Why do people call the Police, Security, or E.M.T’S. It’s because they are looking for someone to keep control or rectify a chaotic situation. As a Security Professional it is your job to conduct yourself with a service oriented level of consciousness in a situation. When everyone is seeing the problem. You need to focus on the solution. A Security Professional is a Tactician. You must see and evaluate all the variables of the situation in order to proceed and make the best decision for the client and guest.
I know what you may be thinking. It is easy for someone to say remain calm during what seems to be the end of the world. However consider the work of Bruce Siddle. Bruce Siddle found that as the heart rate increases, you performance decreases. As we know very well knowledge is power, so as we will take a look at the physiological response of the human body to stress. We can mitigate the results of these affects. Possibly saving the day and Lead in the face adversary. Bruce Siddle along with some other researchers founded the inverted u law. As I stated before, as the heart rate increases performance decreases. Let’s say that the average human beings resting heart rate is 70 beats per minute. As we speak of the following stages you will notice that the spikes in heart rate will have a devastating effect on the human ability to perform.
The first medium to affect the human psyche is called Stress Anxiety or Combat Stress. It is the body’s anticipation of the actual event or stressor. In this stage the body gets a small chemical dump induced by the Sympathetic Nervous System. Your heart rate jumps from 70 to 115 beats per minute in an instance. This is not to be confused with the heart beat raise of someone exercising. This effect is completely different, this heart rate jump happens in a matter of moments. You will instantly become short of breath and feel like a bull. Now the jump from 70 to 115 creates a loss of fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are responsible for the muscles that surround the eyes. Making things like “tunnel vision” kick in. However “tunnel vision” is not always a bad thing. It helps the body focus in on the threat. Fine motor skills also control small muscles such as hands and finger dexterity. (This is why you always drop your keys when Jason Vorhees is chasing you.) The next jump is from 115 to 160 rendering your complex motor skills nonexistent. Complex motor skills are responsible for multi-tasking such as chewing gum and walking or cognitive thinking. Fight or flight has completely kicked in and you’re as strong as an Ox, but as dumb as a pile of rocks. Cases of mothers lifting cars off of children are in direct correlation of the chemical dump associated with the sympathetic nervous system. This is not a stage a true Security Professional wants to visit. There are other stages past this called hypervigilance once the heart rate has gone in access of 200 beats per minute. But we would like to focus on keeping the Security Professional calm. Once you feel the increase in heart rate occur you need to begin what is called tactical breathing. Take an inhaling breath that last 2 seconds. Hold it for 2 seconds, then exhale for 2 seconds. This will help regulate your breathing and keep your cognitive skills intact, long enough for you to make an educated response to the stressor. Remember the saying that slow is smooth and smooth is fast. It is quite true.