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The Tactical Medic - Where Do They Fit into the Close Protection Team | Kris Zerkowitz
Episode 4120th October 2021 • The Circuit Magazine Podcast • BBA Corporate Ltd
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Is there a middle ground between embedding a Paramedic on the team and upskilling team members with basic lifesaving skills? Should everyone have tactical medicine in their back pocket or is this something so specialized that you don't want to distract from other team members main roles?

In this episode we’re going to explore the role of the embedded tactical medic and where they fit into the overall care provision picture.

Today, we are joined by Kris Zerkowitz, Director and trainer at Amarante Academie and big proponent of the tactical medic.

With Kris’ knowledge and insights on the subject we’re going to be asking:

  • Why do we need tactical medics, why not just directly embed a highly trained paramedic on the team? 
  • Should all team members have tactical medical skills? Or would this dilute their primary purpose and CP roles?
  • How important is physical fitness in distinguishing tactical medics from paramedics?
  • What does the right skill set look like and where can you attain it? 

Tune in to this week’s episode for more insights on the subject of the purpose of tactical medicine. As Kris puts it…

“We need to keep the paramedic or doctor as far from the action as possible but keep the patients alive long enough for them to get them there.”

More about Kris:

Kris specialises in Diplomatic Security and the survivability of close protection teams and clients in hostile environments. Providing training and consulting worldwide to all those travelling to- and working in hostile environments. Kris delivers skill and knowledge based training to Auriex and their clients and staff.

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Amarante Academie


More about the Circuit:

The Circuit Magazine is written and produced by volunteers, most of who are operationally active, working full time in the security industry. The magazine is a product of their combined passion and desire to give something back to the industry. By subscribing to the magazine you are helping to keep it going into the future. Find out more >

If you liked this podcast, we have an accompanying weekly newsletter called 'On the Circuit' where we take a deeper dive into the wider industry. Opt in here >


The Circuit team is:

  • Elijah Shaw
  • Jon Moss
  • Shaun West
  • Phelim Rowe

 

Connect with Us: 

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British Bodyguard Association

Transcripts

Kris Zerkowitz:

Not everybody needs to be a paramedic, but

Kris Zerkowitz:

everybody needs the basics.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Everybody needs to be able to keep the paramedic as far away as possible from the

Kris Zerkowitz:

actual action, but keep the patients alive long enough for them to get them there.

Intro:

Welcome to the Circuit magazine, the number.

Intro:

Source of information on protection matters.

Intro:

The industry leading magazine for all security professionals who

Intro:

want to stay ahead of the game.

Phelim:

is there a middle ground between embedding a medical

Phelim:

doctor and embedding a medic?

Phelim:

Introducing the embedded tactical paramedic today, we're going

Phelim:

to meet with Kris Zerkowitz.

Phelim:

Director and trainer at Amaranti academy and big operator out in Belgium.

Phelim:

And of course, across the world, I'm hit with Shaun West.

Phelim:

Shaun, why is this a key topic?

Phelim:

Cause I know we've had medical topics on the podcast before.

Phelim:

Why, why tactical medicine as a topic?

Shaun:

It's a, it's a great topic.

Shaun:

And Kristian, we've heard him speak many times and he's very passionate about it.

Shaun:

So I'm looking forward to this one, especially, but why a tactical

Shaun:

medic, you can, you can have a paramedic who is highly trained.

Shaun:

They have a lot of skills in keeping someone alive, saving their life.

Shaun:

What's different with a tactical medic is when you're out there

Shaun:

working in a hostile remote.

Shaun:

You're working there you are.

Shaun:

You don't have all of the things that is second nature to a paramedic.

Shaun:

You haven't got all them medical equipment bags, hospitals, and

Shaun:

equipment right next to you.

Shaun:

So you need to be able to work with what you've got and also have the

Shaun:

situational awareness around you of the tactical situation that's going on.

Shaun:

If you've got hostiles going out, you undeserved medical situation going on.

Shaun:

You know, you've got, you've got the noggin, how to deal with it and the

Shaun:

experience where a paramedic, maybe hasn't got that background and skillset, they

Shaun:

can keep you alive, but they're better passing the casually over that person.

Shaun:

After you've dealt with the situation.

Phelim:

So should everybody try and have tactical medicine in their back pocket?

Phelim:

Or is this something so specialized that you really don't want to distract from

Phelim:

other people's, you know, main jobs?

Phelim:

Um, it, it, this isn't like having CPR is a skill in your back pocket.

Phelim:

Is it

Shaun:

on every team?

Shaun:

I think medical skills, everybody knows, you know, it's a great faucet on skill

Shaun:

set to help in any close protection team.

Shaun:

And I think.

Shaun:

It depends where you're operating and what, and to what level

Shaun:

of training on skillset and how far you decide to take it.

Shaun:

But I think certainly if you're working in these remote hostile environments, you

Shaun:

should be looking at not just the basic medical courses you should be looking

Shaun:

at, you know, in the UK, it's different.

Shaun:

I think you have three front, four or five.

Shaun:

I don't know what the, what they're called over in the states or in other

Shaun:

countries, but you should be looking.

Shaun:

Learning great skills, how to use them, know what you're

Shaun:

going to tick in your pocket.

Shaun:

You know, if you're going to a remote hostile place, what you're

Shaun:

puking, don't take everything.

Shaun:

If it's not relevant, just take what you need for that task and equipment

Shaun:

that you know, what you're able to use.

Shaun:

And you as well.

Shaun:

Um, somebody who's doing the basic 12 is better than carrying a whole

Shaun:

load of fancy medical equipment that maybe you don't know how to use.

Phelim:

Yeah, and this, this will resonate from anyone that's seen one

Phelim:

of Christian's presentations, you know, cause he often says, you know,

Phelim:

what, what good is it in the boot?

