Protecting those that can't protect themselves
Updated: Jan 26, 2021
This can be a sensitive topic for many but as a protector there must have been a time when you thought about it. If your principal had a physical or mental disability that put them in harms way longer than you wished. What would that look like and how would you react in a time of crisis? How would they react? It could be your principal, their family, or perhaps you're working estate security.
Most people know Larry Flynt as the publisher of "Hustler" magazine. In 1978 Flynt was shot and the shooting left him partially paralyzed. Years back I read a job description for his protection detail. It suggested that the security be able to lift 250 pounds. Unheard of? Not necessarily. He as the principal has every right to request the requirements of his protection detail. If the requirement is to be able to lift him up while he is in his wheelchair then it is an absolutely necessary requirement. I look at three traits that a protector needs to have while working with those that can't protect themselves: 1) Patience 2) Communication, and 3) Courage. These three traits will be talked about more in detail throughout this post.
Those in a wheelchair may be just part of our challenges because even wheel chairs themselves are different in nature. Some wheelchairs are manually operated while some are mechanically operated. The principal in the chair may have different disabilities as well as some can operate their wheel chair with their hands some may use their voice.
I add children in these categories because even though they physically may be able to run from danger they mentally might run in the wrong direction. If you add an intellectual disability to the chaos then you can see why I put patience as my number one trait. Anyone who has children knows that patience is needed under normal circumstances now imagine a crisis and the chaos. Now you need to have patience under stress. When your mind wants to say GO! GO! GO! There mind is still saying WHAT'S HAPPENING?!
President Ronald Reagan was known as the great communicator. In 1994 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's destroys one's mental capacity. A person with Dementia or Alzheimer's may not be able to recognize their own family let alone a protection detail. I add communication as a trait because it is needed to not only communicate with the principal but those around the principal as well. As you can see the list is long involving those that struggle physically or mentally. Good and tactful communication skills are a must, especially under stressful conditions.
Stevie Wonder has been blind almost his entire life. Although he can hear the sounds around him he can't see therefore his protection details are his eyes guiding him in a safe direction. I pick courage as another trait needed because a protector may need to be in the line of fire longer than they would like. Their principal may move slower or not be able to move at all. Some may move but in the wrong direction. When we move principals by bending them at the waist and cupping their neck to bend over as we run with them to safety. As we say GO! GO! GO! as we're cover and evacuating the principal. We must understand not everyone is equal in their ability.
This could be an entire article on protecting those with various disabilities. With principals ranging from the elderly to children. This is just a post to get you thinking and keep our blade sharp as we as protectors deal with humanity.
The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well. ― Ralph Waldo Emerson