It’s no secret that planning, planning, and―oh―we forgot planning is an essential component in every EP agent’s work. It’s also a constituent part in responding to emergencies. In this regard, emergency response is incredibly vital. It entails organizing and managing resources and responsibilities for dealing with humanitarian aspects of emergencies.
In the words of one famous executive protection agent, who refers to himself as a guard: I am protecting, and it doesn’t matter whom, because it’s already an honor to do what I’m doing.
Close protection is genuinely an honorable job. It owes this image mostly to its practitioners reacting in times of crisis. Because―let’s face it―the client doesn’t even notice the EP specialist nearby most of the time. And that’s a good thing. You know you are doing a great job if the principal has no idea about who you are.
Yet, in case of distress, like when a rival gang attacked Curtis Jackson’s entourage, your client will learn your name. They will start to respect you more because you put your life on the line for them. And that’s precisely what supposedly happened in the shootout while 50 Cent was on the air.
Still, those involved in the brief dispute said how it all erupted in a matter of seconds. And seconds―and even shorter bits of time―matter in emergency response. Some speculate that the EP team should have reacted quicker to protect the artist’s entourage. And they didn’t. Meaning, they failed to respond proactively to the arising emergency.
Luckily, everything went well in the end, and 50 Cent was allegedly remarkably grateful to one CP agent in particular.
If you don’t want this to happen to you, it’s good you are here. In this EP Wired piece, we investigate some of the confusion surrounding emergency response.
The Pros and Cons of Emergency Response
Although emergency response is usually associated with earthquakes and natural disasters, it also plays a role in executive protection. Yes, we know that around 90% of an EP agent’s work is tedious, and nothing is happening. However, you need to be on the lookout for the remaining 10 percent. They will sneak up on you and smash you to bits if you aren’t the most attentive person on Earth.
We know that’s a lot of pressure no human should have to endure. For this reason, we recommend that you focus on protocols and processes in your daily work instead of catastrophizing.
The four pillars of any emergency response plan look like this:
That’s it. It’s a cyclical process and goes on and on until you reach the best possible ER plan. And that never happens because there is always room for improvement.
As with most aspects in executive protection, industry specialists devise emergency response plans to act preventively. And not only that but to reduce damage and protect the environment and principal.
Still, not everything about emergency response is spectacular. For example, sometimes it requires a few thoughts before acting, which can get in the way of doing your best work. You can’t react instinctively because you are thinking of your ER plan.
Say you have a crowd control issue at a public event that your client is attending. You thought your crowd control barriers would do the trick―and then they failed miserably. A few fans come through, and you have to deal with dozens of people in your client’s proximity.
Instead of contemplating what went wrong with your crowd control barriers, perhaps you should focus on evacuating your principal safely. That’s where emergency response plans tend to interfere with your workflow.
The Cost of Emergency Response Failure
A common mantra from the EP industry states that accountability is the kiss of death. And it’s so darn accurate. That’s why many people get hired and fired in the first few months of their EP careers. The close protection industry requires full responsibility and zero slips.
Failing to respond appropriately in an emergency could be the end of you, meaning you can forget about your practice.
The thing with EP is that it’s interconnected. Executive protection agents only recommend those who have a legitimate track record and aren’t bringing shame to their profession. You can’t fool an EP agent because they have trained to look through you and recognize the smallest hint of deceit.
However, as soon as you hear about your fellow EP agent messing up in an emergency, think of it as an opportunity. Learn what others did wrong and ensure you don’t make the same mistakes. Making another error might mean not getting an extra shot in the industry.
Yes, it doesn’t necessarily imply that people will run away from you like you the plague if you make one mistake. However, your chances of survival in the EP industry will significantly decrease.
Although most EP agents don’t tend to stay with one client for longer than ten years, why not give it a try? Why not try to be as mistake-free as possible? Why not be the best agent out there?
The cost of emergency response failure is colossal. It undoes everything you have built in the preceding years of your work. Avoid it by all means necessary.
Lately, many unprofessional people have been entering the EP industry. It is your number one priority as a professional to safeguard the service. And the most effective way to do that is to prove your worth by implementing sound emergency response plans.
The main lessons from this EP Wired piece:
- Get the proper emergency response system training.
- Be aware that there is no end to improving your emergency response plan. Threats arise by the hour.
- It’s better to have an ER plan than not.
- A perfect emergency response plan entails an assessment, planning, action, and review.
- An emergency response failure could cost you your career, or worse. Learn from others’ mistakes, not your own.
- Prepare to deal with the shortcomings of ER plans, and don’t just enjoy the benefits.