Phelim:

If you've got your principal in the back seat and you're driving away, um, if

Phelim:

you, if you can't access it from inside the vehicle, that's a problem too.

Phelim:

And then yeah, you can take all the paramedic kit in the world.

Phelim:

But if it doesn't fit or you don't have the skills to use it or the

Phelim:

license, you know, I mean, okay.

Phelim:

In a lot of cases, we're talking about places which are pretty, uh, Okay with,

Phelim:

uh, you know, with, you know, saving people's lives in this, in this regard,

Phelim:

but there are places in the world where you're not allowed to use X, Y, and Z.

Phelim:

Um, so, so, so there, there are a lot of considerations.

Phelim:

And even if you brought an actual paramedic with you, and I know we had

Phelim:

Paul steward on, uh, you know, quite a few episodes ago, even if you are an actual

Phelim:

paramedic, uh, which is, you know, it's, it's a protected term, or it doesn't mean.

Phelim:

That you can use that one person in every single environment.

Phelim:

So, so the tactical medic is the happy halfway house.

Phelim:

Uh, so to speak.

Phelim:

I'm very much looking forward to this.

Phelim:

Let's welcome, Kris Zerkowitz.

Phelim:

on the topic of embedding a tactical paramedic.

Intro:

Now let's meet one of the contributors to the circuit magazine.

Phelim:

Embedding a tactical paramedic, why it matters and why perhaps not

Phelim:

enough teams take it seriously enough.

Phelim:

We're very fortunate to be joined by Kristian, Zerkowitz and embedded

Phelim:

tactical paramedic at Amarones academy.

Phelim:

Uh, myself and Shawn west are very pleased to have you here.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I am very well.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Thank you.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Thank you so much for welcoming me.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well,

Phelim:

you're, you're, you're a great friend of the industry that seems to

Phelim:

be a catchphrase of mine, but you're a great friend and you've spoken at least

Phelim:

at our events a lot about this topic, but let's do the three quick fire questions.

Phelim:

Get an overview.

Phelim:

What do you think is the problem as it stands in the industry with the

Phelim:

grant Institute, tactical medicine?

Kris Zerkowitz:

I believe that today, um, people think that tactical medicine.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's just a catch phrase and people tend to take off the tactical part

Kris Zerkowitz:

when going to, to study this type of medicine and they go straight into the

Kris Zerkowitz:

medicine because it's much easier to teach medicine to non tacticians than

Kris Zerkowitz:

it is to teach the technical part.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So we'll have a lot of people that believe that their tactical medics,

Kris Zerkowitz:

well, in the end, they are just medics and this causes a problem

Kris Zerkowitz:

when things actually go and hit the.

Phelim:

Um, no, I feel I can.

Phelim:

Well imagine.

Phelim:

And, and what about you, um, you know, where does your passion

Phelim:

for this skillset come from?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, w in, in the beginning of my career, I was supposed

Kris Zerkowitz:

to be very, you know, very quick on the draw and, uh, and, and very

Kris Zerkowitz:

good at what I used to do, being in the close protection industry.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then somebody wants to ask me that question.

Kris Zerkowitz:

He said, Kris, if something goes bad, you know, w what can you do to have.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And I said, well, you know, I can rush you to a hospital

Kris Zerkowitz:

and tell you to stop bleeding.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, and then of course, I'm quick on the draw, so nothing will happen.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then there's this colleague of mine said, well, Chris, all of that

Kris Zerkowitz:

is great, but I'm a tactical medic.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And if you get shot in the ass, excuse my French, then you know, I will be

Kris Zerkowitz:

able to help you right here right now while still keeping the bad guys away.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And that, that put me started to make me.

Kris Zerkowitz:

How I could be in the industry for, at that time.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, over 10 years and not know anything about medicine.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And I realized that I, I just had been very lucky and I, I wanted to stop

Kris Zerkowitz:

pushing my luck and become professional.

Phelim:

No, I, I can, I can fully appreciate it.

Phelim:

Then you, you, you painted a very vivid, vivid picture.

Phelim:

Um, what about those who don't know anything about medicine and

Phelim:

the thing about paramedics, um, uh, within the EAP field, what

Phelim:

should they start to think about?

Kris Zerkowitz:

I think that if people are within the executive protection

Kris Zerkowitz:

industry, um, they need to start with the basics, the basics, because as a, as

Kris Zerkowitz:

a very good instructor of mine and Dr.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Michael Shertz once told me, he said there is no such thing

Kris Zerkowitz:

as, as complicated techniques.

Kris Zerkowitz:

There's only the basics in very, very bad situations.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, so we need to master the basics first and we need to understand that

Kris Zerkowitz:

we need to be able to execute these masters under very harsh condition.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And this goes for all tactical things, not just the medicine.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, so within medicine, you know, people should start with basic life

Kris Zerkowitz:

support and be able to do that and then, and then advance their way

Kris Zerkowitz:

up so that they don't think that if they do a very hard course, all of a

Kris Zerkowitz:

sudden they are doctors or paramedics because they are not, um, and slapping

Kris Zerkowitz:

on a tourniquet is not a basic skill.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It requires knowledge about how, when and where.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And to be able to have that knowledge, you need to start from the beginning.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So having just a basic first aid course, doing CPR is a great way to start and

Kris Zerkowitz:

keeping that fresh, having done a CPR course in high school is not going

Kris Zerkowitz:

to cut it when you actually need it.

Shaun:

Yes, Christine, what do you find are the challenges of operating as a

Shaun:

tactical medic in an osteo environment?

