CREST grant success for University

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The University is set to receive one of the first grants from the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST). The grants have been awarded to ten projects addressing some of the security threats facing the UK.

The grants, worth £1.25m, were part of the first round of commissioning by CREST, for programmes of original research for understanding, mitigating and countering threats to national and international security.

Professor Laurence Alison and co-applicants Dr Michael Humann and Dr Sara Waring have received the funding for their project entitled ‘‘‘The Birkenhead Drill’: An Exploratory Study of Expertise and Inertia in Emergency Service Responses’.

Behaviour of decision makers

Of the project Professor Alison, said: “We will be investigating the behaviour of decision makers and casualties in a live exercise conducted alongside Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS).

“With a history of joint collaboration with MFRS, the team will examine expertise, creativity and improvisation of emergency service personnel – from operational to tactical to strategic decision making.

“As well as these positive examples of decision making the team will look at the concept of decision inertia and those aspects of critical incidents that make it difficult for emergency responders to move forward and conduct brisk and effective actions.”

Psychological recommendations

Professor Laurence Alison is the Director of the Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology within the Applied Psychology Group.

Dr Michael Humann is the Training Coordinator at the Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology Research.

Dr Sara Waring is Deputy Programme Director of the MSc programme in Investigative and Forensic Psychology, Research Coordinator for the Critical and Major Incident Psychology research group, and a lecturer in the School of Psychology.

Professor Alison, adds: “Our aim is to both harness and encourage the creative, improvisational examples of expertise as well as provide psychological recommendations to ‘inoculate’ first responders against decision inertia.”

CREST is led Lancaster University.

For more information about the successful projects please visit the CREST website at:

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