The Overlap Between EP and First Aid Training 

According to the Heart Research Institute, a heart attack is a leading cause of death and hospitalisation in Australia. On average, it claims 21 lives daily, with as many as 57,000 Australians suffering a heart attack every year. Yet, business executives and high-net-worth individuals hire executive protection staff without excessively thinking about their first aid training. However, it is too important a topic to disregard. 

Many people think of executive protection agents and close protection operatives as these bulky, black-dressed individuals with earpieces. Still, their physical posture does not necessarily reflect their skills level. Actually, some EPAs and CPOs maintain an exceptional understanding of first aid training and responding to medical emergencies. 

The international journal Annals of Emergency Medicine defines a medical emergency as a sudden injury or grave illness that could cause severe harm or even death if not treated immediately. That is precisely where executive protection agents with a background in first aid training or additional more advanced medical training may prove invaluable. 

As with many western countries, some chronic conditions plague Australia too. Thus, here are the most common chronic conditions where first aid could save lives: 

  • Asthma, 
  • Diabetes mellitus, 
  • Heart, stroke, and vascular disease, 
  • Chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease, 
  • Kidney disease and others. 

Regarding the risk factors that contribute to these conditions, medical experts usually blame poor diets, smoking, insufficient physical activity, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, and others. 

Yet, this is only one side of the coin. The other is concerned with injuries that are an inseparable component of off-road racing and other activities in remote areas. In addition, hiking, fishing, and dining also comprise events that usually take place in inaccessible regions. 

Having said that, many Australians ― HNW families and business executives included ― may fall casualty to these predicaments. Therefore, this article will explore the intersection between executive protection and first aid training. 

Why Hire EP Teams with a Background in First Aid Training 

Executive protection agents have numerous roles. To name a few, they are the protector, confidant, logistics planner ― and emergency medical responder. 

Aside from their assistants, employees, and family, high-ranking individuals are frequently surrounded by their security staff. This fact makes the perfect case for hiring EP teams with a background in first aid training or higher clinical experience. Although the security staff may not always be within arm’s reach, they are the most responsive in emergencies. 

Instead of rushing to the hospital and wasting valuable time, the relevant EP staff member can apply medical interventions and techniques on the spot or while underway. When employed immediately, lifesaving procedures can sustain life until the patient arrives at a medical facility. For instance, control of bleeding and cardiopulmonary resuscitation comprises the standard techniques. 

In relation to the inevitability of accidents, security author Dale June writes that “Many things can befall a protectee (i.e. the person on the receiving end of protective services) that have nothing to do with the activities of terrorists, crazies, or anyone who would want to intentionally harm him. In spite of the very best preventive measures taken by a protection agent, accidents, injuries, and other life-threatening medical emergencies occur.” 

Fortunately, EPAs and medics can apply various procedures depending on conditions, injuries, or other health issues. For instance, a person suffering from choking, another experiencing head trauma, and a third individual undergoing burns will have to be treated entirely differently. For this reason, the executive protection team must possess a resourceful first aid kit with all the relevant drugs and equipment, including advanced resuscitation devices. 

Finally, an experienced medic or EP staff member with at least a minimal working knowledge of first aid can use their calm demeanour and experience to assure bystanders and the casualty or patient that everything will be alright shortly. 

first aid training

What to Do Before Help Arrives 

Nevertheless, the question persists: How will the situation develop before an ambulance arrives or the security team transports the patient to the nearest hospital? How do these crucial minutes look like after sustaining a wound or suffering the consequences of a chronic condition? 

As any member of security with a background in first aid training or a higher degree of clinical training knows, several things should ensue immediately at the scene: 

  1. Call or have someone call 000 before beginning lifesaving procedures, 
  1. Ensure that the patient is in a safe area to avoid further injuries, 
  1. Speak softly and reassuringly to the patient, as they are experiencing thoughts of impending death, and their mental posture can actually deteriorate their overall condition, 
  1. Convince the patient that the injury is treatable, as this could significantly increase their chances of survival and full recovery, 
  1. Identify the patient’s health problems and recognise those requiring swift attention.  