Shaun:

Why in a remote environment does not call for tactical medics as opposed to with.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, well, for me, um, I would like to quote the, uh, the

Kris Zerkowitz:

people that are teaching the leftover bang theory, um, within a technical

Kris Zerkowitz:

setting, we are always aiming to stay left of bang, bang, being everything

Kris Zerkowitz:

that happens that we don't want to have.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And if you are just a paramedic, um, you will miss certain parts of what we

Kris Zerkowitz:

don't want to happen and why they happen.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, if I am a technical paramedic, I will understand the technical needs

Kris Zerkowitz:

and the tactical aspects of these things.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And it will bring me to become better prepared in preparing my team

Kris Zerkowitz:

to avoid things that might have.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, in a way we carry gear, what we carry, how we carry it and how I can be

Kris Zerkowitz:

an asset to the team and not somebody that's been, you know, dragging along

Kris Zerkowitz:

an ambulance and being very slow.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, so just the way I would fit my gear and my kit to be able to carry

Kris Zerkowitz:

it on, on, on a long, um, excursion or whatever, it might be changes if I am a

Kris Zerkowitz:

tactical paramedic or if I'm a paramedic.

Shaun:

Yeah.

Shaun:

You make a great point there.

Shaun:

Um, The technical paramedic.

Shaun:

You bring a lot to the team.

Shaun:

It's not just the giving of care.

Shaun:

It's also the providing of advice to different team members.

Shaun:

You can provide training to them.

Shaun:

And what you just said there about how you set your load out.

Shaun:

You know, as I see a lot of people on different teams, they have.

Shaun:

bag of all sorts of fancy things, but they don't know how to use them.

Shaun:

You know, if you don't have to use it, can't get it out,

Shaun:

then have to do the basics.

Shaun:

Well, you know, get the kid that you're going to use and make sure

Shaun:

you can use it when that call

Kris Zerkowitz:

comes.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Definitely.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I mean, w you know, having a carrying a lot of kit is really good, but in the

Kris Zerkowitz:

end, are you going to be able to use that kit in the S in the setting that you're

Kris Zerkowitz:

working in, and the paramedic is going to be reluctant to leave with a lot of

Kris Zerkowitz:

kit, because, well, they will say, well, I need all this to stabilize my patient.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And he is absolutely right.

Kris Zerkowitz:

What that is, because the paramedic is working under the ideal

Kris Zerkowitz:

conditions that are provided to him.

Kris Zerkowitz:

This is also the reason why a.

Kris Zerkowitz:

We'll not go into a building that is burning.

Kris Zerkowitz:

He will wait for the patients to get out.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Now as a tactical paramedic, of course we will not make technical

Kris Zerkowitz:

mistakes and we will not do things, put our own lives at risk.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, we will be a better judge of how far we can go

Kris Zerkowitz:

before our lives get into a risk.

Kris Zerkowitz:

If you look at the tech protocol today, that's being taught to everybody.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Anything that's medical needs to stay way outside in the cold zone,

Kris Zerkowitz:

or it may be that, uh, the warm zone.

Kris Zerkowitz:

But if I have bleeding patients and I, I have people pinned

Kris Zerkowitz:

down, they need me there.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then otherwise I am going to be a coroner and not a paramedic.

Shaun:

Yeah, totally agree.

Shaun:

So do you think everyone within an AP TMC, PTM, they should all

Shaun:

have tactical medical skills?

Shaun:

Or do you think.

Shaun:

Dilute their primary purpose and CP rules.

Shaun:

Well,

Kris Zerkowitz:

I believe that every executive protection agent should

Kris Zerkowitz:

have the basics of tactical medicine, um, that the basic T triple C skills,

Kris Zerkowitz:

something that they, um, well, the U S military, when they rolled out the T

Kris Zerkowitz:

triple C program said, we need a program that we can teach to every soldier.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, because we cannot make everybody into paramedics.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Not everybody needs to be a paramedic, but everybody needs the basics.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Everybody needs to be able to keep the paramedic as far away as possible.

Kris Zerkowitz:

From the actual action, but keep them alive.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Keep the patients alive long enough for them to get them there.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So if, if my executive protection team can take care of a patient and I can stay

Kris Zerkowitz:

out of harm's way, as long as possible.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, my life is going to be easier, but the team will also have

Kris Zerkowitz:

an asset standing by somewhere.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, if I am just the only embedded technical paramedic, I'm the only one

Kris Zerkowitz:

with any tactical knowledge on medicine or any medical knowledge, I will have

Kris Zerkowitz:

to be there in the heat of things, because otherwise we might lose the.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Now I don't, I don't want to, because you know, I can hear people say,

Kris Zerkowitz:

well, it doesn't happen everyday that people get shot and bleed to death.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Absolutely.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Right.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And, and, you know, 99.9% of our work is.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And we do something else, but I always said, I don't want to be a statistic.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I don't want to be the topic of the next podcast that fell in.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Does I'm saying a textbook paramedic got shot because, well,

Kris Zerkowitz:

he went into the heat of it.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So in order to avoid that, we need more medical knowledge, um, within the

Kris Zerkowitz:

teams and professional teams, I believe should invest in that and not just a

Kris Zerkowitz:

five yearly course, but if, if you go shooting every single day, Why not add a

Kris Zerkowitz:

medical drill into your, in, in the end of your shooting class, just as well.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It'll take you five minutes, but it will keep your skills sharp.

Shaun:

Yeah, for sure.

Shaun:

I agree with everything you've just said there, I mean, medical skills

Shaun:

is one of the main skills that you still have a skill fade from.

Shaun:

If you're not practicing it, if you're not going through your drills and

Shaun:

carrying out further training, um, and you see a lot of people they'll

Shaun:

do their, that course and the expiry date will be in three years time.

Shaun:

But if you don't do any.

Shaun:

No further on training during that, you're going to lose a lot of that.

