Tag Archives: Emergency Services

Spring Bank Holiday security patrol team in Southend save man’s life

The Spring Bank Holiday on Monday 25 May witnessed a security patrol team from Approved Contractor Scheme-registered Stambridge Security Services save a middle-aged man who was suffering from a potentially life-threatening heart attack at Southend-on-Sea Pleasure Beach.

Security Industry Authority (SIA)-licensed door supervisors Jamie Spiers and Patrick Bourke were on patrol at the Pleasure Beach when they received a call from a colleague at around 2.00 pm stating that there was a male in distress.

It was a busy and hot day. Spiers and Bourke found the unconscious man lying on the beach fully dressed and breathing erratically. He was having a cardiac arrest. Both officers are qualified First Aid trainers and immediately called the Emergency Services who advised that they should start cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ie CPR).

Spiers started chest compressions while Bourke alerted Southend-based Stambridge Security Services’ Control Room staff to ensure that CCTV was capturing everything. The two door supervisors also took it in turns to administer rescue breaths.

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Air Ambulance on scene

Spiers said: “Thankfully we were in the right place at the right time. We took turns in helping the man to breathe because it was so tiring. It took about 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive. We were relentless, consistent and we did not stop. When the Emergency Services arrived they took over and used a defibrillator. The Air Ambulance also came to the scene.”

Once Spiers and Bourke had handed the man over to the Emergency Services, they cordoned off the busy Pleasure Beach. As it was a Bank Holiday, the traffic was very heavy so they directed cars away from the scene to enable the Emergency Services to transport their patient to Southend Hospital.

Three days later, a security operative at Southend Hospital called Spiers such that he could chat to the man whom he and Bourke had saved. He was very thankful.

On that note, Spiers stated: “I’ve been a door supervisor for 12 years and I was born and bred in Southend. Patrick and I have worked together in crowd control and always focus on making sure we can create a safe environment. I’m just glad we could help. Who would have thought that Patrick and I would save a man’s life?”

Critical and key workers

There are upwards of 400,000 licensed security operatives in the UK and, like Spiers and Bourke, many continue to work as critical and key workers in safeguarding and protecting hospitals and sheltered accommodation, supporting social distancing in supermarkets and transacting other essential operations.

Ian Todd, CEO at the SIA, said: “It’s important to remember that many individuals in the security industry are working as critical and key workers during this emergency period. The scenario in which Jamie and Patrick were involved is testament to the fact that, despite the challenges, many operatives and businesses are going the extra mile to serve their communities.”  

The SIA is actively promoting the industry’s dedication and commitment through the #SIAHeroes campaign. The Regulator is sharing inspiring stories of security operatives who are keeping the public safe and secure at this critical time.

*Read all of the #SIAHeroes stories online here

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Trauma awareness training to be highlighted on Armed Forces Day 2020

On Armed Forces Day 2020, which takes place on Saturday 27 June, the mental health charity PTSD Resolution is going to be highlighting the plight of Armed Forces’ veterans who find themselves in the criminal justice system. Many are suffering from military trauma and are not receiving the therapeutic support that they need to become well again and rehabilitated.
 
The specialist charity works with security companies and myriad organisations, among them ASIS UK, in order to provide therapy for staff who have been traumatised, as well as training for line managers.

On Friday 26 June at 1.30 pm, PTSD Resolution is holding a free webinar entitled ‘Trauma Awareness Training for Everyone’. The TATE Programme helps people to recognise the symptoms of trauma in themselves, their colleagues or members of staff whom they manage. It provides valuable information on appropriate support and routes for both referral and treatment.

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The charity has also launched a special film that tells the story of a former HMPS prisoner and veteran of the First Gulf War. Entitled ‘The Silent Years’, the film was produced and donated by students of the Ravensbourne University, namely Shakeel Hussain (editor), Louise Corleys (editor and sound), Poppy Louise Carter (director) and Diana Alexandru (producer).

Addiction and breakdown

Government statistics estimate that approximately 4% of those in custody and on community orders are ex-Armed Forces personnel, but external estimates claim that the proportion in the prison population may be as high as 17%.

In addition to criminality, military trauma when left untreated can result in addiction, family breakdown and even suicide.
 
“The Coronavirus lockdown gives us all some idea of the stress of losing our freedom even if we’re not actually in prison,” explained Patrick Rea, campaign director for PTSD Resolution. “Plenty of veterans find themselves in the criminal justice system. In many instances, this is at least in part because of the effects of military trauma they’re still suffering. If they don’t receive the therapy they need in prison to become better, how can we expect them to re-join society responsibly? This is both a justice system and a humanitarian issue.”

