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.  

Why Hire an Executive Protection Agent or Operative: The Top Reasons

There is an abundance of cases of unprofessional behaviour by security in Australia and other western countries. For example, we often read news articles of security staff assaulting protesters around their principals in an attempt to protect them. Without going into the debate about the terminology of bodyguard vs EPA vs CPO, would an executive protection agent or operative be more fit to handle such situations?

One thing is for sure. Some security staff tend to exaggerate in the countless cases of attacks on journalists, protesters, and political opponents. But is that truly necessary? Do they need to apply physical force to protect or seemingly protect their principals, i.e., the persons receiving protection services? The answer to this question is two-fold.

For one, physical strength may be an option in a quickly escalating attack that may leave no room for verbal de-escalation. Secondly, an executive protection agent employs communication skills to read gestures and talk down potential attackers. Apart from that, they gather protective intelligence and conduct risk assessments prior to public events.

Therefore, in this article, we shall dissect why hiring an EP agent or operative is the right choice for high-net-worth families, enterprises, and corporate security directors.

Responding to and Understanding Fear

Security experts have repeatedly argued that protective agents need to stand up to their fears to become good at what they do. Simply put, they must understand it and control their reactions to act appropriately in threatening and dangerous situations. In fact, famous author Dale June argues that “fear is an overpowering emotion appearing as an adrenaline rush that freezes the brain and paralyses the body.”

The phenomenon has recently become known as the F3 or the fight-flight-freeze response, which is the body’s built-in automatic system that protects us from danger or threat. To implement security assignments seamlessly, EPAs must train themselves to resist slipping into the third component of F3. Namely, freezing while a malefactor approaches to harm their principal is the worst possible outcome.

To overcome the moment of adrenalin overload, the security professional must remain calm and concentrated in moments when something has to be done. Even while experiencing a modicum of fear, the EPA should behave in a manner to not express it to the outside world. Moreover, projecting confidence and resolution in their posture towards potential attackers often proves essential.

Finally, the EPA may need to be trained to recognise tell-tale body language and emotional sweating in the opposing party.

executive protection agent

Strategic Protection

In the security domain, nothing must be left to chance. The protective detail should plan for any emergencies in advance and be three steps ahead of potential intruders, be they star-crazed fans in crowds or disgruntled former employees desperate to enter the corporate building.

One strategic approach that has proven invaluable time and again is often called the concentric circles of protection. It is a procedure that serves to:

  • Establish escape routes and operational continuity, and
  • Exercise the craft of target hardening.

Security operatives implement this approach with the intent to dissuade, deter, and delay an assault on the principal. The ultimate goal is to intimidate the aggressor until they abort their action or postpone it while help is underway. The security staff can achieve this in a few ways.

Firstly, by erecting fences and other physical obstacles. Secondly, by assigning security staff around the relevant residential buildings or company headquarters. And thirdly, by placing video surveillance and accompanying warning signs.

The approach of concentric circles of protection serves to arrange multiple rings around the principal. Because the more circles, the higher the probability of succeeding to protect the client.

But what role does technology play in this regard?

Technology has enabled people to protect their families, property, and persons. They may sleep and eat, conduct day-to-day tasks and still have a sense of safety and security with CCTV cameras observing all movements in their environment 24/7.

Another way that protection circles can be beneficial in the technological sense is that one circle comprises physical security equipment (like x-ray machines) and security operation centres. By doing so, target hardening reaches its full potential.

Additional Qualities of an Executive Protection Agent

The American humorist and political commentator Will Rogers once said, “Being a hero is about the shortest-lived profession on Earth.”

To a certain degree, that is correct, as heroes often rely on their sheer willpower and physical strength to react in threatening situations, with no pre-planning required.

Conversely, the job of an executive protection agent entails:

  • Gathering protective intelligence,
  • Conducting risk assessments, and
  • Performing due diligence, among many other things.

It is evident that EPAs stand up for what is right ― namely, protecting their clients and principals. However, most of them view it simply as yet another day at work. They do not demand any special recognition or pat on the back for another dangerless and risk-free workday.

Contrary to popular belief, EPAs do not engage in unnecessary brawls of their principals in the nightclub or at a concert. Their responsibility is solely to keep the principal safe and sound and not adjudicate in random scuffles or fights.

In Conclusion

The reasons for hiring an executive protection agent abound. From pre-planning trips to conducting risk assessments, the EPA tries to predict a wide range of possible outcomes. They are also well-versed in the art of deterring and delaying potential attacks.

Apart from the hard skills ― such as handling firearms and knowing the basics of martial arts ― the executive protection agent should also be familiar with de-escalation techniques.

In addition, skilful EPAs realise they are not operating in a space wholly detached from their principal’s life. Thus, customer service must be one of the crucial skills under their belt. For instance, suppose an EPA is conversing with the principal’s children or board members. In that case, they should know how to adapt their conversational style to fit the particular context.

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched executive protection and bodyguard services.

Why HNWIs and Business Executives Need Security Drivers

Many executive protection experts argue that security is always a compromise. In fact, they claim that it is impossible to perfectly guard the principal while simultaneously allowing them any freedom of movement. However, EP operatives can still do plenty to help ensure custom-made protection is at hand. On that note, some protection professionals regard security drivers as the first and last line of defence against malefactors.

But what do the duties of security drivers entail? Generally speaking, they are in charge of:

  • Driving the principal’s vehicle,
  • Route planning (in conjunction with the security team leader),
  • Arranging the seating positions in the car,
  • Ensuring the layout of the interior is as per the principal’s expectations and that of the security team leader,
  • Fixing malfunctions, repairing other vehicle-related issues, and
  • Helping make sure that their clients – HNWIs, business executives and other high-ranking principals – enjoy maximum productivity while en route, and
  • Balancing security with comfort.

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as an excessive number of protective staff. Yet, security drivers rarely fall into that category.

For instance, they frequently brainstorm an all-encompassing range of vehicle-related contingencies. Therein, they gain a better insight into how to prepare for the possibility of various incidents. And incidents do happen. They may include a punctured or flat tire, a car computer or electronic failure, a mechanical breakdown or limited movement options.

Quick tip: Security experts describe an incident as anything which is untoward or has even a slight probability of impacting a task or mission. By definition, incidents can catch close protection operatives by surprise, but that is what contingency planning is for ― to be capable of responding in any event.

One Person, Multiple Roles

Occasionally, the EP operative   may double up and take on the duties of a security driver. We rarely recommend this, as it reduces  the protective efforts.