Shaun:

You don't lose the skill set, but it's not as fresh as what it would be if

Shaun:

you're carrying out regular training.

Shaun:

And what you said, I think, you know, if you have a team and you have several

Shaun:

team members, Ideally the whole team who were trained in tactical medicine,

Shaun:

the confidence that gives to that team when they're ruling out them gates,

Shaun:

if you're working in, you know, Iraq, Afghanistan, you know, if the shit hits

Shaun:

the fan, you've got several team members that who knew, how to react, how to

Shaun:

patch you up while things going down.

Shaun:

And, you know, there's a lot of talk of the golden hour.

Shaun:

If you were to, you know, remote environment somewhere like that, it could

Shaun:

be hours before you're getting that help.

Shaun:

So by having someone in your team or ideally the majority of your

Shaun:

team members trained in tactical medicine, they're able to stabilize

Shaun:

that area and keep that person alive.

Shaun:

You know, just through some basic skills, it doesn't have to be any

Shaun:

paramedic skills, just doing the basics.

Shaun:

Well, to give that person the best chances.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Uh, you know what I've noticed and I'm saying this without any

Kris Zerkowitz:

prejudice to, to whomever whatsoever.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I mean, I, I'm just being brutally honest about things.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Technical medicine is also about, you know, you as an operator,

Kris Zerkowitz:

as a medical operator being fit.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, if you look at, at the majority of our medical providers, unfortunately

Kris Zerkowitz:

most of them are unfit people.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Paramedics don't tend to be very.

Kris Zerkowitz:

'cause they sit, sit around in an ambulance a whole lot of time, and

Kris Zerkowitz:

there's not a whole lot that they're doing well, of course they're saving lives.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I'm not saying they're not doing anything, but they're not being

Kris Zerkowitz:

physical, being a technical paramedic.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I need to be able to grab somebody and, and extract them.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I need to be able to be with the teams and on the, on those teams.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So the part in which my whole team is a medic, um, takes away stress and release

Kris Zerkowitz:

stress from the paramedic himself.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And makes me keep fit as well, because I need to be able to

Kris Zerkowitz:

follow up, follow the teams.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And, and I noticed for myself, I've gone through a hell of a journey up and down

Kris Zerkowitz:

in, in trying to keep myself very fit, to be able to keep running with the young

Kris Zerkowitz:

guys and doing, keep doing this job.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So, um, I think that the tactical doesn't just, you know,

Kris Zerkowitz:

tactical is such a big word.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's not just a pew pew around the corner.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's the, uh, it's your ability to.

Kris Zerkowitz:

A little bit differently than in the comfort of the zone that you're working.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And you need to be able to think outside of your zone of comfort.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then, then your tactical, it's not just the pup or on the.

Shaun:

Yeah, no, I think like you said, as you, as you described the paramedic,

Shaun:

they aren't used to situations like that.

Shaun:

They're used to working in ideal circumstances and all to you on a

Shaun:

motorway or, or something where there's no further threat from gunfire or hostiles.

Shaun:

So being a tactical paramedic, you have that.

Shaun:

No about you, you know, you can take stock of a situation and plan the

Shaun:

next move whilst still giving care to the, you know, the people around you.

Shaun:

Um, but yeah, having a type of automatic and the team, it it's,

Shaun:

it's a fourth bullet player.

Shaun:

You know, you, you can provide training to your team constantly, as we spoke about,

Shaun:

you know, you can guide them on the Lord.

Shaun:

If you do have an incident, you're there, you can provide immediate care.

Shaun:

You know, you've given a confidence to the team that you knew what

Shaun:

you're doing, but also posted.

Shaun:

You can provide a debrief on what went wrong, what they could have

Shaun:

done better, all being all, all very good, everyone survives.

Shaun:

And what better way of speaking on the back of an incident?

Shaun:

Everyone comes out good and you can say revert straight back to that.

Shaun:

And everyone shuts up and listens because they've just been through it.

Shaun:

And they've seen the firsthand bouncing off the back of incidents.

Shaun:

Now.

Shaun:

Because there is, you know, over the last 20 years, lots of hostile environments

Shaun:

where there's been lots of need for your highly trained medics, tactical medics.

Shaun:

One of the other things that brings value to the team as well, and can

Shaun:

maybe bring value is post deployment.

Shaun:

You guys have gone through a lot of stress.

Shaun:

you've seen lots of reoccurring things with post-traumatic stress.

Shaun:

Happening post a lot of deployments.

Shaun:

Now, are you seeing an emergence of tactical mental health medicine with

Shaun:

the medic technology medic can provide guidance, advice to these guys who

Shaun:

are maybe suffering from PTSD or.

Shaun:

Giving some advice, post incidents to help them with deal with trauma.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, w what I have noticed is that, um, fortunately things

Kris Zerkowitz:

are changing a little bit and, um, having a, somebody who is considered

Kris Zerkowitz:

very versatile in medicine, on the team, people will trust that person more.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So, you know, you can have an EPT and everybody did their teacher C training.

Kris Zerkowitz:

They went through the three days and everything is all good and TJ, but

Kris Zerkowitz:

you have somebody that they call.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Because, well, the guy, you know, has done six weeks of

Kris Zerkowitz:

study or six months of studying.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, and when something happens, so post-incident, um, if this person

Kris Zerkowitz:

is open to it, he will at least recognize the signs of, of somebody

Kris Zerkowitz:

needing help and needing support.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And I believe it's a big role, um, because if you are a technical

Kris Zerkowitz:

paramedic, then you have been running.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Through these trainings with your guys.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So, you know, you understand, you know, the, the alpha male dominance in, in our

Kris Zerkowitz:

industry, and you understand that nobody wants to cry about what just happened, or

Kris Zerkowitz:

nobody wants to talk about the fact that, you know, they peed themselves when they

Kris Zerkowitz:

got shot at, um, however, because you ran through with them and they know that

Kris Zerkowitz:

that, that you have been there, done that.