Medical experts and EPAs well versed in first aid provision refer to the last item as the primary survey or patient assessment. Therein, the relevant staff physically examines the patient. In fact, this tool is essential as it entails controlling and checking for immediate life-threatening issues, such as: 

  • Stoppage of blood circulation, 
  • Loss of blood, 
  • Absence of breathing, and 
  • Blocked airways. 

By conducting a methodical and systematic patient assessment, the relevant staff can obtain valuable information that is beneficial in later treatment. For example, the onsite personnel could collect empirical data about the environment and the cause of the trauma or injury. Later on, treating physicians could use this information to prescribe the most suitable therapy.  

Lastly, here are other data points that onsite staff could record: 

  • Time of the accident or the onset of illness, 
  • The treatment provided in the first minutes after the event, 
  • Pulse, respiration, temperature, and 
  • Appearance and condition of the patient. 

In Conclusion 

Security staff has long been perceived as merely “standing there” or solely reacting when an attacker or intruder physically threaten the principal. In contrast, this article explored how executive protection agents who have attended first aid training can benefit their protectees immediately after a trauma or injury.  

Apart from the agent’s day-to-day role, EP services have expanded to include responding to medical emergencies. Naturally, it may seem overwhelming for a person to simultaneously provide physical protection and medical emergency services. However, many proficient EPAs have gotten used to this workload and are constantly upgrading their skills. 

Panoptic Solutions helps individuals and teams enjoy relaxation time and do their best work without worrying about far-off and unavailable medical support.  

The Modern Rules of Corporate Safety 

The corporate environment constitutes one of the most delicate places for any employee. From workplace injuries to industrial espionage and theft, many things can compromise the corporate safety of a company, including its workers. 

For instance, ASIO’s director-general Mike Burgess said in a recent statement that foreign spy agencies want intelligence “about Australia’s key export, technology and research industries.” According to other experts, the malicious actors presumably wish to use the data to harm Australian corporations for their personal gain. 

In a nutshell, when thinking about corporate safety, one needs to consider the following aspects: 

  • Workplace violence, 
  • Equipment and environmental safety, and 
  • Workplace injuries. 

In 2020 alone, there were 2.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers among managers, 8.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers among machinery operators and drivers, and 3.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers among labourers. 

Although worker illnesses and injuries are steeply declining, the lack of comprehensive security programs is still ever-present. 

According to one survey, as little as 24% of organisations spend less than AUD7,000 on safety training from their overall training budget. In fact, most firms ― 44% ― spend less than AUD300 per learner. This is a worrying trend that does not seem to be improving. 

When the media find out about a corporate incident, they usually portray malicious actors physically intimidating high-level executives or board members. But, the truth is that the issues pertaining to this field are much more intricate and far from self-evident. 

Therefore, for this article, we will explore corporate safety and how it affects Australian companies. 

The Business Side of Things 

The most straightforward and efficient way of explaining why the lack of corporate safety may produce various consequences is by presenting potential monetary repercussions. In other words, when companies worry about their business continuity, they tend to be more receptive to guidance on how to improve their corporate safety. 

For employees to be productive and safe, they must first be convinced that their environment is secure. Depending on the workforce type and industry, a variety of safety training programs focus on multiple aspects.  

By helping ensure employees stay safe, companies: 

  • Promote wellness of everyone involved, including employees and employers, 
  • Support better health, both mental and physical, 
  • Help employees complete tasks more efficiently, 
  • Improve the level of job satisfaction and overall happiness among employees, 
  • Encourage the workforce to remain loyal, thereby reducing the risk of industrial espionage, theft, and similar concerns. 

Overall, safe working environments rarely generate accidents, as all segments of the company focus on a single goal: business continuity and profitability. 

Apart from producing more output in less time, productive ― and safe ― employees also create a positive ripple effect. Simply put, they influence other company departments and encourage their colleagues to further the company’s goals. 

