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