Kris Zerkowitz:

You are the same kind of person they will open up to you more.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And that I think Dan is a medic and the team is going to be your

Kris Zerkowitz:

responsibility to go and, and, you know, raise the flag when necessary.

Shaun:

Yeah, no, I totally agree with us.

Shaun:

I mean, every, any incident that happens, you know, everyone deals

Shaun:

with it differently and it's not about being, you know, the big

Shaun:

mountain, you know, I think everyone.

Shaun:

August the tolerance of how many incidents you can, how many close

Shaun:

calls you can have before you start.

Shaun:

You look starts running out and you start, you know, you realize, you think you're

Shaun:

pretty lucky to get through these things.

Shaun:

You know, I've seen it before with guys where they've had one incident,

Shaun:

too many and they come back and you see that, you know, they're suffering.

Shaun:

And several guys who did they turned to alcohol or whatever it may be.

Shaun:

And.

Shaun:

You know, many years ago, there wasn't the support out there for these people,

Shaun:

but it's definitely more recognized these days, which is good to see.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Yeah, I agree.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It is more recognized.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And even on the teams itself, um, guys are talking about it by themselves.

Kris Zerkowitz:

There's support groups just formed by the guys because they and girls, obviously,

Kris Zerkowitz:

because we, you know, there is more and more females in the industry as well.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, and there's just more talk about it.

Kris Zerkowitz:

There's more support groups and there there's more people

Kris Zerkowitz:

thinking about it because.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, well, I have friends and that I've worked with that have come to me and

Kris Zerkowitz:

said, I want to join the industry again.

Kris Zerkowitz:

But I had to quit for a couple of months because I just couldn't, you know, I

Kris Zerkowitz:

couldn't do it anymore, which is, which is nice to see that they're actually

Kris Zerkowitz:

talking about it because they would just disappear from the screen and then

Kris Zerkowitz:

you'll be like, well, he didn't cut it, but it's not about being able to cut it.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's it's about, I believe.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Everybody goes through it in a different way and handles it in a different way,

Kris Zerkowitz:

but everybody has the same damage.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's just, you know, how long can you keep running with that damage?

Kris Zerkowitz:

And it's not healthy for your team.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's not healthy for our clients.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It must healthy for our industry because it shows in the professionalism.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, so, you know, Putting out some effort into, into debt.

Kris Zerkowitz:

All the post-trauma things is definitely necessary.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And using those post-trauma events to show fresh teams what

Kris Zerkowitz:

we are actually talking about.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Yeah.

Shaun:

Yeah.

Shaun:

I mean, I, I work for a number of years in hostile environments.

Shaun:

I remember as a, as a young, you know, as, as a soldier, I, then when I left

Shaun:

the army, As a close protection operator.

Shaun:

And I used to love the job.

Shaun:

You know, you, you go out there.

Shaun:

It's fantastic.

Shaun:

I love being a soldier.

Shaun:

I love being out there working with like-minded people and we, you

Shaun:

know, used to go out on the ground.

Shaun:

You'd see incidents, you'd be involved in incidents.

Shaun:

And I always used to think when

Kris Zerkowitz:

it come back

Shaun:

on, fight it doesn't, you know, it's funny.

Shaun:

Be sure.

Shaun:

Okay.

Shaun:

You move on, you do the next incident and it doesn't bother you.

Shaun:

I remember one day I made the decision to come back.

Shaun:

I was going to come back and work in the UK, set myself up.

Shaun:

I think it was when I had my second child, I thought that was

Shaun:

the time I'm gonna come back.

Shaun:

I don't if to go to these companies anymore.

Shaun:

And I remember sitting on the plane from, uh, from Qubole to

Shaun:

Dubai, Dubai, back to the UK.

Shaun:

I remember I sat on the plane and I ordered, uh, I thought I'd

Shaun:

submitted decision then without anything I'm not coming back.

Shaun:

I remember I ordered a whiskey of the, um, air hostess.

Shaun:

She brought me a whiskey and I tried to get.

Shaun:

And then I ordered them and I remember just thinking it was like the weird

Shaun:

of the world off my shoulders.

Shaun:

Cause I I'd made that decision.

Shaun:

I'm not going back.

Shaun:

And I didn't realize I carried any weight because I enjoyed every deployment,

Shaun:

but I remember sitting there thinking I'm coming back, I'm going home.

Shaun:

I've got, you know, both my legs, both my arms, you know, I'm in tucked.

Shaun:

We have got many friends who want, and you know, who aren't looking off to be here.

Shaun:

And it was a huge relief to actually come back and think, wow, you know, I'm okay.

Shaun:

And it's just stress that I didn't really.

Shaun:

that I carried.

Shaun:

but yeah, flying buck it.

Shaun:

Yeah, it did.

Shaun:

It came out.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I can totally relate whether you're saying

Kris Zerkowitz:

last deployment to Libya.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, we got, uh, we had a very close.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, and, and I had never felt this before, but we, as soon as we went back

Kris Zerkowitz:

to the compound, the first thing that I did was, was give my wife a call.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And I told her, honey, we just had an incident.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Everybody's doing fine, but it, it just shook me up.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And it's not the first time that it happened.

Kris Zerkowitz:

But for some reason, what was it?

Kris Zerkowitz:

The drip in the bucket?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Was it, was it my age, honestly, I don't know what it was, but I

Kris Zerkowitz:

went back to the compound and I was like, dude, you know what?

Kris Zerkowitz:

I don't want to do.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I do want to keep alive and, and I, I shrugged it off again and I'm

Kris Zerkowitz:

back on deployments and nothing.

