If you want to do an excellent job protecting the public as a security guard in Alberta, you need to go beyond just surveilling your posted area. Your area or employer will likely provide you with some essential tools to be able to address emergency situations, the most common of which are described in this article. As a security guard, your employer expects you to know how to use some if not all of these tools, so you should learn the basics of each and add them to your skillset.
You should familiarise yourself with the following tools and know when and how to use them.
First Aid Kit
The first aid kit is your go-to medical gear for help in many situations. Kits can range from simple to comprehensive; their contents often depend on the medical training available and their distance to emergency services. It is necessary to know how to:
Use the various medications found within, including how to contact poison control.
Use the multitude of items effectively.
Always remember to use latex gloves when dealing with any potential bodily fluids.
Take a first aid course to know how to properly administer basic first aid.
Unfortunately, as the drug epidemic continues, Naloxone is important for any security guard. Since 2016, there have been over 26,690 opioid and stimulant related deaths in Canada. It's important to know how to use Naloxone for any potential overdose incidents while on the job.
To better understand how to use Naloxone refer to this guide from Hamilton Health Sciences. Naloxone kits are also free from any pharmacy in Alberta. Check with your employer if you are required to carry and/or use one based on the company policies.
When a fire breaks out and is still in a manageable stage, follow these steps to use a fire extinguisher:
If necessary, sound the fire alarm and call the fire department.
Identify your safe evacuation path. Make sure none of the fire, heat, or smoke can come between you and the way to safety.
Locate the fire extinguisher.
Spray the extinguisher from the proper distance using the P.A.S.S. technique (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep).
Step back and wait, and if it restarts, spray again as necessary. Repeat until the fire is out. Or,
Evacuate if the extinguisher is empty and the fire is not out.
Evacuate if the fire progresses beyond a manageable state.
If the fire is too big to manage, sound the fire alarm, call 911 and ensure you and everyone in the building have exited. If you're not sure if the fire is manageable, assume that it is not and have the fire department handle it.
Intercom or Radio
Intercoms and radios are essential because they allow quick and immediate communication with others in a designated area. It also affords a level of control over the place it surveils.
Intercoms allow you to:
● Effortlessly reach others in a building.
● Provide emergency announcements such as codes or requests.
● Control the various areas within the complex.
● Provide directions to other guards in the area.
● Some systems even offer video conferencing.
It's good to know how to use the intercom for these listed purposes. Whether calling for backup or controlling the access point to an area, your role as a security guard is to understand how to do so effectively. Understand what your company policies and expectations are with regards to intercom and radio use.
The defibrillator is an essential device found in most buildings. It provides the ability to restart someone's heart after experiencing cardiac arrest. Defibrillators can also reset a normal heartbeat in someone experiencing an arrhythmia. The bottom line is that defibrillators save lives, and you must know how to use them.
To better understand how to use a defibrillator, watch this informative video from St John Ambulance. It is strongly recommended that you take a basic first aid course to understand how to use a defibrillator properly for the safety of everyone in the area.
A panic button automatically sends a distress signal when pressed. The button sends these signals to emergency response teams. Depending on the situation and the area or building, it will either call the police or medical services or sometimes the fire services. Some panic buttons will have GPS enabled to make it easier to find you, and some may allow you to speak with an emergency dispatcher.
Find out if there is a panic button in the site you are working and how and when you should use it.
Emergency Stop Buttons (Escalators, Trains, etc.)
Depending on the location you are guarding, there may be services or devices that the public interacts with that you will need to monitor. In malls, you will often find escalators, and they can be dangerous when improperly used or if someone falls while riding one. For a train, it's important to know how to stop any oncoming trains if a passenger has fallen onto the tracks.
There are many other situations when an Emergency Stop Button will come in handy. As a security guard it is your job to understand how to use them.
Pylons & Basic Pedestrian/Road Traffic Control Equipment
Sometimes as a security guard, you will have to control the flow of movement, either between pedestrians, vehicles, or sometimes both. There's an assortment of road signs and equipment to be aware of that can be used effectively to divert traffic.
As a security guard multiple tools are used to protect the public. You are often required to intervene in situations while on duty; that includes providing medical assistance, traffic control, and even becoming a volunteer firefighter.
A great place to start to learn a lot of the above is a first aid training class. Tip of Spear offers a Tactical First Aid class with the Canadian College of EMS.