When doubling up, the protection operative would be tasked with simultaneously driving the vehicle and then opening and closing the door for the principal. In addition, they would need to escort the client outside while leaving the car unattended ― and even take care of parking. In other words, too many tasks for a single individual.

The principal or their staff may request the designated security driver to participate in selecting a vehicle that is both comfortable and secure. This  is obviously an important responsibility.

Thus, in this article, we will explore more why security drivers present an invaluable asset for the safety of the principal and their immediate environment.

How to Manage Vehicle Security

One of the best solutions to help ensure the security of the principal vehicle is to introduce strict security precautions. Expectedly, some of them include equipping the car with alarm systems that emit sounds at the command post or a protection operative’s phone, aside from the local audible alarm. This will provide early warning for vehicles approaching or departing the residence or known locations.

Similarly, we suggest locking the car doors and setting the alarms even if the CP team parks the vehicle in a locked garage on a secured and gated estate.

During the night, wherever possible, the principal vehicle should be placed under video surveillance in a well-lighted area. Apart from posing a solid deterrent to malicious actors, operating in such a manner will also ensure peace of mind among the protective staff and the principal, their entourage and family.

As for public places, ideally wherever possible, the driver will remain with the vehicle. However, where this has not occurred, it is the responsibility of security drivers not to start the engine or operate the vehicle. That is, until they visually inspect the situation around and under the car, check for planted devices or signs of tampering, and examine:

  • Wheel wells,
  • Gas/petrol intake, and
  • Exhaust pipe.

As proficient security drivers are well aware, the hood-locking device should only be accessible from inside the vehicle. In addition, we advise using cars with a locking cap cover that can only be operated from within the vehicle.

As expected, the driver must be in sync with all vehicle-related technologies and mechanics. Ultimately, they should accompany the vehicle to a reliable and known dealership or service station during service and maintenance. By doing so, they limit the potential for tampering that could produce harmful outcomes later on.

security drivers

In Transit with the Principal

During public events and while en route, security drivers must ensure that windows are rolled up and doors locked. This best practice helps prevent ill-intentioned individuals from throwing items into the car or harming anyone inside. In the event that windows seals need to be broken for any reason, winding them down by 2-4cms should provide enough space to communicate with those outside of the vehicle.

Route selection will be conducted prior to departing venues. This includes primary and secondary routes. In collaboration with the security team leader, the driver will implement changes from primary to secondary routes where the security threat or conditions dictate. By implementing this system, the EP team imposes a deterrent and increases the probability of safe and secure transport from point A to point B.

In many cases, the security driver and team leader may choose the most direct and well-travelled route. In others, the motorcade or vehicle may come across stranded motorists requesting assistance, or a roadblock that happens to be erected on the same route.

Each incident is unique and the situation will lend itself to experience and guidance by the security driver or team leader. However, in these instances, we recommend not stepping outside of the vehicle, as this poses an elevated risk to the principal. In this case, contingency plans or “Action On” protocols should step in.

Quick tip: Although using public roads is vital, sometimes the need may arise to select an alternative route. In this sense, the CP team must set in motion a pre-prepared plan to execute the mission of safely transporting the principal and their entourage.

Residence Selection and Security Drivers

Famous author Peter Consterdine goes to great lengths to discuss dilemmas pertaining to suitable accommodation for the principal and their entourage as they relate to travelling. He emphasises some of the main reasons for choosing between urban, suburban, and rural areas.

Urban accommodation usually:

  • Lacks privacy,
  • Implies congested traffic,
  • Provides ample cover for malicious surveillance, but
  • Presents a benefit in terms of adequate police and emergency services response and good communications.

Suburban accommodation typically:

  • Resembles that of urban areas but with enhanced privacy,
  • Provides fewer opportunities for opposition surveillance, and
  • Ensures slower but satisfactory police reaction time.

Rural accommodation normally:

  • Presents a challenge due to isolation but promises significantly more privacy than with urban and suburban areas,
  • Limits the choice of escape routes,
  • Makes communications more complicated, and
  • Prevents emergency services from arriving timely.

Security drivers should consider all these points when discussing accommodation options with the principal, their assistants, or other staff members.

In Conclusion

It goes without saying that the security driver must have the relevant certification and driver’s licence in place. Moreover, they need to possess adequate defensive driving skills and be well-versed in all things car technology and mechanics.

For these reasons, we urge against hiring a chauffeur while in transit with the principal. The reason is that a regular driver typically has no relevant knowledge of planning travels and alternative routes, evasive driving, and other items that proficient security drivers deal with in their daily work.

Finally, high-net-worth individuals and business executives need proficient driving operators on their security details to:

  • Facilitate vehicle security and selection,
  • Establish standard protocols for all passengers to follow,
  • Ensure that the vehicles are always safe, even when left unattended,
  • Fix car system malfunctions, handle all mechanical issues, and
  • Be aware of emergency services nearby and know how to reach them quickly.

With experienced security drivers on our teams, Panoptic Solutions supports individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched services.

Benefits of Female Executive Protection Agents 

Female executive protection is a topic that seems to spark significant conversation in the security field. Most discussions remain positive. However, we can still observe some questionable comments and ways of thinking within certain areas of the industry. It would be easy enough to blame this on a mainly masculine culture that continues to dominate the industry. Yet, it may be more than just that.  

Dive deeper and you will find that it’s not only some industry professionals who may hold questionable perceptions about females in executive protection, but also clients.  

As a result, only a tiny fraction of women nowadays decide to go down the career path of EP, although their numbers are growing. Still, those that do, report an advantageous experience that benefits their lives as a whole and notably their principals ― i.e., the persons on the receiving end of protective services.  

But before we explore this too much, let us discuss the term female executive protection agent or female executive protection operative. The title is outdated and should be removed from the protection industry 

You are either an executive protection agent/operative/officer, or you are not. Furthermore, no one is using the term male executive protection agent. Thus, there is no reason why the industry should not be more inclusive. 

Women as Mentors

Pollsters usually attribute the statistical shortage of women in the security sector to their disinterest and lack of incentives by protection companies and clients who mostly require masculine features. However, this trend needs to change at the company level, while the said companies should educate clients. 

It has been the experience of Panoptic Solutions management and CPP operatives that some of the best teams working for some of the world’s top 1% have been led and managed by very strong, capable, influential, and skillful women, whom we would have no hesitation following anywhere.  

In fact, in each case, we consider these women mentors in the field of executive protection and look to them for advice. Moreover, these women are at senior levels of executive protection, while others are in senior security positions with well-known tech firms where all are judged on merit.   

female executive protection 1

Babysitters and Assistants, or More?