Kris Zerkowitz:

There's absolutely nothing wrong.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, I, I, I, I tend to look at my kid better.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Uh, I tend to look at my colleagues better and ask them, are you prepared?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Are you ready?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Like, like, can you help me?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Can you, can you be my colleague?

Kris Zerkowitz:

And they said, well, yeah, Chris, but you know, it's, it's not, not everything is.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And I said, well, no, it's not, but when it goes, south, everything is going to be

Kris Zerkowitz:

depending on the medicine that we can do.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So, so I need you to be good.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And I enjoy training my own team more and more just because of that, because

Kris Zerkowitz:

I realized that whoa man, it's not because I'm the medic that I'm in.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then I remember the images of the second world war, where

Kris Zerkowitz:

they had the big red cross.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And what does the red cross mean?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, this is where you shoot, like yeah.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It doesn't matter who you are, you, you know?

Kris Zerkowitz:

And, uh, yeah.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So I can relate to what you said.

Shaun:

Yeah.

Shaun:

I mean, it's, it's funny and I don't, I don't know what it is.

Shaun:

I don't know if it, at the time, if it's kind of mindset and training

Shaun:

that, you know, whilst I'm a former paratrooper and you know, when you're

Shaun:

going through training as a young.

Shaun:

Surely you get, it's almost, it's a conditioning.

Shaun:

You get almost brainwashed as a young, you know, as a, as a human recruiter,

Shaun:

you're the best, you're the best unit.

Shaun:

You're better than the unit alongside you.

Shaun:

And it does it.

Shaun:

It's a, it's a good mentality.

Shaun:

That's got, I believe drilled into me as a, as a paratrooper.

Shaun:

And it's served me well for a number of years.

Shaun:

And I think when I went out to these.

Shaun:

Like I said, I didn't feel like anything affected me.

Shaun:

It didn't when I was doing the job, I didn't, as far as I'm aware, it was

Shaun:

when the, I made this decision to come back and it was just like the relief.

Shaun:

And that just, that you didn't know you were carrying it.

Shaun:

It was just, I don't know if it's just that when you switch off, you

Shaun:

don't need to be like God at anymore.

Shaun:

And it was, um, yeah, it was, it was great.

Shaun:

It was a nice feeling.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Yeah.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I can't imagine.

Kris Zerkowitz:

For sure.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Well, you know, we need to, we need to make sure that the young guys

Kris Zerkowitz:

coming into the industry understand, understand a little bit of this.

Kris Zerkowitz:

We need to keep them on that, on that level, that they were drilled into

Kris Zerkowitz:

going through the military to police or whatever, because we need those

Kris Zerkowitz:

young guys who are, who are going for it and who get the stuff done.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, but on the other hand, we need to make them realize that the world is

Kris Zerkowitz:

changing slightly and the threat is different today than it was yesterday.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And there's a beautiful picture of, um, the evacuations in Afghanistan.

Kris Zerkowitz:

There is a, um, it's a, private is a paramedic who stands in the middle

Kris Zerkowitz:

of the, of, of, um, of the airport.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And the caption says it's what a feeling to be the only

Kris Zerkowitz:

medic between all these men.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, and he was absolutely right because, well, he was the only medic at the time

Kris Zerkowitz:

and a medic can have so many rules.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, from putting on band-aids and giving wet socks and, and most people that have a

Kris Zerkowitz:

headache and then people that I wet socks.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Yeah.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It trust me, it works.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, but also, you know, helping the kids and, and doing good work, which

Kris Zerkowitz:

allows people that are the pew pew people and the fast drivers, give them

Kris Zerkowitz:

medical skills and give them the feeling that they can actually save lives.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, we'll make them appreciate their own lives.

Kris Zerkowitz:

That much more.

Kris Zerkowitz:

At least that's what I did for me.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Uh, I understood now, now that I understand what holes do to you,

Kris Zerkowitz:

um, and I want to plug them, uh, I appreciate my own life that much better.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So I think sharing this information is vital.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, teaching them a little bit about it, so they understand, you know,

Kris Zerkowitz:

what's on this side of the gun, what's on the other side of the famous

Kris Zerkowitz:

saying, do no harm, but do know.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I think that's very important.

Phelim:

So, so, so Chris let's, um, I mean, this is, this is fascinating, right?

Phelim:

This is, this is fascinating testimony from you both.

Phelim:

And, and I think it really brings everything to life.

Phelim:

Uh, pardon the pun.

Phelim:

But what I'd be interested in is just maybe in conclusion,

Phelim:

what does the right skill set.

Phelim:

Look like, and where can you attain it?

Phelim:

Because do we want to go and poach a, a load of paramedics from hospitals?

Phelim:

Is that the wrong skillset?

Phelim:

Because paramedics are like, I think it's a registered professional trademark

Phelim:

or something and they're not tactical.

Phelim:

So.

Phelim:

Um, sure.

Phelim:

We can increase people's medical skills, but what if they want to

Phelim:

become a tactical medic within EP?

Kris Zerkowitz:

Okay.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So within the executive protection industry, I don't believe that we really

Kris Zerkowitz:

need to poach the paramedics of the streets and from the hospitals, because

Kris Zerkowitz:

it's not the right skillset that we want.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, what we do want to do.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It is provide them with the good basic life support skills.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Give them the T triple C skills for sure.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then give them a little bit extra, um, giving them the, taking

Kris Zerkowitz:

them towards the tactical paramedics.

Kris Zerkowitz:

They don't all have to be paramedics, but giving it a little bit more so

Kris Zerkowitz:

that they can make the decision, the difference between the

Kris Zerkowitz:

paramedic that wants everything, the EPH, and that doesn't have any.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then have them be that medic that can juggle between the two and

Kris Zerkowitz:

say, okay, I cannot give my patient whole blood because we don't carry

Kris Zerkowitz:

whole blood because we cannot.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, I know what it means.

