- For Emergency Responders

In the field of emergency response, stress occurs at every role level every day. Unquestionably, stress impacts what decisions are made—sometimes with catastrophic consequences—particularly in emergency situations. When emergencies occur, all employees need to be equipped with tools and training for effective Decision Making Under Stress (DMUS) in order to achieve the best possible outcome, every time. In addition, leaders need focused training on how to build more stress-resilient teams, departments and organizations as a whole.

DMUS for Emergency Responders provides this training, with tools and techniques to help all employees—at every role level—make effective decisions before, during and after an emergency.

Who Should Attend

  • Emergency/First Responders
  • Health Care and Hospital leaders/staff
  • Utility leaders/staff
  • Law Enforcement
  • Homeland Security
  • Military/Paramilitary
  • Nuclear Industry leaders/staff
  • Anyone making decisions under stress

Training Content Includes

  • How people really make decisions (it's not how you think)
  • The impact of stress on decision making
  • Linkages between stress, cognitive and emotional intelligences and decision making
  • How your comfort zone impacts stress resilience, and therefore, decision making
  • The cumulative effect of stress and how to stop the escalation
  • Decision making practice
  • Feedback on ARSENAL— a powerful developmental tool to measure and build stress resilience
  • Tools for use before, during and after emergencies
  • Development plan to improve the seven best practices for building stress resilience


  • Tools to enhance decision making under stress
  • Feedback on the ARSENAL seven best practices
  • Personal development plan to build resilience and improve decision making under stress
  • Skills that can be applied at home in addition to the workplace
  • A copy of The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions—And What to Do About It
  • Detailed class notebook with additional resources


  • Make better decisions in emergency situations
  • Be able to make effective decisions under stress for longer periods of time
  • Learn which tools to use before, during and after an emergency
  • Work-Life Balance
  • How to prepare the mind and body for emergency decision making


  • Training targeted to the role level of participants for maximum learning and application
  • Participants demonstrate decision making under stress
  • Participants experience the physiological and cognitive effects of stress
  • Observe real-time data showing the impact of stress
  • Practice stress management techniques
  • Create a development plan

About the Facilitator: Henry L. (Dick) Thompson, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of High Performing Systems, Inc., and the author of The Stress Effect: Why Smart Leaders Make Dumb Decisions—And What to Do About It, a groundbreaking and insightful resource that shows how stress is often the real culprit behind poor decision making and leadership failure.

Dr. Thompson’s 21-year military service resulted in first-hand experience in decision making under stress. During that time, he trained and led some of the most elite special operations teams in the world. He served as an officer with the U.S. Army Special Forces Group (Green Berets) in Vietnam and was decorated on several occasions for his heroism.
Dr. Thompson has created the DMUS training, ARSENAL Assessment and develop- ment process to build individual and organizational stress resilience.

To learn more about DMUS for Emergency Responders
Call 800-535-8445 or visit www.hpsys.com

For a printable PDF click here.

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