This past week, a guard arrived at work, much like any other day. Working in a hospital may present Security with slightly increased risks based on the fact they can be dealing with more then the average amount of mentally unstable individuals. It may also increase risks due to potentially easier access to ‘weapons’ – scalpels, needles, blades, other potentially dangerous medical equipment.
This day, all of these facts and odds didn’t play well in Securities favour.
Security was called to deal with an individual. While trying to deescalate the situation, a man sprayed Security with the contents of a syringe, just before a more physical transaction occurred and Security was hit in the head with the needle, and cut.
The guard believed the syringe was filled with blood, and was also told by the individual that they were living with HIV.
Ultimately police were called in and the suspect was apprehended and charged. The Security Guard was treated and sent home to recover.
In this case, the Union that stands behind the Security Guards that work for the hospital, are calling for more tools and more training when it comes to doing this job. Especially when it comes to restraining and detaining, and potentially disarming violent individuals.
Currently the Health Authority employs seasoned Guards with experience. They are trained, equipped, and their training is topped up with annual refresher courses.
Being in the Security industry, you’re often working closely with the Police Departments. Typically, in a lot of cases, by the time the Police show up, Security has done a lot of the groundwork in deescalating a situation. After all, that is one of the purposes of a good, solid Security Guard.
There are a lot of instances where Security is trying to step in and act as Police while having a lot of rules and laws that work both for them and against them.
If you’re the typical over achieving do-gooder who wants to ‘impress the boss’ and go above and beyond, you’ll most likely want to take complete matters in your hands. Apprehending, restraining, confining – what have you. You want control.
However – law dictates you can do the best that you can but not be in complete control.
By so much as laying a finger on someone who you’ve decided is a threat, this can be deemed as assault.
As a Security Guard, the law is there to protect you. It gives you the same rights and privileges as an average citizen. While this may seem as a deterrent, this prevents you from potentially making matters worse, causing harm, or causing a scene in front of someone that has walked in at the wrong time and is viewing things in the favour of the wrong individual.
While the Police can typically use more force if absolutely necessary, they’re actions still have consequences as well – but they have slightly more laws protecting them.
Instead of viewing this as a negative attribute, embrace the fact that you as a Security Guard are not left with the complete responsibility or public reaction, if things go very wrong.
Expectations will still run high with you in a Guard position, but not nearly as high as the Police.
If you’re working and the Police are called in, its also not a time to feel like you’re not doing your job or you’re not doing your job ‘good enough’. As mentioned earlier, they’re there to help and do the things you cannot.
While in this situation of a Guard at the hospital getting into a physical altercation with an individual with a needle filled with an unspecified substance, the Police absolutely needed to step in to help Security, and to confine the attacker and prevent any further injury to anyone else.
More training and tools may or may not have helped in this situation. While any citizen can make a ‘citizens’ arrest’, it has to be done so carefully as to not make matters worse, or cause the attacker to flee and potentially never be held responsible for their actions.
Disarming an attacker is another potentially dangerous tact. All factors need to be considered when disarming an individual, and often you will only get one chance to make you’re move.
The level of skill and training that could potentially be done to prepare for this situation, typically far surpasses any typical civilian training and left completely up to the police.
There is no secret that there are multiple risks when working in the Security industry.
The risks are maybe slightly less than that of a Police Officer but this is still something anyone going into this industry should know.
But knowing that you’re protected, and you have back up, is something that should also be just as much common knowledge.
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. She currently is on maternity leave and providing daily close protection for a baby and a toddler and spending time with her husband who is a Police Officer.