In some cases, security-seeking individuals and families often overlook how female executive protection agents can also provide secure driving, protective intelligence, paramedic, and nanny services ― hence the term nannyguards. However, we can say the same for their male counterparts.   

Rightly or wrongly, some people may perceive female bodyguards as babysitters, partners, or assistants. Therefore, they tend to remain unnoticed.  

Besides, no one is restricting their responsibilities solely to crowd control or similar assignments typically requiring a physically tall posture.  

Quick fact: Within several peer-reviewed studies, researchers have found that women are better communicators than men. This may help executive protection agents respond more skillfully in verbal confrontations with potential attackers.  

De-escalation usually plays a significant role in the field of security. Especially during heated arguments with star-crazed fans or individuals wanting to desperately take a photo with their favourite artist.  

For all these reasons, it may be advisable to select a mixture of both men and women when hiring an EP team in charge of taking care of:  

  • High-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families,  
  • VIPs spending time in remote areas of Australia, New Zealand or Asia,   
  • Female clients and their children,  
  • A wide array of companies in need of corporate security and risk management services.  

Arguments for Hiring Female Agents  

Women are not as noticeable in the security industry as men are. Still, their presence has steadily increased over the past ten years. And there is ample reason to suggest that they are a significant asset to executive protection teams and their principals.   

For one, women are known for carrying so-called go-bags wherever they move or travel. It is less noticeable when a female carries a bag as opposed to a male. Additionally, it is easier to disguise EP-related items in bags when females take them around instead of male agents. Most importantly, go-bags of female executive protection agents/operatives may ordinarily hold some of the following articles:  

  • First aid items, including tourniquets, emergency bandages, or airway devices,  
  • Note pads and pens,  
  • Pocket knives or multitools,  
  • GPS equipment, and  
  • Headphones, lip gloss, or sunglasses.  

The things that female EPAs usually carry in their purses can make all the difference, especially security-wise.  

Blending and Fitting In

A blended approach to executive protection provides an increased level of security to principals. The ability for a male and female executive protection agent to appear like they are a “couple” provides an element of surprise to any potential assailant when the EP team reacts. The ability to blend into an environment is particularly relevant when providing covert protective surveillance or low-profile protection.  

As a matter of fact, some clients may want to remain inconspicuous and having corporally prominent security operatives often works against such likings. But, apart from that, the ability to create a sense of normalcy and routine is among the essential requirements that clients look for in EP agents.  

More notably, male security operatives have certain restrictions that females do not. For example, when safeguarding a female client, the agent can enter places where it may be less appropriate for a male to access, including locations such as:  

  • Hotel suites,   
  • Dressing rooms,  
  • Female-specific clothing shops, and  
  • Bathrooms and other such venues.  

The main benefit to all of this is that the client’s daily life does not undergo disruptions. In addition, female EP agents inspire less suspicion and raise fewer eyebrows ― all efficacious advantages in the security business.  

While working in a male-dominated profession, female executive protection agents are increasingly in high demand because they:  

  • Change a protective team’s dynamics by fostering a less aggressive and more assertive culture 
  • Overcome cultural and religious preferences because some parts of the world have strict rules for different genders spending time together, and  
  • Attract less attention.  

female executive protection 2

Getting Physical

But what about physicality? A common argument put up by many males in the industry. Many consider outdated the view that EP agents or protection operatives must be 6ft tall, stacked, and ripped. Yes, EP operatives and agents need to be physically fit and capable of maneuvering the principal in the event of a physical attack – no questions.  

However, this doesn’t preclude women. There are plenty of males out there in the security industry that would be lucky to lift their own weight, let alone someone else’s. Further, countless principals out there indulge in the finer things in life and are carrying extra weight.  

Even the most athletic males would struggle to carry these principles on their own and, as such, will need the assistance of a second person. This would come out in the planning whereby the consideration for a mixed team or second agent may be necessary. 

The reality is if an agent meets the standard (physical, skills, and training), be it male or female, there really is no reason why someone would not consider them for a role. 

In Conclusion

The protection industry is slowly moving in the right direction by being more inclusive. However, many things need to follow in the foreseeable future to gain the ground that men take up currently. 

Before that happens, some studies show that women outnumber men on:  

  • Prioritising fairness or purity of intention, and   
  • Compassion when it comes to making ethical decisions.  

All these skills have time and again proven invaluable. Especially while de-escalating situations and reducing the level of tension in interpersonal relations.  

Given that most jobs and teams are client-driven, educating clients and principals about the advantages of mixed teams is an excellent place to start. Panoptic Solutions advocates for women in executive protection, proudly boasting that several industry mentors are female.   

With female executive protection agents as part of our paramedic and protective teams, Panoptic Solutions supports individuals and organisations in enhancing productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched services.   

Remote Medical Support: The Basics

With hundreds of off-road racing and similar events yearly and plenty of sand dunes, beaches, rainforests, and bushland to go around, many adventurers, families, and organisations regularly partake in activities throughout Australia’s distant areas. For this reason, the provision of remote medical support becomes vital, as many accidents and health issues may arise.  

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, in 2019 alone, 48% of deaths for people aged less than 75 included potentially avoidable deaths. Moreover, up until April 2021, the number of road deaths ― including off-road adventures and recreational activities ― shows variation in comparison to 2020.  

In any case, trends that point to declines in the number of recreational and comparable deaths may lead people into complacency, downplaying the necessity of remote medical support in far-off areas. In fact, in the course of such events, healthcare is usually hours apart. Considering this, remote medical support makes all the difference for those involved in similar activities.  

Often described as “one of the most difficult off-road courses in one of the most remote places in the world,” the Finke Desert Race was recently the scene of a terrible accident. Namely, a 60-year-old spectator had died, and two more individuals suffered injuries after a car crashed into onlookers. As it is not yet clear if emergency help was at hand, the matter emphasises the need for better-organised onsite paramedic assistance.  

Regrettably, with little comprehension of the apparent benefits of remote medical support, these grim numbers are poised to rise.  

Australia’s Far-off Areas and Remote Medical Support

Per an Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health report, overseas tourists are at a more considerable risk of being hospitalised for an injury in the aftermath of water and air transport, near-drownings, and pedestrian-related injuries.  

Moreover, the report’s authors proceed with the finding that “sport or leisure-related activities were the most common activity conducted at the time of the incident. International tourists are at a higher risk of experiencing injuries, particularly following recreational pursuits.” 

