Gordon Graham’s EMS Risk Management Books


This is the third in a year-long series where I share my top risk management reading recommendations. These are the books I regularly consult regarding the discipline of risk management and related issues. Each of them gives you guidance on how to recognize, prioritize and mobilize solutions for the risks you face in your organization.

I previously shared some tips for taking notes and summarizing the key points of the books I’ve read, as well as some recommendations for other posts that will help you keep up with trends. Let me know what works for you, then check out my reading suggestions for March:

Against a current : Rickover’s Principles of Leadership and the Rise of the Nuclear Navy

By Rear Admiral Dave Oliver (retired)

It is a well written and fascinating book about a man who changed the course of history.

In today’s news, there are stories about the United States Secret Service and the need for a “culture change” in this organization. I hear similar stories about struggling prisons and struggling police departments and struggling fire and EMS departments with everyone talking about “changing the culture”. It’s much easier said than done. How do you change a culture that has existed in an organization for decades? That’s what this book is about.

Our Marine Diesel Subcomandants in World War II were a group of tough guys and cigar-smoking warriors who did a fantastic job of helping win the war for the good guys. Admiral Rickover was commissioned by Presidents Truman and then Eisenhower to build a “nuclear” fleet – and the opposition he faced from the heroes of WWII was unbelievable. Find out how he changed this culture so successfully.

This is a must read for anyone in leadership positions in public safety, written by a colleague with some personal involvement in the story. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

think like a monster

By Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

A sequel to their previous work – “Freakanomics” – and once again well done. The authors of this work continue to challenge the thought process used by so many people and this work will help “retrain your brain” on how to look at a problem and identify a viable solution.

The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business

By Charles Duhigg

This book was recommended to me by Below 100 founder and columnist Police1 Dale Stockton, a longtime friend. This book is filled with examples of how we (as people and as organizations) lock ourselves into a line of thought – a habit – and how those “habits” can help and hurt us.

How did Alcoa Aluminum reduce its injury rate and simultaneously increase share value? How did the United States reduce the infant mortality rate so dramatically? What “habits” do you have that impact your ability to perform at the highest possible level?

That’s all for this month. Let me know what you think of these books and share your leadership and risk management reading recommendations. Email [email protected]

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