top of page



A Crisis Leadership & Management Model

What you do in the first 15 minutes…15 hours…and 15 days can positively impact the outcome of any incident you face.



Crisis leadership and management are inextricably linked – you must LEAD your people effectively to MANAGE an incident effectively.


Harkcon Academy’s “First-15” Crisis Leadership and Management Model provides the framework for addressing any incident from both the individual and organizational level.  At its most basic, the model (and associated tools, training and consultation services) provides individuals with the knowledge, tools and assistance they need to lead their organization through an incident.


The core of the model is the concept of the "First-15," meaning the actions and activities you execute during the first 15 mins, first 15 hours, and first 15 days afterwards dictate, to a large extent, the overall outcome of an incident.


The model can be used to address any type of incident – no matter its size, significance or intensity – at any leadership level in an organization, in any size or type of public or private organization.

First-15 runs from long before an event occurs, to full recovery afterwards, and focuses on four main phases:

  • Preparing for an incident

  • Assessing the situation

  • Responding to an incident

  • Recovering from a incident


These four phases are interdependent – each phase runs into, overlaps, and informs the other as the incident occurs and evolves over time. In fact, all it takes is one misstep in preparation, assessment, response or recovery efforts to cause you to potentially lose control over managing the incident. All four phases must reinforce/support each other in order to minimize the impact of the incident and maximize your chances of quickly returning back to normal operations.


Underlying all of First-15’s four phases is Crisis Communications and the need to communicate in an open and honest manner with everyone involved in the incident.


Each of the five focus areas – the four model phases and crisis communications – contain three Sentinel Habits, which are behaviors an organization must establish, rehearse and reinforce in order to create a vigilant workforce capable of implementing First-15 and responding appropriately to any incident.

First-15 Model.jpg

What Constitutes an Incident?

An incident is generally defined as any out-of-the-ordinary event that could lead to an unstable and dangerous situation affecting an individual or group - up to and including entire organizations, communities, regions or the nation - if it is not properly addressed and resolved. Depending on the personal experience of those involved, the specific circumstance they find themselves in, and the potential consequences of the outcome, what some people define as a “incident,”  others could see as a full-blown emergency or crisis.  In any event, because it can take on any size and any shape, no one is immune from facing an incident.  How you face that incident, however, is very much in your control.

The First-15 Crisis Leadership and Management Model can help you address any workplace incident, including:

Altercations, Accidents & Active Shooters 

First-15 prepares employees to respond to  medical emergencies, an injured person, a disgruntled employee, workplace violence, an active shooter, and other disruptive and potentially dangerous situations.

First-15 Services


Click on the button below to request additional information regarding First-15 training.


Click on the button below to request additional information regarding First-15 consulting services.

bottom of page