In fact, countless people die needlessly in such events due to a lack of available and adequate emergency medical treatment. Likewise, the shortage of rural doctors in remote areas is associated with:  

  • Increased travel burdens,  
  • Reduced continuity of care,   
  • Delayed healthcare seeking, and  
  • Poorer prognoses.  

Alternatively, the proximity of a seasoned paramedic typically contributes to a stark decline in the fatal outcomes of injuries and similar issues. Truth be told, most deaths deriving from health traumas and incidents can be prevented if specific procedures are implemented promptly.  

remote medical support

The Golden Hour

Among the countless benefits of an onsite medic is applying emergency medical response (EMR). Healthcare experts sometimes refer to the timeframe where EMR is conducted as the golden hour. The term refers to the period of time immediately following a traumatic injury.  

More specifically, during this time frame, there is the highest likelihood that quick medical and surgical treatment could prevent death. But, the exact period can be longer or shorter than one hour, depending on the nature of the injury. Thus, being well-versed in the art of remote medical support rings paramount.

Quick fact: An onsite paramedic can provide advanced interventions such as airway adjuncts, emergency drugs as well as primary healthcare treatments.   

In emergencies, there is limited time to wait for an ambulance to arrive from far away. If they are not already on site, the consequences can be irreversible. 

In a nutshell, here are particular objectives that the first responder or onsite medic should meet to mitigate unfavourable outcomes:  

  • Quickly recognise and respond to the emergency,  
  • Promptly utilise emergency medical care and life-support systems to sustain life, and  
  • Urgently transport the victim to the nearest appropriate medical facility for extensive treatment.  

Why Hire a Remote Medical Support Team?

Reasons for engaging a seasoned onsite medic crew abound. Among them is that total confusion, stress, and excitement often arise from an unexpected injury or illness. In such instances, the person responding to the emergency should approach it assuredly and calmly.  

For example, a confident and competent first responder or paramedic will lend assurance to everyone involved in the incident that things will be all right. Confidence and the ability to control a medical incident provide a calming effect to those nearby and offer reassurance to patients. 

As a matter of fact, social scientists believe that the demeanour of the first responder in such cases is contagious and potentially leads to better outcomes concerning organisation and logistics.  

An onsite paramedic can forestall the onset of secondary trauma, such as shock. They can accomplish this by offering reassurance and conducting appropriate treatments.    

Basic Procedures

Medics responding to the emergency first conduct a patient assessment or the primary survey – as medical professionals often refer to this method. Simply put, the action entails physically examining the victim and checking for:  

  • Responsiveness – conscious state,   
  • Airway – patency, 
  • Breathing – is/is not or how well/how bad,  
  • Circulation – present or not, blood inside the body or not (*note – blood should not be outside the body!),  

Subsequently, the so-called secondary survey checks for other serious injuries that are not immediately life-threatening. It is a kind of head-to-toe examination, intending to discover burns, broken bones, and similar issues.   

Succinctly, the onsite paramedic unit performs the physical examination by following these steps:  

  1. Primary survey, including vital signs (breathing and pulse),  
  2. Resuscitation, whereby breathing is restored utilising CPR if needed,  
  3. Secondary survey,   
  4. Provision of required emergency care.  

Furthermore, trained paramedics can also collect information that can later benefit the treating doctors in a medical facility. For instance, the onsite medic unit can observe the environment and ascertain the causes of the injury, trauma, or illness. Thereby, quick restoration of the victim’s health is likely to ensue in the nearby hospital.  

Experiencing and Treating Common Health Issues

Some injuries and illnesses are more prevalent than others. Thus, allow us to run you through a few frequent health issues arising in remote areas, sporting events, and similar activities. 

Burns

First, sunburn is among the most common injuries sustained in Australia by tourists. Typically, it appears on the surface after a few hours of excessive exposure to the sun. However, in Australia and several southeast Asian countries, periods as short as 30 min can lead to sunburn.  

The chief issues surrounding sunburn relate to increased risk of other skin damage, including rough spots, dark spots, dry or wrinkled skin, and even skin cancer.   

Some preventive measures to implement to battle sunburn include: 

  • Avoiding sun tanning and sun exposure between 10 in the morning and 4 in the afternoon,   
  • Using sunscreen frequently, and 
  • Covering up.  

Other significant burns may occur from campfires or while dealing with an overheating car engine, an explosion of some kind or even recently boiled water. In this case, it is vital to remove clothing and jewellery from the burned areas before swelling impedes emergency treatment and creates secondary problems. For this type of issue, we recommend the following actions: 

  • Actively cool the area as best you can with at least 20 minutes of cool running water,  
  • Be wary of hypothermia, especially with children, and 
  • Continually assess the patient’s airway to ensure adequate breathing.   

Burns can be very painful. Therefore, analgesia will assist in this setting, while paracetamol may also be useful. Obviously, paramedics and doctors will carry a higher level of pain relief than what is available to you over the counter.   

remote medical support

Heatstroke and heat exhaustion

Most people misuse the term heatstroke. Actually, in most cases, patients experience heat exhaustion. Although unpleasant, it is rarely life-threatening. Heat exhaustion can be characterised by fatigue and core temperature of between 37-40 degrees Celsius.  

This usually comes about after moderate activity in a hot environment without hydrating. The issue is generally rectified easily with oral fluids and moving to a cooler environment, with air-conditioning or under a shade. However, in extreme circumstances, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke.  

Consider marathon runners, iron man style events, enduro motorcycle racing, etc. If mismanaged, this becomes a life-threatening condition that will require IV fluids, active cooling (ice packs and water) and potentially glucose for reduced sugar levels. 

The main takeaway here is to maintain liquids when travelling or conducting physical activities throughout Australia.    

Stings and Bites

The bites and stings of the vast majority of insects are not deadly or severe and will likely improve within a few hours or days. Nevertheless, others might lead to infections, causing severe allergic reactions or spreading illnesses such as malaria or Lyme disease.  

Although rarely life-threatening, some of the most harmful attacks may occur from spiders, snakes, and jellyfish. In fact, such stings and bites may result in breathing difficulties, a swollen face or mouth, and dizziness. As paramedics know from courses on remote medical support, a person experiencing such an attack may also   

  • Lose consciousness,   
  • Sense difficulty swallowing, or   
  • Feel a fast heart rate or wheezing.  

 Some preventive measures to protect oneself include inquiring about conditions, wearing a protective suit, and avoiding water while jellyfish season is underway. 

Immersion and Near-Drowning

In 2020-21, almost 300 people died in Australia’s waterways and beaches. On the other hand, the concept of near-drowning refers to delayed illness as caused by the aspiration of water into the lungs, thereby potentially causing spasms in vocal cords and the closing up of the airway.  