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Patrick Rea

For its part, PTSD Resolution has provided free mental health therapy to veterans, reservists and their families for eleven years now and taken care of people right across the UK. It’s one of the only providers of specialist help to former Armed Forces personnel while they’re in prison or have alcohol and/or substance abuse problems. Treatment is available through a network of 200 therapists, either online or by telephone during the current lockdown scenario.

Reporting of symptoms

According to research conducted by the British Journal of Psychiatry, among ex-Armed Forces personnel, no less than 17% of those who had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan in 2014-2016 reported symptoms suggesting PTSD. Those deployed in a support role such (eg medical, logistics, signals, aircrew) were affected at a rate of 6%, which is 1-2% higher than in the general UK population.
 
Emerging studies are indicating that, following the COVID-19 outbreak, rates of PTSD among those serving as medical key workers or Emergency Services personnel and who have been personally affected by the pandemic are likely to be much higher.

*For further information on PTSD Resolution visit www.ptsdresolution.org

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Reliance High-Tech names Blue Lamp Foundation as chosen charity for 2020-2021

Reliance High-Tech, the independent security technology integrator and provider of lone worker protection services, has announced that its chosen charity for 2020-2021 is the Blue Lamp Foundation

The Blue Lamp Foundation was founded in 2010 by PC David Rathband after he suffered life-changing injuries having been shot at close range by Raoul Moat. The charity helps those from the Emergency Services who’ve been injured, physically or emotionally, in the line of duty by providing funding and support towards treatment, rehabilitation and out-of-pocket expenses.

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Throughout the year, Reliance High-Tech’s employees will engage in a range of activities to generate funds and put them towards the vital work that this charity transacts. Last year, those activities raised a magnificent £2,090 for SSAFA, the dedicated Armed Forces charity.

David Walton, finance director at Reliance High-Tech, told Security Matters: “SSAFA was our first ever charity of the year and I’m really proud of how the Reliance High-Tech team undertook a variety of fundraising activities, from the ‘Big Brew’ through to climbing the equivalent of Everest at our head office in Bracknell. This year, we invited nominations from the team as to which charity we should support and the Blue Lamp Foundation was chosen. Given Reliance High-Tech’s close working relationships with a number of police forces and, indeed, the NHS, this is a perfect fit for us to give something back to such a worthwhile cause and ably assist the brave men and women of the Emergency Services who sacrifice so much for us.”

Peter Sweeney, chairman of the Blue Lamp Foundation, responded: “We would like to thank everyone at Reliance High-Tech for choosing to support the Foundation over the next year. In the current climate, we know that Emergency Services personnel, along with many more key workers, are really stepping up to the plate to meet new levels of demand. At some point, their coping mechanisms will slow down and, on top of the physical assaults many are experiencing, they will reach a point whereby they can no longer effectively function with front line duties and will need support. Sponsorship from Reliance High-Tech will help us deliver that support.”

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Scottish Water safeguards lone workers with 250-plus SPOT Gen3 satellite devices

Globalstar Europe Satellite Services Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc and a specialist in the field of satellite messaging and emergency notification technologies, has announced that Scottish Water has deployed over 250 SPOT Gen3 satellite messengers to safeguard employees who work on their own in areas with unreliable or non-existent mobile coverage.

Hundreds of Scottish Water employees work in remote parts of the country, often on a solo basis, and manage assets including the reservoirs that supply water to over 2.54 million households and 152,000 businesses. While 49 remote-working teams are already using SPOT, Scottish Water is also offering devices to all other employees registered as lone workers. These employees now have a communications lifeline wherever they are, with small, robust SPOT Gen3 devices that communicate reliably over Globalstar’s Low Earth Orbit satellite network.

Scottish Water has pre-configured the SPOT Gen3 devices with two services. If an employee has an emergency, they can press SPOT’s one-touch SOS button. There’s also a Help button for non-life-threatening situations. Pressing either button automatically transmits the end user’s precise GPS location to Scottish Water’s Internal Communications Centre (ICC). The ICC operators then either contact the Emergency Services or locate a nearby Scottish Water team who can help their colleague.

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Scottish Water chose SPOT Gen3 because of its ease of use and robustness, in addition  to the accuracy of its GPS transmissions. Before deploying SPOT earlier this year, Scottish Water relied solely on a system whereby employees registered their planned movements by phone then, if they didn’t call back by an agreed time, the issue would be escalated through their line managers.

