Dr Patrick Tissington

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Dr Patrick Tissington is a Chartered Psychologist specialising in the study of emergency decision making and crisis management. He has over 10 years experience of working with the emergency services and is a Visiting Fellow at the UK Fire Service College where he has trained Fire Officers at all levels in incident command and leadership. His PhD from Aberdeen University was sponsored by the UK Home Office and researched the emergency decision processes making of fire command teams. He is also a Visiting Lecturer at the UK Defence Academy where he lectures on Operational Leadership. He is regularly interviewed for national TV and radio on a wide range of topics related to the military and emergency services.

As a psychologist working in the field of crisis management, Pat's research involves him working closely with organisations to enable their key people to make high quality decisions under pressure. He is therefore designs selection processes, assesses, coaches and trains managers, executives and uniformed officers. Recent projects include:

  • Fire Service College: development and delivery of a series of research-led training programmes which prepare UK Fire Officers for strategic roles. The courses took officers through the development of critical thinking in a strategic emergency service context and were delivered at mid and senior level.
  • International Finance Institution: the security of this institution was complex and high tech. Concerns were raised that the human element of security had been overlooked in favour of purely computer systems issues. Our brief was to exercise resilience measures and test the operation of contingency plans. The team designed and ran a "doomsday scenario" exercise which focussed on the response of key executives to a major security breach. Emphasis was placed on the core non-technical skills component which is often lacking in such teams - communication, leadership and decision making style - and a technical de-brief held separately. Procedures plans and training were all ammended subsequent to the exercise.
  • Scottish Executive: the fire service in Scotland has particular challenges when it comes to training owing to the large areas covered by the rural brigades with small areas of very dense population. Training of incident commanders therefore presented difficulties and a new model of "blended delivery" has been introduced whereby some training is carried out centrally and other elements locally or online. Pat designed applied concepts from his research and that of Tactical Decision Games from his experience working with the US Marines to design a low-fidelity scenario training scheme to up-skill first attenders which was then rolled out via a "train the trainer" programme where training officers from all Scottish brigards were trained in the delivery of this new training scheme.
  • AstraZeneca: Facilitator working with scientists cross Europe and USA on the identification of new investment opportunities.


Patrick's official Aston homepage can be found here