Due to an increase in the prevalence of drowning deaths in Australian coastal waters, not-for-profit organisations and public institutions are increasingly warning of the adverse trends among divers and snorkelers.  

The fact stands that basic first aid and CPR are invaluable as a base. However, an onsite paramedic skilled in advanced resuscitation constitutes a far more beneficial asset in emergencies. They may even potentially prevent the onset of more harmful consequences of immersion or near-drowning.  

In Conclusion

Off-road vehicle injuries, heatstrokes, sunburns, and other health issues may be a common concern for those travelling to or temporarily staying in rural areas. Whether for leisure or business, spending time in remote locations may prove harmful if remote medical support is not at hand.  

For those who visit far-off areas and are unable to travel with a paramedic or doctor, we advise bringing medical stores and equipment. These items should be task-specific and may include:   

  • Basic airway devices,  
  • Automated External Defibrillators (AED),   
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) and primary healthcare medications under prescription,   
  • Trauma packs and emergency stores, and  
  • Splints, pads, and bandages, which can be found in a quality first aid kit 

Panoptic Solutions helps individuals and teams do their best work and enjoy relaxation time without worrying about remote medical support being unreachable.

What Is Infrastructure Security: Top Risks and Advantages 

Modern society seems to be taking critical infrastructure as a given. From tunnels, utilities, highways to connecting bridges, railways, and dams. All these facilitate the access of populations to clean water, electricity, transportation, and commerce. So, what is infrastructure security? It constitutes one of the central concerns of governmental policy worldwide, with private sector companies increasingly making an impact in its scope. 

The Australian Bankers’ Association best describes the mutually dependent nature of critical infrastructure:  

The Commonwealth has defined ‘critical infrastructure’ as that infrastructure which, if destroyed, degraded or rendered unavailable for an extended period, will significantly impact the social or economic wellbeing or affect national security or defence. Clearly, the banking sector is a vital component of the critical infrastructure. But it must be appreciated that the banking sector is dependent upon at least two other components of the critical infrastructure, namely the electricity sector and the telecommunications sector. 

Due to an uptick in malicious actors’ attempts to infiltrate critical systems, what is infrastructure security has become a question that many are entering in search engines. Although most attacks on critical infrastructure occur virtually, some malefactors remain persistent in achieving their criminal goals by physically inflicting damage. 

Currently underway in the Australian Parliament, the Critical Infrastructure Bill focuses on elevating the resilience and security of the country’s vital infrastructure. Legislators expect it to address natural hazards (weather events) and human-induced threats (interference, espionage, cyber-attacks, and trusted insiders).  

Many analysts argue it is an indispensable topic only beginning to make headlines in Australia and the world. 

Thus, this article will dissect what is infrastructure security and its risks and advantages in the 21st century. 

Mobile Patrols and Patrol Routes

As a rule of thumb, the constant presence of security guards on-site comprises the best course of action for preserving vital assets. In fact, their regular proximity to the infrastructure in question serves as a deterrent to potential attackers and intruders. 

Similarly, mobile patrols and alarm response systems are more effective in taking care of security when it comes to large structures. Productivity levels of critical infrastructure tend to improve when the proper security solutions are in place, as workers and staff are not afraid for their safety. 

Equipped with incident escalation protocols and pre-agreed upon instructions, mobile patrols are ready to respond to any emergency. Instead of paying an idle static security officer on-site, corporate security directors are increasingly hiring mobile patrols. They can cover as much ground as the static security officer but in the fifth the time. 

Some of the other responsibilities of a mobile patrol entail: 

  • Responding to alarm systems timely and proactively, 
  • Checking on employees and infrastructure randomly, and 
  • Remaining on high alert and using the latest technology to cover the whole facilities and staff. 

Finally, establishing and meeting the expectations of critical infrastructure managers often proves essential. For instance, they may need the security guard and mobile patrol to do one or more of several things. These include acting as a deterrent, being noticeable, and arriving at a set time to lock up buildings or inspect equipment. Here is where the question of what is infrastructure security becomes particularly tangible.

In addition, critical infrastructure managers may need to explain to their security officers why they want them to be present at specific time points and facilities. For the security team to perform its duties accurately, communication barriers must be removed. 

what is infrastructure security

Access Control and Infrastructure Security

Access control is one of the main obstacles against outsiders (or trusted insiders) intending to harm a critical infrastructure facility. In short, it is a security term that refers to the tactics and equipment that companies use to limit and monitor access to and within their premises. 

Experts usually recommend placing CCTV cameras at the stairwells, main doors, and elevators. Although this practice is particularly beneficial, another high-grade action to ensure the safety of critical infrastructure is to introduce electronically controlled locks on doors. In fact, it would be most desirable for visitors or workers to speak with a security guard before gaining entrance. That way, maximum control is ensured over who enters and exits the premises. 

Most critical infrastructure facilities use either CCTV cameras or security guards. Alternatively, to reach the highest attainable level of protection, we recommend engaging both access control methods. 

Finally, security experts often argue that the primary role of protection agents in access control is to: 

  • Monitor incoming personnel traffic, and 
  • Stay vigilant for designated threats and suspicious persons. 

However, some critical infrastructure facilities have little to no security awareness. In that case, the protection staff should focus mainly on the object of potential threats. Even though it is difficult to assess which assets or facilities are most vulnerable, a risk assessment serves to clarify any uncertainties. 

How Barrier Systems Augment Security 

According to safety expert Snorre Sklet, a barrier system aims to perform multiple-barrier functions. For instance, a fire extinguisher comprises a barrier system that helps implement a mitigation function. It can stop or limit the spread of fire. In the language of infrastructure security, this type of practice can restrict or entirely halt an activity intended to wreck critical infrastructure.  

Moreover, we may divide the barrier system into active and passive. The first concerns itself with access control points where security officers check vehicles or individuals for credentials. The latter can be a fence or dyke surrounding the facilities. Both should be in place to maximise safety and security ― and this is what experts call a multiple-barrier system. 

Some companies believe that simply placing walls or barricades will suffice to deter potential intruders. However, dozens of breaches attest to the fallibility of this belief. 

Making Infrastructure Security a Priority

As many as 67% of companies with critical infrastructure suffered at least one attack in the last 12 months. The advent of cyberattacks has only exacerbated the overall stability of facilities that provide clean water, electricity, transportation and other modern age necessities. 

Whenever a physical or cyber attack occurs, the general productivity and operability of critical infrastructure facilities drop notably. For instance, a mere temporary discontinuity in clean water systems functioning could produce a debilitating impact on the affected population. Sometimes, it takes a company with critical infrastructure days or weeks to fully recover from this type of attack.  