“With winter around the corner, we expect SPOT to come into its own as an important part of our Health and Safety strategy,” said Kes Juskowiak, water operations general manager at Scottish Water. “With reliable satellite communications, we can get help to our employees whenever it’s needed and wherever they might be. SPOT is a lifeline providing reassurance to families and colleagues that each lone worker is in safe hands.”

Scottish Water procured the SPOTs through UK specialist wireless and satellite reseller Global Telesat Communications (GTC), a subsidiary of the Orbital Tracking Corp. GTC recently surpassed the milestone of selling 15,000 SPOT devices.

“With staff welfare moving up the corporate agenda, we’re seeing a significant adoption of SPOT by commercial and non-commercial organisations worldwide,” said Gary King, Globalstar’s EMEA sales manager for SPOT. “By deploying SPOT, Scottish Water is demonstrating its commitment to safeguarding its employees as they go about their work in some of the most remote parts of the UK.”

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False fire alarms “can cost economy £1 billion and stretch Fire Services” states Siemens Building Technologies

Siemens Building Technologies is warning UK businesses about the potential consequences of false fire alarms during the busiest period of the year. False alarms from remotely-monitored fire detection and fire alarm systems cost the UK economy an estimated £1 billion in business disruption* with 95% of automatically-generated alarms being proven to be false**. This places Fire and Rescue Services and the public at unnecessary risk.

“The majority of automatic fire alarm calls are proven to be false and often caused by either false fire triggers or the inadequate maintenance of alarm systems,” commented Don Scott, fire engineering consultant at Siemens Building Technologies.  “Christmas is already a time of heightened risk of fire for many businesses with the Fire and Rescue Services stretched to capacity across the country.  False alarms create further pressures when the Emergency Services have to challenge whether alarms are genuine before attending incidents – the time lost could end up costing thousands of pounds in repairs or, at worst, put lives at risk.”

Ionisation or single-sensor optical smoke detectors are a common cause of false alarm activations as they have difficulty in accurately distinguishing between airborne pollutants, such as steam, aerosols, dust, cooking fumes, insects, sparks, embers and a real fire. The incorrect siting of detectors can also be triggered if there’s excessive air movement from mechanical heating or ventilation.

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Multi-sensor detectors are responsive to more than one fire phenomena (ie smoke, heat and carbon monoxide) and are proven to be more immune to false alarm phenomena, thereby giving fewer false activations. For more stringent applications, beam detectors, heat detectors and aspirating detectors are available.

Regular maintenance programmes

A regular maintenance programme ensures the correct functioning of a fire alarm system. Inadequate servicing and testing compromise safety. If an alarm system is ageing or becoming unreliable, replacement is advised when offset against the cost of disruption to a business. Generally, detectors should be replaced every ten to 15 years, depending upon the environment in which they’re installed and the manufacturers’ recommendations.

Dave Green, national officer at the Fire Brigades Union, added: “False alarms use up resources which could be better served elsewhere. They also increase response times to actual emergencies. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Fire Services should always be called when any alarm is raised.”

Green concluded: “Fire Services are under more pressure than ever before, dealing with more incidents and more fires, but with increasingly fewer firefighters. Since 2009, there has been a 23% decrease in the number of firefighters across the UK. This huge decrease in the number of firefighters has meant that preventative work, which would help to reduce the number of false alarms, has worryingly fallen by the wayside.”

Sources
*https://www.bre.co.uk/page.jsp?id=3527
**https://www.abi.org.uk/globalassets/files/publications/public/property/2018/07/abi-fpa-detection-demonstration-report-2018.pdf

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Securitas celebrates success in regional stages of BSIA’s Security Personnel Awards 2018

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has announced the regional winners of its Security Personnel Awards for 2018, and Securitas is delighted to have winners in three categories. The awards recognise the talent, dedication, skill and bravery exhibited by security personnel in their roles.

Security personnel are recognised in five categories: Service to the Customer, Outstanding Act, Best Use of Technology, Best Team and Best Newcomer.

Securitas officers Ramraj Sooknanan and Matt Bolger have been successful in the Service to the Customer category. Sooknanan has worked at his client site for 24 years, demonstrating true dedication to his role and responsibilities. Bolger started work on his client site in 2014, and his professionalism has seen him progress quickly and establish himself as a key part of the security team.

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Ramraj Sooknanan

Samantha Golding, service delivery manager, has received the Best Newcomer Award. Starting as a relief officer in 2017, Golding’s integrity and commitment has seen her promoted from officer to service delivery manager in a short space of time.

