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Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast
10 minutes | 3 days ago
Episode 170 - The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results, Part 2
In this episode, we are continuing with the results from the 2020 ISDA Training Survey. Just a quick recap from the previous episode. The purpose of the Survey was to supply those looking to enter the profession and those who want to expand their education with data that assist with the decision-making process. Also, to help those who provide training to determine the best methods of reaching their potential audience. The Survey was separated into five sections – GI Bill – Training Course Metrics – Financial - Motivation – Jobs after Training. The first Podcast covered the first three of the five topics. This Podcast episode covers what motivates students to attend a particular program and numbers concerning jobs after training. Training Motivation How did you hear about the training program(s) you attended? Word of mouth 73.33% Advertising (print or digital) 30.67% Facebook groups or pages 10.67% LinkedIn groups or pages 10.00% What was the deciding factor(s) in selecting your training program(s)? The reputation of training provider 87.33% Cost 33.33% Recommendation from graduates 32.67% Location 27.33% The promise of job placement 8.67% What was your motivation to attend the training program(s)? Select all that apply Career advancement 58.67% The first step in entering the profession 41.33% Refresher Program 41.33% Sent by company 34.00% Other (please specify) 20.00% Jobs After Training We asked - If you were a part-time subcontractor before attending training, did you move to full-time Executive Protection after the training? (not including residential security)? Yes 36.76% No 63.24% Also, we asked - Have any training providers kept in contact with you after the program(s)? Yes 78.67% No 21.33% Show notes for this episode are available at SecurityDriver.Com/170 and check out some other content on the website. If you have an interest in going much deeper into these types of topics, I invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association’s website ISDACenter.Org and consider joining to get access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of executive protection and secure transportation-focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits, head over to https://isdacenter.org.
9 minutes | 10 days ago
Episode 169 - The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results
Last year ISDA conducted an Executive Protection Security Driver Training Survey. The 2020 ISDA Training Survey Results Our goals were to determine the dollar value of the Executive Protection and Security Driving training market. To acquire metrics concerning what motivates potential students to attend one program over another- such as - How did they fund their training? - How many training programs have they attended during their career? - What was their motivation to participate in the training programs? We also wanted to determine what training subjects were covered and the average length of the training programs. We looked at the number of practitioners that use their GI Bill to attend training and how much GI Bill money goes to training providers. The purpose of the survey was to supply those looking to enter the profession and those who want to expand their education with data that assist with the decision-making process. Also, to help those who provide training to determine the best methods of reaching their potential audience. The survey is separated into five sections – GI Bill – Training Course Metrics – Financial - Motivation, and Jobs after Training. This podcast will cover three of the five topics. Our next podcast will cover what motivates students to attend a particular program and numbers concerning jobs after training. Read More on SecurityDriver.Com
12 minutes | 17 days ago
Episode 168 - The Science of Backing Up
Driving in reverse is a valuable driving skill to have. Backing up slowly can be a problem but backing up fast is hard and dangerous if not done correctly. With that said, it is by far one of the most valuable driving skills to have, and a Security Driver can acquire. Along with being hard to do, it is hard to teach and, if not taught correctly – dangerous. What makes it hard and hazardous is the definition of fast. How fast you can drive in reverse is limited to the vehicle's gearing; in most vehicles, you can drive as fast in reverse, or a little quicker, as you can in 1st gear. The maximum speed depends on the type of vehicle. Very few get above 25 MPH – 40KPH, and those reverse speeds are an exciting experience. What creates excitement is that cars are designed to go forward. Automobile suspensions possess a quality known as "caster." Caster is the force that helps to straighten out the front wheels after turning a corner. Caster also gives the car stability while traveling forward. Unfortunately, this stabilizing forward force destabilizes the car while it's in reverse. Also, the difficulty is that while driving in reverse, the steering wheel will not center automatically. If you loosen your grip, it will stay in its last position. This is a characteristic of "vehicles in reverse," which creates an unstable vehicle. The issue is that since the car becomes unstable while traveling backward, small changes in steering wheel movement cause significant changes in the way the car reacts to your inputs. Of course, the faster you go in reverse, the more complicated control becomes. There is nothing you can do about caster. You need to understand that it's there, live with it and learn to control it. Also, adding to the excitement of driving in reverse is that the correct direction to move the wheel can be confusing. The problem is mainly perceptual. The proper way to move the wheel is quite simple: Move the top of the steering wheel in the direction you wish the car to move. It's no different from what you do while driving forward; it just feels different in reverse. Read more
12 minutes | 24 days ago
Episode 167 - The Security Drivers Triangle