In this article, we hope to have described what is infrastructure security and how it benefits numerous critical systems.

For all the reasons described above, this topic has been gaining traction in most societies and is set to make headlines in the foreseeable future. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions help organisations enhance productivity by offering unmatched infrastructure security services. 

Executive Protection Detail – Skills, Prevention, Reaction

Recognising attacks before they occur or meeting them in their earliest steps constitutes an essential component of safeguarding high-net-worth families and individuals. Prevention rather than reaction is the optimal solution for an executive protection detail operating in either routine or dynamic and changing environments.  

This “pre-recognition” of an incident is sometimes known as a “combat indicator.” More commonly, specialists refer to it as “situational awareness.” Indicators can be as evident as verbal threats from a potential assailant or more challenging to spot to the untrained eye. That could mean an overdressed person on a hot summer’s day, or a car parked at an odd angle, or an out-of-place location.  

An executive protection detail well-versed in its trade is constantly observing for indicators and warning signs. To recognise an attack before, or just as it unfolds, is the difference between a delayed response and a proactive counteraction.  

But what is an executive protection detail? Broadly speaking, an EP detail is a team of security and risk mitigation specialists who aim to ensure the safety of individuals and groups, including:  

  • Executives and CEOs,  
  • Political figures,  
  • Professional athletes,  
  • Wealthy individuals,  
  • Dignitaries,  
  • Celebrities,  
  • Musicians and performers, and  
  • Very Important Persons (VIPs).  

Due to their elevated personal risk profile, these individuals, their families, and entourage require reliable protection to remain productive and at ease.  

For these reasons, an executive protection detail employs tactics and strategies to anticipate, plan, and prepare for any eventuality.  

Proactive Counteraction  

An attacker or intruder typically hopes to meet little to no resistance. Assuming to be the aggressor in the confrontation, the potential malefactor envisions catching the EP detail off guard.  

But since violent persons are dangerous by nature in any circumstance, early attack recognition can often be complex. That statement especially holds true if they are familiar with certain close protection and executive protection techniques.  

To deter or avoid an attack before it converts into physical aggression, first and foremost, the EP detail must recognise it. That is, as opposed to merely reacting to a fully-fledged assault. Vigilance and discipline by the EP team may be the first layer which any assailant observes and may decide to find a “softer target.” 

executive protection detail 1 

The Principal’s Role  

In some cases, the intended target may experience a fight-or-flight response. That is a reaction of the sympathetic nervous system, whereby a large amount of adrenaline releases into the body. Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this response, particularly for those who have little training, is to freeze up.  

For that reason, a well-run and mentally aware executive protection detail should plan for this reaction. Clear and calm communications with the principal will assist in this instance. Planning and preparation are paramount for any executive protection team.  

For example, a straightforward yet valuable technique to consider in terms of proactive counteraction is pondering about “what-if” scenarios or “actions on.” Unfortunately, a failure to be ready for all possible events can, at worst, prove deadly.  

Apart from the role of the executive protection detail, the principal ― i.e., the person on the receiving end of protective services ― also has a part to play. Paying attention to that “gut feeling,” listening to their inner voices, feelings, and intuitions and conveying those to the security team is sometimes just as helpful as many other techniques.  

That said, a quality EP team will fall back on to their training rather than rely solely on the principal. They will also understand the significance of planning and training and the philosophy that “You don’t rise to the occasion. Rather, you simply fall back to your level of training.”  

How Local Support Tips the Scales  

Security experts argue that local knowledge and local support are invaluable in any operation. Therefore, managers and officers should always consider a few items when travelling to Australia or Asia from a different country or continent. Most notably:  

  • Difference in exchange rates, time zones, units of length or distance, and units of weight (such as miles, kilometres, kilograms, pounds),  
  • Vehicle selection for the Australian and Asian landscapes, possibly involving 4X4 vehicles,  
  • Local advances prior to the arrival of the foreign EP team to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the hotel staff, event staff, and logistics staff,  
  • Laws, customs, regulations, and firearm licensing.  

For instance, foreign EP agents do not have legal permission to work as security operatives or agents within an Australian-based close protection program 

Engaging a local licenced and reputable security company that specialises in executive protection and then providing oversight and management as an “adviser” is permitted without an Australian security licence.  

That may sound strange to some. But that is precisely the reason why having access to local knowledge and support could prove essential. Not the least because any local operation may fail if the suitable local operators are not contacted on time.  

Proper Size of an Executive Protection Detail  

A question that security companies get asked frequently is this: How many members does my protection team need? Unfortunately, the answer is not straightforward.  

In fact, an executive protection detail can be as small as one person. However, it may include many more individuals. Depending on the assignment, an EP detail could consist of:  

  • Paramedics and medics,  
  • Security driver,  
  • Escort team,  
  • Advance Team/Party,  
  • Personal protection officers (PPOs) and other roles.  

Suppose a security assignment solely involves travelling from point A to point B. In that case, pending the risk profile and a threat assessment, perhaps hiring ten protection officers would be excessive.  

Additionally, they may have trouble blending in with their environment. And this technique constitutes one of the most desirable qualities of an EP detail. In contrast, a complex security assignment with multiple venues and meetings may require a larger team with several skills.  

There are times where, in order to complete a mission, protective agents/operatives must blend in, become part of the crowd and remain inconspicuous. This way, they can spot gestures that could reveal the early stages of an attack.  

Still, there is one more type of blending in that many principals favour. It entails a near-invisible posture in the presence of the client and their surroundings. They need to dress and behave in line with the current environment or assignment. All this implies quick adaptation to dynamic situations.  

Note: Boutique security companies need to be flexible to travel the globe. Those intending to partner up with Asia-based or Australian security companies typically ask for EP details sensitive to diverse environments. That entails security specialists who can swiftly shift from addressing high-profile CEOs in the board room to talking with their kids. The language and tone must suit the environment.  

executive protection detail 2

Acting on Threat Assessments  

The most solid level of protection means offering appropriate security and being as non-intrusive as possible toward the everyday lifestyle of the principal, their family, and entourage. The key to achieving this goal is conducting threat assessments, the main elements of which include:  

  • Identifying a potential perpetrator,  
  • Assessing the risks of violence that the perpetrator presently poses, and  
  • Managing the subject and risks that they present to the target.  