Kris Zerkowitz:

If I can only give him fluids, which a paramedical tell you, oh no, you can

Kris Zerkowitz:

only give whole blood because fluids it's been shown the last six months.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It's not good.

Kris Zerkowitz:

However, I will tell you, well, if that's the only choice I have, I know

Kris Zerkowitz:

how to use it, to keep my patients alive.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So the paramedic is going to do everything to keep the patient

Kris Zerkowitz:

comfortable, alive and dancing.

Kris Zerkowitz:

While the tactical paramedic, the EAP guy, all he needs to do is not save a life is

Kris Zerkowitz:

not keep the patient dancing, just keep them alive long enough so that they can

Kris Zerkowitz:

get to a paramedic that knows what he's.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And that's what we need.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So, you know, be basic life support is not enough.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Being a full paramedic for the whole team is too much.

Kris Zerkowitz:

We need to be in between.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And there is very nice, um, courses.

Kris Zerkowitz:

The teacher will see course ITLs international trauma, life support or PHC,

Kris Zerkowitz:

prehospital, trauma, life support courses.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Like those will give more information to them, but not too

Kris Zerkowitz:

much because giving them too much information, giving them too much.

Kris Zerkowitz:

We'll lead to them.

Kris Zerkowitz:

One thing to become paramedics and then the focus shifts of protection and goes

Kris Zerkowitz:

to para-medicine like it did with me.

Kris Zerkowitz:

So we don't want that.

Kris Zerkowitz:

We just want to give them enough in which they say with this

Kris Zerkowitz:

skillset, I am confident I can do.

Kris Zerkowitz:

But not, not that much that, because that's what happened to me.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I went and did some courses and I said, okay, but now I have this skillset, but I

Kris Zerkowitz:

need more to be able to use this skillset.

Kris Zerkowitz:

We need to stop at a certain point.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And th this is where, uh, doing a teacher will see course to understand

Kris Zerkowitz:

the tactics and adding a prehospital trauma life support course onto it.

Kris Zerkowitz:

The PhD ALS course, which is a great course, will, will give

Kris Zerkowitz:

the EPT team enough to be able to do something to prolong life.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And wanting them to stay on the protection side of things.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Exactly what you

Shaun:

said there as well, but in the intermediary between the paramedic and

Shaun:

the team, if you're in the middle and you understand the care you've given it,

Shaun:

didn't have the communication as well, between when you had the Nova to the

Shaun:

next level of, of care, you know what you've dealt with, you know, What you've

Shaun:

done when you put that toner key on when you've, what you've patched up, what you

Shaun:

haven't, or you can do a good handover to the next level of care so they can

Shaun:

use their time as best possible instead of wasting time, trying to find out, you

Shaun:

know, if they've got a secondary tertiary injuries, you've already afforded them

Shaun:

and you can pass it on and a nice package in a language that they understand.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Basically, we, we, we want the executive protection agent

Kris Zerkowitz:

to be able to look at Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet executed by

Kris Zerkowitz:

Leonardo DiCaprio and understand it.

Kris Zerkowitz:

But I don't want them to be able to read Shakespeare because if they can

Kris Zerkowitz:

read Shakespeare, they will look too much into it and they will miss skill.

Kris Zerkowitz:

I will read Shakespeare.

Kris Zerkowitz:

You just tell me what Leonardo just told, like Juliet, and then we'll be fine.

Phelim:

I love it.

Phelim:

And that's maybe a good place to leave it on.

Phelim:

Obviously, uh, any, any, any, any actual training needs to be properly

Phelim:

trained, but you need to actually go and probably do the teacher will

Phelim:

say you need to properly do the pre, uh, hospital, uh, trauma training.

Phelim:

Um, but hopefully this has given people a lot of direction and maybe

Phelim:

they're at UOP, uh, colleagues out there thinking, okay, Yeah, this could

Phelim:

be me, um, over, over COVID, uh, we had a number of thoughts didn't we?

Phelim:

We had thoughts about what, uh, demands could be made on the tactical medic.

Phelim:

Um, perhaps, uh, we needed an MD embedded with every, uh, you know,

Phelim:

thing, uh, maybe not, maybe not.

Phelim:

Um, but, uh, but a tactical medic has, as you say, that that place in between that

Phelim:

is, uh, That is where it should be at.

Phelim:

I believe, um,

Kris Zerkowitz:

uh, next for me is going to be a week of teaching

Kris Zerkowitz:

heat, hostile environment, awareness, training, and France.

Kris Zerkowitz:

And then after that, it looks like I'm going to Senegal.

Phelim:

Very nice.

Phelim:

Yeah, we like, uh, all things west Africa, we did a, an entirely west African

Phelim:

event, which you kind of participated in.

Phelim:

Um, I think, uh, it's a, it's a very, very important area for AP and AP colleagues.

Phelim:

Fantastic.

Phelim:

Well from Sean and myself.

Phelim:

Thank you very much for giving us the lowdown on tactical medicine, setting us

Phelim:

straight, um, you know, busting myths and, uh, and, and setting us on the right path.

Phelim:

Um, thanks for being such an excellent guest for the second magazine podcast.

Kris Zerkowitz:

Um, thank you so much, Sean.

Kris Zerkowitz:

It was an excellent honor for myself to be on

Phelim:

well, I definitely want Chris on my team, especially if I go to somewhere

Phelim:

hostile, especially if there is no hospital nearby, what a great episode.

Phelim:

And I thought excellent testimony from you both.

Phelim:

You really brought that to life.

Phelim:

Um, thank you very much, Sean.

