Are you ready and trained to deal with a ‘’crisis situation’’ as a close protection agent? Erdogan’s case
We have been always supporting the need of a continuum training, qualification and re-evaluation for people who work in security industry. The kind of our profession requires operatives who can perform perfectly in situations that requires hard physical activities, being trained in various disciplines, have a lot of knowledge when it comes to security measures and also very important have a sharp mind and be able to take actions and react fast in a crisis situation. It is we who are required to act calmly and in cold blood when others (civilians) are under panic.
This time I would like to bring in our attention an incident that took part in Turkey four years ago. I had recently the chance to attend a meeting and catch up with some old colleagues, and in our coffee break we start discussing the incident with Turkey Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an incident with too many mistakes following each other by his Close Protection Operatives. It was this security failure which was the reason that leads to major changes of security details in Turkey.
According to sources, Mr Erdogan a few minutes after leaving Turkish Parliament and entering his vehicle start feeling not well and lost consciousness. His chauffeur and his close protection agent, panicked. And from that moment a series of mistakes following each other started.
Both of them, chauffeur and close protection agent, had no clue or training in First Aid. When they saw their client in the back of the car passed out, they speeded the car to get to the hospital that was at the other part of the town, when they could turn back and seek help at the Parliament Health Center which was way too close to them.
While speeding up for the hospital, for some reason they managed to ‘’loose themselves’’ from the rest of security convoy and got all alone racing the streets.
When they finally arrived at the hospital, both driver and close protection agent got off the vehicle at same time, and found themselves in an embarrassing situation and put their client in a very dangerous one for his life, according the Hurriyet press (http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/5285052.asp?gid=74) ‘’ Erdogan’s chauffeur, flung himself in a panic from the Mercedes Tuesday morning in front of Ankara’s Guven Hospital, inadvertently leaving the keys to the car in the ignition, which meant the locks on none of the doors, which had shut automatically, could be opened. It took security detail members 10 minutes to break open the window of the armoured Mercedes, valuable time, say doctors, who note that had Erdogan experienced any health problems more serious than a hypoglycemic faint, he could have died during that period.’’
Although, the specific incident could only work as an advertising aid for Mercedes armored cars, and how difficult is to break their windows, for sure brought Mr Erdogan in a dangerous life situation and his security team in a more embarrassing one. From that incident, the changes in Erdogan’s security detail that took place is that a doctor will accompany the Prime Minister on both domestic and international trips. An ambulance will also be included as a part of Erdogan’s normal convoy. And last but very important all security Ankara officials agree that chauffeurs driving the official vehicles used by the Prime Minister must go through special “crisis situation” training.
A real life incident and facts that anyone of us may be called to deal with, so make sure you are prepared and trained accordingly to respond in a professional and effective manner.
Athena Academy Founder
An unbelievable incident took place in Britain on June 11, when British Prime Minister, David Cameron, after lunch with his family and friends in a pub forgot his 8 years old daughter behind after leaving the place.
According to the British press (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/jun/11/david-cameron-daughter-behind-pub) The Camerons were at the Plough Inn, near Chequers, with Nancy and their other children, Arthur, six, and 22-month-old Florence, as well as two other families.
When Cameron left the pub he went home in one car with his bodyguards and thought Nancy was with his wife and their other children in another car. Samantha Cameron had assumed her eldest daughter was with her father. The mistake was only discovered when they got home.
The prime minister drove back to the pub and found Nancy helping staff. She was away from her parents for about 15 minutes.
A Downing Street spokeswoman said there was no question of the Camerons blaming security for the incident. “Sam thought the PM had Nancy, the PM thought Sam had Nancy,” he said. “They take responsibility for their own children. No one is going to face disciplinary action.”
Observing the incident from a security point of view, we could say that a security failure like this could be had a very bad end. It is obvious that a person like Britain’s Prime Minister it is considered as a high risk threat level ‘’client’’ and that also include all his family members. Being a close protection operative you are responsible not only for the person you are paid to protect but also his family members. It is your responsibility to think and act in advance and make sure all necessary actions have been taken to secure all family members. So next time while escorting your client and his family in a pub make sure you do the following questions to yourself while leaving the place: Client? Check, Clients wife? Check, Children?……..
Athena Academy Founder
During our career in security industry we will have to work along with people who don’t share the same work beliefs, qualifications, training and experience background with us. So even when we ‘like or dislike’ someone we shouldn’t never allow it to affect our professionalism and make us loose our target, which is client’s safety. If the client is safe then we and our team are safe too.
As we all know Close Protection is a profession that doesn’t have unfortunately until today, professional standards requirements. Each country, even each state has its own licensing requirements and in many times no training is required at all. So with this said, you can realize that you have to work and lock as a team with people who bring with them different experience, skills, training disciplines, standards, professionalism, culture, and ethics.
It is very important each one in the team to promote and maintain good communication and work cooperation with each other, the client, and of course other people who we may be in contact with (house personnel, office staff etc).
Some of the people you are working with may have more skills than you or less, may be younger or elder, so in each situation you must address your inquires to them with respect. Never offend anyone no matter the reason, never correct someone while there is anyone else in present. If you believe he did a mistake because of lack of experience or training you can ask if he/she will like you to give them some tips or advices. Not many people are open to get advices by others. If they refuse, respect it and leave it as it is.
In our work it is very important when an issue occurs instead of loosing time to find out why and how happened or whose fault is, to take immediate action and fix it. Later you can do your research within the team members and find out what happened, why and who is holding the responsibility for it. Finding who did the mistake is not for the reason to be put in the light spot and be blamed, but, inform, correct it and prevent any other similar issues in the future.
Have in mind if you are not the team leader or the supervisor then it is not your responsibility to call and talk with the person who acted unprofessionally or did a mistake. You can inform your supervisor or team leader about the fact of the incident, make sure you leave out ANY PERSONAL CHARACTERIZATIONS for your colleague who did wrong.
The main focus should be how you can operate as an individual within a team but also as a team member who its main target is clients and teams safety.
It is sad but very true and we see it almost every day in online networks or forums, people who hide behind a pc screen and a ‘’nickname’’ accuse colleagues or talk bad about them. First not professional at all, second it is not fair to accuse someone whose identity you have make sure is open and yours remain hidden and most important not able to be verified (your skills, experience, professional stand).
Personally I consider security industry forums, mostly as places for people who like to behave like crying babies, have plenty of free time (cause they are not working) and fill their lives with blaming others. Yes, definitely there are un-professionals and there are professionals as well, but a forum is not the right place to show who is who.
Be careful when you come to juxtaposition with others online, no matter the information or names they are using in networking places still you don’t know with whom you are talking with. Try to avoid those kinds of situations, and if not always try to be polite and not lose your temper. When someone is attacking you online have only one motivation, to break your inner self. Either is an ex colleague, a competitor or someone who want to fill his empty life with causing harm to those who are successful, always try not to feed them by reacting or responding to defend yourself. You, your colleagues and your clients knows who you are.
Closing one of my favorite sayings: IF YOU CANT CREATE IT, RESPECT IT
Athena Academy Founder