Alison Ridge and David Prosser have been recognised in the category of Outstanding Act. The pair administered life-saving CPR, including by using a defibrillator, to an individual who had collapsed on-site. Their timely actions proved vital as they waited for the Emergency Services to attend the scene.

James Kelly, CEO of the BSIA, said: “It’s important that we recognise the true value of security personnel. They are often the first responders in times of emergency and play a vital role in keeping the public safe. This year’s Security Personnel Awards regional winners are testament to the truly high calibre of personnel we have working within our industry.”

Grainne Kelly, Human Resources director and also Operations Centre director at Securitas, commented: “At Securitas, people are at the heart of our protective services. Our officers in particular are the backbone of the security we deliver. They face a more challenging security environment than ever before. It’s fantastic to see Ramraj, Matt, Samantha, Alison and David recognised by the BSIA for their vigilance and dedication.”

All regional winners now progress to the national finals stage of the British Security Awards, to be held in London on 11 July in conjunction with the BSIA’s Annual Luncheon.

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Multitone Electronics to debut Appear Crew and Ambulance Apps at BAPCO 2018 Exhibition and Conference

Multitone Electronics plc, a specialist in the design, manufacture and implementation of integrated communication systems, will debut its Appear Crew and Ambulance Apps for emergency teams and first responders on Stand J7 at the BAPCO Conference and Exhibition 2018, which is running at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 March.

Appear Crew uses Multitone’s highly successful Appear mobile platform to assist emergency crews with reliable and secure messaging. As a complement to a pager, the Appear Crew App registers a response from each crew member and tracks their progress to their station from whichever location they happen to be.

The system can also be used to track the movement of individual team members right to the fire station, showing locations on a map. This allows the Command and Control team to ensure that everyone’s accounted for when required.

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Multitone’s Emergency Services major accounts manager Peter Eborall stated: “We anticipate great interest and demand for our Appear Crew App, which we’ve developed by working in close collaboration with Fire and Rescue Services. It has been extensively trialled and rigorously tested to ensure that it can be relied upon to provide the essential support needed to save lives.”

Eborall added: “In addition to fire and rescue crews, the Appear Crew App is ideally suited to meet the exacting communications requirements of both RNLI and Coastguard emergency teams.”

Also on Stand J7 is Multitone’s new Ambulance App, which has been designed specifically to assist and co-ordinate teams from full-time paramedics to Community First Responders. “Based upon our Appear Lite solution, the Ambulance App provides highly reliable contact, with proof-of-delivery for a proven audit trail,” added Eborall. “The App is highly secure, preventing sensitive information from being removed or screenshots being taken. This ensures confidentiality at all times.”

The Ambulance App sends an automatic acknowledgement when the recipient receives a message such that the Command and Control team know it has been read. The App features a clear and simple-to-use interface.

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Intergrated Security Manufacturing reports on successful Security and Policing event

Intergrated Security Manufacturing (ISM) has hailed the success of Security and Policing 2018, the official UK Government global security event, reporting positive interest in its latest Integrated Security Management System (ISMS): a technology that takes Physical Information Management (PSIM) technology to “another level”.

The three-day event hosted at the Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre was the perfect opportunity for ISM to showcase its Genesys ISMS, a fully-integrated security management system capable of integrating and controlling multiple technologies, devices and sites from a single platform.

Attendees at Security and Policing 2018 included representatives from various police services, Government departments and the Emergency Services, key providers of national infrastructure and organisations from across the UK and overseas.

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Geoff Pye of ISM

Genesys is the ideal ISMS platform for operators of Critical National Infrastructure sites. It’s already proven and operating in sites across the world. ISM recently received formal notification from the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) that Genesys has met its standard for CAPSS, which means that this solution is ‘Approved for UK Government Use’.

Geoff Pye, commercial director at ISM, enthused: “Security and Policing 2018 was the perfect platform to showcase Genesys, and particularly so following our recent CPNI approval for use of the system on UK Government sites. The event attracts the right audience and we received some very positive feedback.”

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ATG Access research shows Brits welcome more armed police at public events

Over one third of the British public want to see more armed police at public events to make them feel safer in light of recent terror events. According to new research, 36% of Brits are calling for more armed officers to patrol public events, such as music concerts, and 57% would like to see more security officers on duty around event locations.

