Gold Coast Bulletin – Gold Coast Firm provides bodyguard paramedics to the rich

Ryan Keen, Gold Coast Bulletin – A GOLD Coast military veteran believes he’s on to a winning formula, providing executive protection with paramedics who double as bodyguards.

Ex-Australian Defence Force member Troy Claydon said his company, Panoptic Solutions, was thriving with increasing numbers of high net-worth people seeking its combination service in the past six months.

The 39-year-old started the firm in 2011 after 14 years in the military and five years in war-torn Iraq as a private security contractor.

The idea for Panoptic, which has a charge out rate of $1000 to $2000 a day, came after he spent some Iraq leave in South Africa with a team of paramedics.

“My plan was always to try and put those two services together — the medical and the security. They go so well together.

“When I tell people I’m in the medical security business, they do a double-take.”

On return to the Gold Coast from Iraq in 2009, Mr Claydon signed up for the Queensland Ambulance Service and trained as a paramedic.

The company’s medical director is Brisbane former army doctor Kieran McCarthy, who has experience attached to Special Operations teams in Afghanistan.

The chief operating officer Simon Taylor is a former combat medic.

Mr Claydon said having bodyguards with high-level medical training provided great peace of mind for people seeking personal protection.

“If something goes wrong, whether you’re injured or whatever, the first person people look to are the bodyguards,” he said.

“And while most bodyguards are trained in emergency medicine or first aid, they don’t generally have paramedic-level training.”

Mr Claydon will not disclose the identity of his high-profile clients but says he has looked after executives, television personalities and Department of Defence staff.

A looming job includes protection for an American at the Olympic Games in Rio.

Panoptic’s range of jobs have included helping relocate women escaping domestic violence, bigshot executives on business trips and wealthy families on holidays.

They also do transport logistics plus “health intelligence”, assessing medical treatment facilities in overseas areas.

“We did a job on the Gold Coast for a retail manager who was extorted — he was kidnapped, tortured and extorted.

“After that incident he started receiving more threats and we put a protection detail on him.”

His firm takes on about six “big” jobs of three to four weeks each a year plus smaller ones.

Demand for the services had increased noticeably in the past six months which he believed was due to increasing fear of random terrorist threats.

“People are realising the world has changed, this kind of security is becoming more important.”

Mr Claydon said he was no Kevin Costner in reference to the famous movie The Bodyguard.

“We’re very low-key and discreet — we don’t walk around with earpieces in and dark sunglasses on.

“That’s not what we do.”

Bodyguard, Paramedic or Both? Experience in the protection detail.

As we see the rapid realisation by Executive Protection Agents & Bodyguards worldwide of the need to increase their medical qualifications, the prudent point of experience and ongoing exposure must be taken into account.

As previously demonstrated with the role of executive protection, it is one thing to have a certificate for a course, however experience and exposure to the working environment proves invaluable.

The same cannot be truer for the medical capability of this role. With the evolution of EP/EMT qualifications the need to have a method of ongoing exposure and gained experience in pre hospital medicine is imperative. Medical knowledge, skills and training are all perishable and easily lost if not routinely practised.

With the nature of this role when your medical skills are required it will be under pressure and probably in very difficult circumstances. To then be standing in front of your client trying to recall the lessons of your course is unacceptable.

Maintaining Skills

For instance, here at Panoptic Solutions our EP/Paramedics are able to maintain skills and qualifications by working with local EMS and ambulance services. Our EMT’s conduct regular continuation training overseen by our Paramedics, as well as participate as first responders treating actual patients at the events covered by our medical wing – Panoptic First Response.

Maintenance of all skills surrounding executive protection operations is imperative to ensure a well rounded protection service to the principal/client. Simply firing a pistol once a year doesn’t make you a marksman, conducting 3 days of defensive tactics doesn’t make you a bodyguard and conducting 1 week of EMT training doesn’t make you a medic. These are all great starting points, however, its up to the individual to conduct professional development and up to the security provider/company to ensure that appropriately trained personnel are tasked within the team.

Australian Bodyguards & EP Providers – 5 tips

AUSTRALIAN BODYGUARDS AND EXECUTIVE PROTECTION PROVIDERS – FIVE ITEMS TO LOOK FOR WHEN ENGAGING AN EXECUTIVE PROTECTION PROVIDER IN AUSTRALIA

 

Professional Australian Bodyguards and Executive Protection Providers can be a rare commodity. Searching for an executive protection provider for the first time can be slightly daunting.  Here are some things to look for which, in our view, are good indicators of competence and quality when searching for Australian Bodyguards.

Field Experience

The experience and qualifications of the personnel are usually highly indicative of the caliber of service the security firm will provide.  Look for high-quality military or law enforcement experience and inquire about the length and sophistication of that experience.  Additionally, check if the personnel have advanced qualifications or formal training such as medical or executive protection certifications. If so, where are those qualifications from and how do they compare with the highest industry standards. Australian Bodyguards and EP operatives with international field experience are a value add.

Licensing Requirement

Each state requires security firms to hold a license. Boutique firms can utilise strategic alliances with partnering companies when operating out of state. Furthermore, each executive Protection Operative needs to hold a valid Australian Bodyguards Licence.

Communication

Excellent communication is a key determinant of the overall quality of an executive protection provider.  If the company representative or your account manager does not take the time to effectively communicate with you early on, they may not address the nuances of your needs later on.  When first engaging with them, look for how clearly and confidently the company presents itself. Do the representatives put you at ease?  How well do they listen to you?

Value for money

Executive protection is not cheap and, if you’re getting professionals, it shouldn’t be.  When the cost of an executive protection service looks especially low, the value for money is likely even lower.  This is due to the economics of this business: The price is highly sensitive to experience and qualifications, legal and operating costs, etc.  Nonetheless, do look for value for money. Ensure that you are getting qualified and highly competent professionals as indicated by their experience and qualifications (not goons in suits). There are some other value-adds to keep an eye out for. Are they bilingual or know the language of a country you are traveling to? Do they have advanced medical training? Are there male and female personnel? These and other add-ons make for an excellent team.

Company Reputation

This can be as simple as a Google search or checking through online forums. You may find something that doesn’t sit right with you for whatever reason, so be willing to dig deeper. Try to get a sense of what the company stands for? What are its values and how are they indicated in the behavior of the company (not just a shiny website with cliché words).  If you go with a reputable provider with a professional and positive culture, you can’t go wrong. For example, Panoptic Solutions has invested a lot of time into ensuring we have the right people performing the right job in a positive and professional work environment. Look for companies with a similar approach. Furthermore, if the company has referals located on their website be sure to view and explore these further. Who are they from and what type of weight do the hold, an exapmle of quality referals and refernces can be found at the bottom of Panoptic Solutions home page )

Are you travelling to Australia and need security for you, your family or your staff?

Contact Panoptic Solutions today and talk with one of our protection specialists about Australian Bodyguards and Executive Protection services in Australia. Call +61 1300 651 407 or email us at info@panopticsolutions.com