Phelim:

What, what did you take away from today's?

Shaun:

I always like you're from Christian.

Shaun:

He just oozes knowledge and passion for the subject.

Shaun:

And I like the way he described, the Shakespeare.

Shaun:

I don't need to know all of Shakespeare.

Shaun:

I just need to know this particular part.

Shaun:

That's my job.

Shaun:

I'm going to do it well.

Shaun:

And then I pass it on to the paramedic or the hospital.

Shaun:

It's going to take it with the next stage of care.

Shaun:

And I think that's, that was a great explanation of,

Shaun:

the rule of a tactical medic

Phelim:

It was wasn't it.

Phelim:

And people can imagine maybe themselves in the role and, and

Phelim:

they can imagine developing their skillset in that, in that regard.

Phelim:

And maybe it's helped people to lose some inhibitions because maybe people thought,

Phelim:

ah, I have to go to medical school.

Phelim:

I need to get a, an MD.

Phelim:

Uh, you know, the degree, uh, maybe I need to become an actual paramedic in

Phelim:

the ambulance service, and then maybe I can move on, but it's nothing like that.

Phelim:

Right.

Phelim:

It's short, it's skilled.

Phelim:

But it is much more practical and you got to keep the principle alive

Phelim:

until such time as someone can take over which, which again is, is another

Phelim:

string to your bow, but it's not just having CPR in your back pocket.

Phelim:

It's not just saying I've attended this course.

Phelim:

Ergo.

Phelim:

I can do CPR.

Phelim:

Um, T triple C.

Phelim:

He mentioned as well as some of the specialist's courses about keeping

Phelim:

people, uh, well, or at least stable.

Phelim:

Um, before they end up in medical camp.

Phelim:

What else have we got coming up then?

Phelim:

Because it seems that everything is ramping up

Shaun:

again.

Shaun:

Yeah.

Shaun:

Well, we have the next issue of the second magazine coming out shortly issue 60.

Shaun:

Wow.

Shaun:

I can't believe we've got to 60 issues.

Shaun:

That's a fixed day.

Shaun:

A big milestone.

Shaun:

And separate to that we have on the 19th of November, I think we'll

Shaun:

have a few more podcasts before then, but put it in your diary.

Shaun:

Cause we have a circuit online event coming up on managing

Shaun:

violence in the workplace where we have some great speakers on that.

Shaun:

Maybe you can tell us a bit more about that.

Shaun:

So we've got like,

Phelim:

Well, absolutely.

Phelim:

I'm going to reveal the, uh, agenda soon, but, uh, one interesting feature

Phelim:

is that it will be good for the UK, the us and the Australian time zones.

Phelim:

So we'll be in the UK.

Phelim:

The U S afternoon.

Phelim:

And, uh, we will also be there in the Australian morning.

Phelim:

So, so, so that's quite interesting.

Phelim:

And, and that might give you a hint about what we're going to try and

Phelim:

achieve with that, because there are, of course, lots of professionals around

Phelim:

the world, including Australia, which we need to bring together to achieve it.

Shaun:

No, I look at them.

Shaun:

I love them times on hopping events that you put on there all was great.

Shaun:

Great.

Shaun:

The visit.

Phelim:

It's good.

Phelim:

You just got to watch out for summer time and, uh, and all of that,

Phelim:

but, uh, w w w we're reasonably synchronized at this time of year.

Phelim:

So, so everything to blow for.

Phelim:

Hey, um, I've been, uh, very impressed with the level of engagement

Phelim:

on the BBA connect app as well.

Phelim:

And also the neighbor protect app.

Phelim:

I did this maybe a few weeks ago, but I thought why don't a little

Phelim:

bit of a shout out to people who have been quite active on the app.

Phelim:

Um, so on the BBA connect app, uh, thank you, Mike Dalton, uh, Michael

Phelim:

Hudson Miranda posts and Raymond Moore.

Phelim:

Obviously there are other people, but I thought that they were particularly

Phelim:

active and on the Napa protector app at Maurice Eastern Eaton, Mark

Phelim:

James, uh, Ben lever, agent Goldberg, uh, Antonio, and also Tim Smith.

Phelim:

Lots of great things, including the protector, Graham love,

Phelim:

those photos, love those photos.

Phelim:

Um, and, uh, and also lots of help for new entrance.

Phelim:

People are sort of going in there saying I knew and an everyone is jumping on

Phelim:

board and offering their help, which, which is, you know, really one of

Phelim:

the big objectives of all of this.

Shaun:

That's one of the key things about the ops and that's

Shaun:

why we created them, you know, to get there, to get people to know.

Shaun:

Reach out and reach out, ask for help and to provide help to others who may need.

Shaun:

And if you haven't downloaded them, please take a look.

Shaun:

I think you'll find them very helpful.

Shaun:

Indeed.

Phelim:

And data in a way they serve as tactical, uh, wellbeing for the community.

Phelim:

Um, obviously it's nothing official like that, but it's, it is great to

Phelim:

have that community-based, uh, approach.

Phelim:

And as Kristin did say, you know, everyone is looking for that.

Phelim:

There's a hunger, uh, for, uh, you know, being part of a community and also, uh,

Phelim:

looking to good source of information.

Phelim:

So I like, I like that link back with today's podcast topic.

Phelim:

Fantastic.

Phelim:

Well, embedding a tactical paramedic, not being a full medical doctor,

Phelim:

not being simply another CPR course.

Phelim:

That is a happy medium.

Phelim:

And that happy medium could be you.

Phelim:

If you want to know more, please reach out to Christian or us.

Phelim:

Uh, but this has been another fantastic edition of the circuit magazine podcasts.

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you have been listening to the circuit magazine podcast,

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be sure to subscribe and be sure to not miss an episode.