The survey of 1,000 people, conducted by ATG Access, found that almost half of the public will not let recent terror attacks stop them from enjoying organised events, 39% would feel more at ease if the Emergency Services were on site and easily visible.

It’s not just visible front line service personnel that will help alleviate fears this year. 44% of people would now like to see visible security measures – such as bollards and barriers to separate crowds from nearby traffic – put in place to prevent possible vehicle-borne attacks.

Almost half (48%) of the public surveyed would welcome bag searches and 33% think metal detectors should be used at event entrances to spot suspicious behaviour. Further, 41% of respondents would like to see more CCTV and flood-lighting to help monitor festive events and public areas.

The study was conducted as part of ATG Access’ ‘Protecting the Future of Multi-Functional Cities’ Report, which looks in detail at how cities in Britain are being transformed into bustling multi-functional spaces, and the obstacles that are preventing public events from taking place.

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Gavin Hepburn, director at ATG Access, informed Risk UK: “With the increasing number of terrorist attacks that have taken place across Europe, tensions have understandably been heightened. The general consensus among the public seems to be that they’re not going to let the threat of terror ruin their spirit, but there are still some concerns around security and safety at public events.”

Hepburn added: “Brits are now calling on the authorities to implement more visible security measures, such as more armed police on our streets and physical solutions like bollards and barriers to protect public events. The most important thing to bear in mind is that these measures must not create a ‘fortress mentality’. While the public may feel safer knowing that security is being improved, solutions shouldn’t incite more fear and should enable people to enjoy the event. There are robust physical solutions now available that can blend in with their surroundings so that they’re almost invisible.”

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Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service deploys Panasonic rugged tablets to assist front line firefighters

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service is “transforming” working life for its firefighters on the front line by equipping them with Panasonic’s rugged Toughpad tablets to access vital information during emergency episodes.

The Fire and Rescue Service is deploying 13-inch Panasonic Toughbook CF-D1 tablets in the front cabs of its fire appliances. These Mobile Data Terminals (MDTs) are permanently mounted in the front of the vehicle and connected to the existing Tetra Network. They will be used for providing vital information on the way to a call-out, such as sending status updates to Command and Control, outlining risk assessment requirements, vehicle safety data, safety data on any chemicals stored on site and details on the occupancy of the premises and nearby hydrant locations.

Smaller and lighter 10-inch Panasonic FZ-G1 Toughpad tablets are being installed in the back of the appliances for use by firefighters inside and outside of the vehicle when at the scene of an emergency. These devices will be used day-to-day for the asset management of equipment and inventory and, in the future, for providing valuable emergency information on site, such as vehicle crash rescue data, as well as for regular community duties such as home fire safety surveys and hydrant inspections.

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John Barlow is responsible for modernising Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s front line communications devices. “We’re investing to change all the existing MDTs to a more agile device so as to allow the crews to work more efficiently and smartly,” explained Barlow. “The Panasonic devices are ideal for all the conditions in which we work. We can read the device in bright sunlight and it’s built to be used outside and in wet conditions without any problems. Feedback from field trials with the devices has been positive.”

In the future, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service sees other big advantages for firefighters in being able to use devices at the scene of an emergency. For example, at a road accident, firefighters can use the devices to identify important information about the safety features of a vehicle, such as airbags, such that they can quickly be turned off before trapped passengers are released from a vehicle).

“This type of use will be an absolute bonus for operations, making the task so much simpler and enabling the firefighters to work more effectively than ever,” enthused Barlow.

Commenting on the value the devices bring to Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Callum Faint (Cambridgeshire’s area commander) informed Risk UK: “It’s a massive step forward. In the past, a member of the fire crew would have to remain in the cab of the fire engine. Now, being able to demount the information source and take it with us means that the information can be right there, on the scene. This really helps to improve our operational effectiveness.”

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The Panasonic Computer Docking Solutions Team has designed the mounting solution for the Panasonic CF-D1 tablets in the front of the vehicles. The team used as much of the existing infrastructure as possible, such as the power management units, to keep costs down. It has also future-proofed the vehicles by fitting antennas that will work with the imminent introduction of the new Emergency Services Network.

For the FZ-G1 tablets, the Panasonic Computer Docking Solutions Team designed a bespoke bracket for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service that can be fitted on all of its vehicles generically. The design also incorporates into the bracket a handheld barcode reader, such that it could be installed in a convenient location next to the tablet.

The Panasonic Project Management Team is working closely with Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and its nominated installation contractors to support the build and imaging of the devices alongside installing the units in the appliances. The deployment will be completed before the end of the Autumn.

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