By introducing proper safety programs, an organisation can help: 

  • Develop prevention skills, 

Finally, some of the highest costs in any business are those that relate to equipment. The human factor is responsible for around 80% of failures in engineering machinery. Bearing in mind the tremendous costs of repair and re-purchase, most companies are better off preventing accidents from happening in the first place. And they can do that by building a safe and secure environment for their workforce. 

corporate safety

Industrial Espionage and Theft 

Most of the damage that can be inflicted on an organisation is not immediately visible to the eye. In fact, malicious actors and competitors may be trying to develop a big information picture for weeks or months just to assemble the bits and pieces they obtained during informal conversations in lobbies, restaurants, elevators, and other public spaces. 

Harmless chitchat can quickly turn into a situation that may adversely influence corporate safety for years to come. 

Similarly, some security experts posit that approximately one-third of businesses fail due to internal theft or related crimes. This means that employees can ― if they choose to ― harm their current or former company more than virtually any outside malicious actor. 

Expectedly, most employees are entirely aware of the consequences of their actions. However, a small part may be negligent in their behaviour, committing crimes that amount to theft. In any case, both ends of the spectrum, the reckless and the deliberate, are equally held accountable for their deeds.  

Nevertheless, social science experts believe that most people will behave in line with what is expected from them if proper safeguards are in place. In other words, when a company introduces preventative measures, it signals to its employees that executing a malicious attack is both hard to achieve and generates few gains. 

Thay way, even the most disgruntled employees will think twice before committing crimes. The reason is that the measures in place serve as deterrents to prevent them from behaving corruptly. 

Corporate Safety and Technology 

All modern corporations use computers to maintain their access controls, security systems, and personnel file databases. From a security perspective, the malefactor who infiltrates these areas can misuse numerous information. And these can be insider threats or outsiders looking to obtain sensitive data or expose vulnerabilities. 

When corporation leaders hire executive protection companies to conduct electronic countermeasure sweeps, it usually starts with a physical inspection of the company premises, including: 

  • Searching behind furniture, in file cabinets, and the ceiling, 
  • Opening all electrical outlets, 
  • Inspecting telephones, tablets, desktop computers, and all other devices. 

Workers with a low level of corporate safety awareness often make the mistake of leaving their devices unattended with sensitive data and information exposed to any passerby, including janitors, handypersons, their fellow colleagues, and many more. 

Therefore, only trusted employees should be allowed access to critical information on company devices. That way, the possibility of unauthorised usage is vastly reduced, although not completely eliminated. 

Note: Security surveys are an integral part of every security strategy. An executive protection company should use it as a starting point for ensuring corporate safety is at its highest. Succinctly, a security survey is a process of reviewing specific applications, areas, or operations of a business to document security vulnerabilities and risks and validate the existing program. 

In Conclusion 

Occupational safety and health risks, as well as industrial espionage and theft, are mostly avoidable. However, many company leaders rarely pause to think about how these threats compromise the day-to-day business continuity of their organisation.  

For instance, IT company workers may be struggling with faulty electronics or wires, causing a potential discontinuity in operations. On the other hand, construction company employees could be exposed to danger while operating heavy equipment. Even more disconcertingly, the threat may be coming from a foreign agency seeking to steal company data.  

In fact, the risks may depend on the specific industry, but the dire consequences still ring true. 

Instead of investing in corporate safety and ensuring that their employees remain loyal, dedicated, and productive, company leaders sometimes spend their time on matters of subpar importance. 

Finally, some employees may betray their current or former employer in order to obtain significant financial gains from a competitor or malefactor. Alternatively, disgruntled workers could decide to harm the company that has awarded them a small compensation. The reasons are truly endless. 

But whatever the case, businesses need to make sure corporate safety is on their list of top priorities. The alternative to that may prove challenging to the very existence of their operations and business continuity. 

With experienced risk managers on our teams, Panoptic Solutions supports individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched corporate safety services.