As security author Peter Consterdine infers in his book, The Modern Bodyguard, “Once prepared, the assessment is not concluded or static. Rather, it forms the basis of a dynamic, ever-changing assessment as more current information comes to light. A threat assessment can be as broad-based as simply the political stability or otherwise of a whole country. Or conversely, it can be as narrow as the threat posed to a client by simply one person.”  

In fact, the principal can be at risk from various individuals and entities. Moreover, some of the following motivations may be driving their actions:  

  • Financial gain,  
  • Political and religious beliefs,  
  • Personal vendetta,  
  • Competitional, and  
  • Motives of mentally disturbed individuals and those with a sense of grievance.  

A threat assessment helps an EP detail establish the facts, motivations, and situations pertaining to the safety of their principal.  

In Conclusion  

This article explored avenues of prevention and reaction in the everyday work of an executive protection detail. As a result, we have established that preventive measures coupled with determination can increase the principal’s level of safety and security.  

Practical points to explore in day-to-day operations include:  

  • Pondering what-if scenarios and planning “actions on,”  
  • Considering the right size of the EP detail,  
  • Practising de-escalation,  
  • Estimating and rehearsing for the use of violent force when necessary, and  
  • Preparing a threat assessment.  

In the 21st century, media are jam-packed with reports of violent acts against high-level individuals in all industries and countries. Yet, many of them seem to be unaware of the looming threat and impact of crime, terrorism, and other types of dangers. This article assists in outlining and clarifying how EP details perform their daily duties. But also what it means to be under their protection.  

Companies like Panoptic Solutions support individuals and organisations to enhance productivity and peace of mind by offering unmatched executive protection services.  

Key Features of Remote Medical Services in Australia

Everyone wants to feel safe. It doesn’t matter if they attend an off-the-beaten-track sporting event or are stationed at a remote work site for extended periods. Whatever the environment, the safety and medical needs of citizens need to be met. Consequently, reliable access to remote medical services in Australia is all too important, even lifesaving at times.  

Consider ultra-high-net-worth families travelling on an outback safari in the middle of Australia. By doing so, they inadvertently limit their possibilities for emergency medical care. In other words, they increase the chances of either a mild or severe medical incident or an accident turning into a tragedy.  

With no hospitals or healthcare institutions nearby, one of the only ways to ensure their well-being is through onsite remote paramedics or expeditionary doctors on hand.  

In short, a remote medical service encompasses:  

  • Delivering healthcare services to individuals in distant areas,  
  • Monitoring the patient’s condition,  
  • Providing emergency medical care and primary healthcare, and  
  • Performing preventive and control check-ups.  

Every year, some 20,000 Australians suffer a cardiac arrest outside a hospital. According to estimates, a mere 10% of people actually survive cardiac arrest with no hospital in sight. That is just one consideration that is taken into account when preparing remote medical plans for clients travelling to or within remote locations of Australia.  

Take, for instance, a high-net-worth family cruising through the Whitsundays or other remote islands of North Queensland or an executive group conducting a tour in Australia’s outback. In all these cases, immediate medical support can help mitigate the risk of injury and illness. 

Reliable Help: Remote Medical Services in Australia  

Ideally, residents engaged in remote area-based activities should be able to confidently and conveniently access healthcare services 

Irrespective of their social-economic status, all residents and visitors to Australia can place themselves at risk if travelling to or attending events in remote areas.  

In addition, sporting contests such as motocross or environmental challenges like iron man or enduro style events typically occur in secluded locations. For this reason, doctors and paramedics need to be stationed onsite to be of assistance.  

Quick fact: The principal role of a paramedic is to provide pre-hospital emergency care and stabilise patients with life-threatening conditions.  

Further to this, extended scope and critical care paramedics are able to treat low to high acuity cases, which is a value add to any expedition or remote event. This ensures that simple primary health care matters can be attended to early, before they potentially become emergent or critical.  

For those visiting remote locations and unable to travel with a paramedic or doctor, we recommend that they carry medical stores and equipment with them. The items should be task-specific and may include:  

  • Automated External Defibrillators (AED),  
  • Basic airway devices (paramedics and doctors would carry Advanced Airway Devices),  
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) and primary healthcare medications under prescription (paramedics and doctors would carry emergency care drugs),  
  • Trauma packs and emergency stores,  
  • Splints, bandages, and a host of other means.  

For people in distant areas, timely access to remote medical services in Australia is of the utmost importance.  

remote medical services australia 1

Accessing Health and Support Services in Far-Off Areas  

The general public and experts believe mining sites are notoriously dangerous, and Australia is home to over 350 operating mines. Among the latest workplace accidents is when machinery crushed a 43-year-old from Adelaide’s south. Although other workers called emergency services, the man died at the scene.  

One among many, this incident proves that both established and soon-to-be-built mining sites need to ensure the safety of their staff. One of the most efficient ways to do that is hiring mine site paramedics, either short-term or permanently.  

Providers of remote medical assistance ― in Australia and abroad ― typically cover a particular set of services. For instance, these may include:  

  • Medical supplies,  
  • Emergency medical care,  
  • Primary healthcare, and more.  

Most importantly, since it is a large country, any company offering remote medical services in Australia needs to possess the ability to consult with additional health professionals, including:  

  • Doctors,  
  • Clinics and  
  • Hospitals.  

Paramedics must be well-versed in the latest training and clinical practices to be of genuine service ― including preparedness to travel alongside help-seeking individuals or reach them onsite in distant locations.  

Most high-net-worth families and individuals require short-term to long-term medical support, while this type of assistance also extends to their entourage or employees.  

Note: In the age of COVID-19, UHNW and HNW families and individuals necessitate a higher degree of health-related safety. This includes compiling COVID action plans and dealing with day-to-day safety measures, like disinfection and sanitisation, mask-wearing, and similar actions of visitors and support staff.  

Quick Case Study on Remote Help  

Highly trained medical professionals typically oversee all types of events: from adventure activities to music festivals. As a result of adequate and detailed planning, the likelihood of an injury ― or other emergency during an action-packed event or at a remote location ― decreases. This is where remote medical services in Australia prove tremendously helpful.  

There are many intricacies involved with safe event management that must be adhered to so everyone feels protected. First, appropriate and immediate medical care needs to be on hand if an incident were to happen.  

For example, during remote events, medics will stabilise any patient by initiating the first stages of treatment. The next step is to enact an evacuation plan, including road, fixed-wing or rotary-wing transport.  

One such event, the annual Frontline Safari motorcycle riding event, involves off-road motorcycle riders completing a double-crossing of the Simpson Desert over five days to raise much-needed funds for veteran charity Soldier On. Over its course, riders challenge themselves having to cross part of the world’s largest dune desert.  

