All jobs come with a job description. A detailed list of roles and responsibilities that are expected to be carried out by the individual assigned to the task.
In most cases, this is a fairly easy and straightforward task. When you look at this list upon completion, its obvious what the individual does and the task that is expected to be carried out.
Clear and straight forward.
When it comes to the role of first responders, the list of tasks associated with their role can seem limitless. Police, Ambulance, Fire, and especially Security, are often first to arrive to the scene.
When they arrive, any number of things can be going on and this person has to be prepared for whatever the situation may hold.
When primary response is called, if its a fire – they send a fire truck, if its a robbery – they send the police, if someone is hurt – they send an ambulance.
In a lot of these circumstances, prior to primary response being called, Security is already on scene.
A Security guards’ basic job description is to protect people, property, and space. Maintain safety and security by patrolling, observing, reporting, and sounding necessary alarms.
Basically – this is the job in a nutshell.
However when we look at these tasks and break them down, we find that there is definitely more to it then meets the eye.
As the person that is typically on the scene first, having basic first aid training, negotiation skills, de-escalation skills, and skills in unarmed and potentially armed combat are almost basic necessities and requirements.
The University of Victoria recently has started equipping their security office with a more advanced First Aid kit that includes Epipens. While stepping in as the first on scene, being able to recognize signs such as anaphylactic shock, having the knowledge, skills, and tools to properly react can literally mean the difference between life and death.
They may have started their day as any other, patrolling and ensuring that the spaces they are responsible for are safe and clear, and the people they are responsible for keeping safe, are in fact safe. However the task of keeping someone safe, has escalated.
In the job description – it merely states to keep people, and property safe.
What it doesn’t explain, is that sometimes, by doing your job and keeping people safe, you are quite literally, stepping in to save lives.
While this is a fairly extreme situation and ideally doesn’t happen often – the fact remains is that it does happen.
Security needs to be trained and prepared to step in and step up where needed. Simply patrolling and watching cameras isn’t always where it ends.
Expanding training and having basic general knowledge on a wealth of topics and experiences, is only going to enrich a career, and make your job and day run a lot smoother.
It doesn’t end at first aid and ‘saving lives’ either.
Having knowledge in speaking with people and de-escalating situations is something that is extremely helpful.
Recently a Mother was literally ripped away from her baby in a situation where Security lost control of a situation. The moment got heated and words were exchanged. Police were called in and the situation was so tense and escalated that the actions taken, probably weren’t an accurate representation of things that should or do typically happen.
As individuals that are first on the scene, regardless of the situation, we are ensuring safety of everyone involved. If a moment is heated and tempers are flared, rather then poking a bear with a stick, appropriate measures need to be taken to ensure that the situation is handled as best as possible given the circumstances.
There are steps that can be taken and reactions to every action. Retaining composure is an incredibly difficult yet important task.
When it comes to anaphylactic shock, or a mother frustrated with the system – there are good and better ways to deal with things.
While the person suffering from an allergic reaction very well may not have the seconds or minutes to spare for someone else to come along with the tools necessary to save their life, the mother suffering from a lack of money and poor circumstance may very well have a dismal outlook on their life as well. They are struggling to keep themselves alive and therefore struggling to keep their child or children alive. While the cases of life and death may seem so drastically different, in the eyes of the beholder, sometimes the line isn’t so clear.
Stepping in with the knowledge, support, and training is integral to a job well done.
Having a team that stands behind having the tools and training necessary to complete the job successfully is not just important – its vital.
Guest Blogger Rayna Davies
Rayna Davies is a graduate and practitioner of Business Management. She has developed an expertise in blogging, covering subjects like travel, world events and security. Having grown up with a father who has developed an expertise in Physical Security and Executive Protection in the RCMP and two major corporations, she has personally observed and experienced many security details. These experiences have included personally meeting HM Queen Elizabeth, Prime Minister Jean Chretien and many celebrities. She presently assists Sentinel Security in Executive Protection workshops and guest blogging and also assists Gloprosec Preventative Services in Intelligence gathering and Business Administration. Her passions include World travel, having visited every continent.