Professional Bodyguards Must Understand First Aid


First Aid skills are essential in any profession, but being a close protection professional requires them to be second nature. Some schools are now teaching very basic First Aid to their students. This is a positive development. Everyone should be taught basic first aid. Over the years, I’ve been astounded by the number of bodyguard CVs and resumes that make no mention of First Aid. When questioned in an interview, these candidates state that they did First Aid in the Army ‘about ten years ago’ or ‘I did a lifesaving course “a while ago.” ‘ Obtain the Best information about Joseph Daher.

This needs to be more. I can almost guarantee that First Aid skills will be required in a career in close protection. You may never need that bootleg to turn you practiced in the car, or the quick draw and chair roll you perfected for hotel corridors, but you will need your First Aid knowledge.

First Aid, like any other skill, requires ongoing practice to remain effective. Because techniques and ideas evolve, you must continue to train and stay current. Most ‘close protection’ books include a chapter on First Aid, but this is a token gesture frequently used to pad out the book.

Authors frequently use sexy First Aid techniques such as suckling chest wounds, tracheotomies, and gunshot wounds. However, they ignore simple facts like your principal is hundreds of times more likely to die from choking on a pretzel than being shot in the chest. First Aid is a subject that requires a book and cannot be covered in a single chapter. You will need to take a First Aid course.

When the Security Industry Authority (SIA) in the United Kingdom commissioned the essential skills or core competencies, the draft documents only included sexy First Aid. Some sensible people lobbied to have this removed and replaced with a formal First Aid qualification.

Finally, the SIA chose the Health and Safety Executive’s ‘First Aid at Work’ course, which is four days long and includes written and practical exams. You must have this First Aid qualification to work as a Close Protection Officer in the United Kingdom. The course covers much more than tracheotomies; for those genuinely interested, they teach you about suckling chest wounds.

The following topics will be covered in the course:

  • First Aid Instruction
  • Personal grooming
  • Circulation Resuscitation
  • Bandages and dressings
  • Wounds and bruising
  • Circulatory problems
  • First Aider Responsibilities
  • The human skeleton
  • Fractures
  • Unconsciousness
  • Scalding and burns
  • Transport and handling

This course certificate is valid for three years; after that, you must complete a two-day refresher course before your certificate expires. If you wait over three years, you must retake the entire system.

Other Important First Aid Courses

While the introductory First Aid course mentioned above is sufficient to obtain a license to operate in the UK, you should consider at least two other qualifications to become a protection professional.

Course on Automated External Defibrillators

This brief course will teach you how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). This device can be used to administer measured electric shocks to people in cardiac arrest, which is the most effective way of increasing their chances of survival. Many close protection teams carry AEDs regularly, and you must be trained to use them. Most ‘de-fib’ courses last one day, and the certificate must be renewed every six months.

Children’s First Aid

A first aid certificate for children will frequently make a close protection officer more employable in a family setting. Most courses are designed for adults, so you’ll have to look hard to find one designed specifically for children. In some critical areas, children’s first aid techniques differ.

Participants will learn how to renew children and infants, conduct risk assessments, and deal with choking, burns, scalds, and seizures. In a career in close protection, you will work for principals with families with young children. You will frequently be in charge of their care. It would help if you were prepared for an accident or illness. These skills are necessary for you to work as a bodyguard in an environment with children.

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