In this instance, there is an emphasis on preventative health care: safety, hydration and ample rest. However, the extreme nature of the event necessitated registered and experienced paramedics on hand to ensure the safety and health of all riders and support staff. For example, during a recent incident where a support staff member experienced chest pain, event paramedics treated them appropriately. 

In addition to carrying appropriate medical stores and equipment, access to communication devices constitutes a significant benefit in these circumstances. Briefly, such devices include:  

  • Mobile/cellular phones,  
  • Satellite phones,  
  • InReach mini satellite devices,  
  • Emergency devices for SOS locating.  

Further, equipping riders with access to First Aid Kits is imperative. This ensures they are able to provide immediate first aid and care prior to the event paramedics arrival.  

The Takeaway  

There are many benefits to living, working, or spending time in rural and remote parts of Australia. However, the reality of frequenting or even rarely visiting the country’s distant places implies limited access to immediate healthcare.  

To counter that, paramedics travelling with their UHNW or HNW clients is one of the best ways to ensure their health care needs are met. Thus, an onsite paramedic far surpasses the best doctor in the world who is far away.  

Simply put, remote medical services in Australia, such as remote paramedics or expeditionary doctors, bridge the gap between people in hard-to-reach areas and their access to medical services.  

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

Explained: Corporate Security and Risk Management

In today’s information-packed and vulnerability-prone world, there is no shortage of risks that threaten companies. Corporate security and risk management relates to strategies utilised by security professionals in order to avoid situations that pose threats by identifying, assessing, and controlling them. Therefore, for any company to function properly, corporate security and risk management must be at the forefront of its operations. 

We can also refer to these types of strategies as intelligent handling of uncertainties. Worryingly, most companies are experiencing an escalation of physical and cyber threats. One study shows that physical security concerns are prompting 40% of organisations to adjust their security strategies.  

According to the Bureau of Statistics, Australians saw a 23% decrease in unlawful entry with intent or other theft. This could sound reassuring to corporate Australia ― until we notice that the decline in illegal activity coincides with COVID-19 lockdowns. In fact, crime is not decreasing in scale lastingly but only due to sudden events such as the ongoing public health crisis. 

The current pandemic has considerably impacted how we view corporate security and risk management. For one, some organisations now spend more on physical security as it relates to personal health. These expenditures include gloves, sanitisers, masks, and testing, to mention a few. 

Furthermore, other companies had to reduce their physical security headcount as a result of the pandemic’s economic impact. Due to this problematic fact, the Ontic Center for Protective Intelligence states that as many as 32% of organisations worry about threats to the physical security of their company leaderships and C-suite members. 

As a matter of fact, the Ontic Center’s survey found that many fear physical security breaches hindering business continuity. And we agree that no organisation should understate the importance of proper corporate security and risk management services. 

Which Firms Need Corporate Security? 

If a company possesses property, assets, and employees, then it requires corporate security services. Fending off criminal acts against any of the three is essential when considering business prosperity. Besides physically protecting the CEO and managers, corporate security also deals with protecting technologies and customer data from fraudsters. 

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution for every company, some similarities could lead us to specific answers.  

The year 2020 and the years preceding it presented multiple trends that complicated the competitive landscape, including: 

  • Increased focus on responsible and sustainable business, 
  • Heightened geopolitical tension, 
  • Faster technological change, and 
  • Radical shifts in consumer buying expectations and behaviour. 

COVID-19 proved to be an accelerant of those developments. Expectedly, this distress pertains to corporate security and risk management. In other words, now it is as unclear as ever who is transmitting the virus and whether individuals pose threats to CEOs and managers at corporate-level meetings. Thus, assessing the risks has become extremely difficult, and corporate-style events are suffering the consequences. 

On a different note, organisations worldwide lose approximately 5% of annual revenues to fraud. Unsurprisingly, most of it traces back to a lack of corporate security and risk management. 

Therefore, the short yet practical answer to the question of whether companies of all sizes need corporate security is this: Yes, and it’s overdue! 

corporate security and risk management 1

The Essential Quality of Risk Management 

Risk management has gained plenty of traction in the past two decades, not the least because of accidents such as the Deepwater Horizon explosion. Since the event, experts have used this incident to accentuate how risk management can go wrong and fast. 

Closer to home, the Esso Longford gas explosion killed two workers and injured eight. The event devastated Victoria, causing a halt to primary gas supply chains, with around AUD 1,3 billion lost in the process. In the aftermath, a Royal Commission blamed the accident on Esso Longford, the company in charge.  

As many experts believe, all this could have been prevented if risks were managed better. 

Despite all of the money and rhetoric around risk management, executives and managers often treat it as a compliance issue. They claim that creating a multitude of rules and having employees follow them will inevitably increase productivity and safety. Truth be told, some risk requires alternative approaches, not a rules-based model. 

Types of Risk 

Generally, three types of risk generate the most significant problems in corporate Australia ― and really anywhere else in the world. 

Preventable risks are those that a company can either control, eliminate or avoid. These include risks from unauthorised, unethical, illegal, inappropriate or incorrect actions by managers or employees. Companies can counter this type of risk by guiding people’s behaviours and decisions toward desired norms and monitoring operational processes. 

External risks are those found outside the organisation and are beyond its control or influence. These risks include political and natural disasters, as well as major macroeconomic shifts. In this case, managing risk efforts should focus on identifying and mitigating their impact rather than trying to prevent it. 

Strategy risks are those that a company voluntarily accepts to generate extensive returns from its strategy. For most companies, this means taking on risks through research and development activities. Unlike preventable risks, strategy risks aren’t inherently undesirable. For example, to capture the potential gains, the oil and gas company BP accepted the high risks of drilling below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico. 

For strategy risks, the traditional rules-based control model is ineffective. Events such as this necessitate a system to reduce the probability of risks materialising and enhance the company’s ability to contain or manage the risk events. 

In Conclusion 

People in all positions of power tend to overestimate their ability to influence events that are profoundly determined by chance. Similarly, no matter their rank, everybody feels confident about the accuracy of their risk assessment and forecasts. 

Interestingly, organisational biases also hinder our ability to discuss failure and risk. In fact, the biggest problems arise when teams engage in groupthink. As soon as a course of action gathers support within a group, those not yet in agreement with the majority tend to fall in line. This proves to have crippling effects on any company. 

For these and many other reasons, corporate security and risk management services must not be observed as a compliance function but a real-world human-centric issue. 

Companies like Panoptic Solutions help organisations enhance productivity by offering unmatched corporate security and risk management services.