Back to All Posts

Preparation: How GDBA Protectors Save Lives

Gavin de Becker Training Instructors

Through training and constant evaluation, GDBA protectors are prepared to save lives. Here are two recent examples where they did just that.

The focal point of Executive Protection (EP) is protecting human life.  At its most dramatic and urgent, the forward edge of Executive Protection is saving a human life.

As protectors, we could spend a career without knowingly saving a life. (Though we could unknowingly save a protectee’s life through effective deterrence or advance work.)

Whether knowing or unknowing, saving a life is often the result of preparation; that preparation is the result of training.

Many protectors, however, do not train or undergo evaluation despite the life and death consequences of not doing so.  Due to their ill preparation, when the decisive moment comes — they blink.

Here are two very recent examples of GDBA Protectors who did not blink.

Life-Saving Story #1

After driving his protectee to a meeting and escorting him to the boardroom, our Protector stationed himself in the adjacent lobby.  Later that day, the protectee stormed out of the boardroom and told our Protector that someone inside was experiencing a seizure or possibly a heart attack. After instructing the security officer at the front desk to retrieve the AED, our Protector sprang into action and told the protectee to dial 911.

Arriving on the scene, our Protector approached the patient and determined him to be breathless, pulseless, and unresponsive.  The Protector began chest compressions followed by rescue breaths. After two cycles of CPR, a faint pulse returned; soon after, paramedics arrived on the scene.

The next day, doctors confirmed that had our Protector not provided life-saving CPR, the patient would have died.


Life-Saving Story #2

Just weeks following the above incident, another GDBA Protector encountered a similar incident.

While awaiting his protectee’s arrival at a large event with several public figures in attendance, a newly hired GDBA protector saw a man drop to the ground.  While another security detail closer to the victim froze, our protector went into action.

He directed a bystander to call 911 and told another person to fetch an AED from the hotel lobby. He then began three minutes of continuous CPR on the unresponsive man who was neither breathing nor showing a pulse.  When the AED arrived, our Protector delivered a single shock from the defibrillator, causing the victim to regain a pulse.

EMS arrived soon after and our Protector linked up with his protection team, just as our protectee walked into the room.

Similar to the previous medical emergency, doctors confirmed that our Protector’s immediate actions saved the man’s life.


Preparation Meets Action

These protectors succeeded because they were prepared.  When the crisis came, they did not blink (nor freeze) like many around them.

They took action.  Each of them – directly, unequivocally, and knowingly -- saved a life.

Their response was not by chance, it was due to their training. GDBA’s entire training division, including our full-time medical instructors, invest thousands of training hours per year into our protectors’ medical proficiency.

There is no state or federal law mandating our medical training program.  We as a firm choose to do it, and there are many who are alive today because of it.


James HamiltonJames Hamilton is a Senior Vice President at Gavin de Becker & Associates. James served 17 years as a Special Agent and Supervisory Special Agent in the FBI, where he was handpicked to create the Bureau’s close protection course. His courses are currently taught at the NSA, NYPD, and many other agencies.


Josh Becker Gavin de Becker & AssociatesJosh Becker is the Chief Medical Instructor and certified paramedic at Gavin de Becker & Associates. Throughout his career, Josh has trained thousands of GDBA protectors in emergency medical techniques. Additionally, his established training curriculums and standards ensure the continuous training, certification, and evaluation of every GDBA protector.

Back to All Posts

More Blog Posts

Previous Post

How Public Figures use Media to Protect Themselves and their Property

Next Post

20 Tips for Close Protection Specialists | GDBA