Back in March of 2020, as the world was being taken over by COVID, and with so much un-certainty, a looming question was at battle in my mind; are we going to survive the pandemic?
As a security agency specializing in corporate events and close protection, it was becoming very apparent that with all the lock down measures in place, we would lose our client base…and so we did.
In just a span of 2 weeks, we lost 98% of our clients both internationally and abroad. I vividly remember after pushing 17-hour days trying everything in my power to keep our operations a float, that the near future looked very grim.
After a conversation with my accountant and realizing that we may not be able to survive this virus, I went to my basement and broke down in tears. Everything that was built over the years, was disintegrating before my eyes, and that we could be forced to close our operations. Tired, defeated, discouraged and stressed out I went to sleep that night not knowing that the next day everything would change.
The next morning, I woke up feeling rested and with a clear mind I went back into the grind trying to figure out how we can stay relevant with the new norm in place. After hundred of calls and emails, an opportunity presented itself; our operations were provided an opportunity with one of the world’s largest security providers (Garda World) to help them staff essential service positions across the province. This as well as assistance from the government would provide us some immediate relief to help push through the next several months.
While we were able to stay afloat with limited oxygen, in this time we recognized that we would need to pivot our services to another division. We decided we would shift our focus to healthcare security. An industry we never looked at in the past and never trained for. How could we succeed in this industry and thrive keeping our reputation of premium service providers in place with such a large learning curve?
We would need to start from scratch and build a strong foundation; from advanced training, to complete re-design of uniform, to introducing a new business plan…and so we did.
With an incredible roster of dedicated, loyal security professionals we were able to bring on Steve Summerville – President of Stay Safe IP, and provide an advanced training plan (the first of its kind) that would help us train our employees and get them ready for the demands of healthcare security. To give you an idea of the landscape, nurses are three times more likely to be assaulted on the job then police and corrections.
Today we start a brand new journey in healthcare. With each employee receiving over 500 hours of paid advanced training ranging anywhere from Management of Resistance Behaviour, to Mental Health, IAHSS, Effective Communications, handcuff, baton, Use of Force, Empathy and scenario workshops, we are ready!
Sentinel has held a strong reputation of providing some of the highest skilled level professionals the industry has to offer. This level of qualification, tied in with extensive advanced training, we are not just looking at breaking into the industry – but leading it.
When I hear the unfortunate news everyday where businesses are facing a very bumpy uphill battle, I want you to know that it will be ok. You must push through. Do not give up. You were able to build what you have today because of who you are. That has not changed. You already have the drive and the determination. Keep tapping into that fire and you will push through. I can tell you from experience that it may seem like you tried every possible scenario, but until you win again, do not stop. You will get back on your feet.
Lastly, I want to thank the many people over the months that helped us push through. You know who you are and I am forever grateful. I would also like to thank our entire incredible team of professionals at Sentinel that have been able to pivot into a new direction and help make today a reality. You are the secret sauce of the organization and we are thrilled we can experience these new opportunities together.
“I wake up every morning believing today is going to be better than yesterday”
– WILL SMITH