The Essence of Security Driving is Found in the Security Drivers Triangle. The driver's ability to avoid vehicle violence does not depend solely on their ability to control the vehicle. A driver is at the mercy of the environment and of the vehicle, they are driving. Driving, any form of driving, is a balance, and that balance is called the "driving system." The driving system is made up of three components: THE DRIVER, THE MACHINE, and THE ENVIRONMENT. In our world, it is called the Security Drivers Triangle. If a triangle's failure causes an accident or a successful ambush, the driver, the vehicle, or the environment failed. The Driving System is taken from an age-old concept called "The Safety Triangle." The Safety Triangle is made up of three components: THE MAN, THE MACHINE, and THE ENVIRONMENT. It was initially used around the beginning of the industrial revolution when people started to interact with machines. The Safety Triangle was used as a tool to prevent industrial accidents – merely pointing out that when an accident occurs, it is caused by one of the components of the Safety Triangle failing. The automotive industry adopted the concept and called it the Driving System and used the idea to define accident causation. Five decades back, the Scotti School used the same model to describe Security Driving and Secure Transportation. Our model redefined the Triangle's corners to reflect the Security Driver and Secure Transportation profession's needs. Suppose there is a vehicle accident or a successful act of vehicle violence, one of three things failed. In that case, The Man – which is the Driver, the Machine – which is the Vehicle or the Environment – which in our model is not only weather, road conditions, etc. – it includes the security environment. Visit the show notes to read more on the Security Drivers Triangle available at SecurityDriver.Com/Podcast
9 minutes | a month ago
Episode 166 - The Difference Between Handling and Cornering
There are two words that are often used in the automotive industry and protective driver training vernacular the words are handling and cornering. To get a better understanding of how the driver interacts with the vehicle requires understanding the difference between Handling and Cornering. While conducting a driver training program understanding this interaction is a must – when running a secure transportation operation, knowledge of this interaction adds to the principal’s safety and security. Read more on SecurityDriver.Com
12 minutes | a month ago
Episode 165 - Safety, Security, and the Science of G's
Ensuring the passengers’ safety and security requires the driver to have the knowledge, skill, and experience to control the vehicle when confronted with an emergency. The emergency does not necessarily need to be a security scenario; it can often be an accident-producing situation. As we have mentioned many times in the past, research and science define driving skill as the driver’s “ability” to use the vehicle’s “capability.” Former VDI or Scotti School students know that we were and are anal about training our students to maximize the vehicle’s capability. The more of the vehicle’s capability the security driver can use, the higher the probability that the driver will avoid an accident or other life-threatening scenario. To pass the VDI course or be certified as an ISDA Security Driver, a driver must demonstrate they can use a minimum of 80% of the vehicle’s capability. The simple scientific fact is that every tenth of a percent that VDI can train the driver’s ability to use the vehicle’s capability is a lifesaving skill. But it is hard to conceptualize how a 1% increase in driver ability increases the principal and passengers’ safety and security; hence, an explanation is in order. Safety/Security and the Concept of G’S We need to explain the G forces’ effect on the Driver/ Principal/Vehicle safety and security. The best way to understand a specific vehicle’s safety dynamics is by understanding how G-forces affect the driver/vehicle’s capability to stay in control. Anytime the steering wheel is moved while the car is in motion, a lateral or sideways force is created. This force is pushing in the opposite direction the car is turning. The term G’s is a measurement of the force acting on the car. It is this force that determines if the driver can stay in control of their vehicle. A tenth of a G can make the difference between avoiding a potential accident or vehicle attack scenario – or not. Scenario A – at a given speed, if the path of a 4,000 Lb/1814.4 Kg car is altered in a way that produces one G, that one G of force is equivalent to 4,000 Lb/1814.4 Kg of force pushing on the vehicle center of gravity (CG) pushing the vehicle away from its desired path. There is a simple equation that is used to determine the amount of force pushing on the vehicle. The amount of force pushing on the car is equal to the G’s times the vehicle’s weight. Scenario B – At that same given speed in scenario A, if we turned the steering wheel of our 4,000 Lb/1814.4 Kg car in such a way that .7G was created, then we would have created 2,800 lbs./1270 Kg of force. We came to those numbers by multiply the vehicle weight times .7 G’s or 4,000/1814.4 Kg X .7 g’s = 2,800 lbs./1270 Kg. If the car weighed 3,000 lbs/1361 Kg and the steering wheel was turned the same number of degrees at the same speed, and the vehicle took the same path, the equation would read 3,000 lbs/1361 Kg (the vehicle weight) X .7 g’s or 2,100 lbs/953 Kg of force, and so forth. Understand the lateral G-forces created in a turn are based upon both the vehicle’s speed, weight, and how much the steering wheel is moved or the degree, or sharpness, of the turn. The purpose of using G’s as a measuring tool G’s are used as a measurement of driving skills and method of testing vehicle capability. The purpose of using G’s instead of weight for a measuring tool is because saying that “there are 2,800 lbs./1270 Kg. of force being exerted on the car” does not tell us very much. The 2,800 lbs./1270 Kg. of force number is meaningless unless the weight of the car is also known. For instance, if 3,000 lbs/1361 Kg of force is exerted on a 5,000 lb/2268Kg car, that’s no big problem. However, if you take a corner in such a way that 3,000 lbs/1361 Kg. is being exerted on a 2,000 lb/907 Kg car, you’re in big trouble. It’s far easier to say, “This vehicle is designed to absorb .7 Gs.” If we use a 5,000 lb/2268Kg car for this example, then .7 Gs means the vehicle can absorb 3,500 lbs/1588 Kg of force before becoming unstable. (5,000 lb/2268Kg x .7 g’s) If we use our lightweight 2,000 lb/907 Kg car, then that .7 Gs is the equivalent of 1,400 lbs./635 Kg of force. (2,000 lb/907 Kg x .7 g’s) G’S X WEIGHT OF CAR = HOW MUCH WEIGHT (FORCE) IS PUSHING ON THE CAR. Now to the original question Why for decades have we been adamant about ensuring students reach 80% or more of the vehicle’s capability, and while conducting training, the instructors will spend an inordinate amount of time ensuring you can use every tenth of a G the vehicle offers? The answer – a tenth of a G could mean the difference between surviving or not surviving. Here is an example: Using the science of driving and applying metrics and equations that are familiar and often used in accident reconstruction technology, we can conceptualize the value of adding .1 G to the driver skill level. If the vehicle is traveling 40 MPH/64.4 KPH in a vehicle/driver combination that can handle at .85 G’s, and there was an object (barrier) that measures 10 Feet/3.1 Meters wide in front of the driver, they would need approximately 49 Feet/15 Meters of distance to clear the barrier. With all the parameters the same as above, such as vehicle position and speed (40 MPH/64.4 KPH) with a Vehicle/Driver combination that handled at .7 G’s, The driver would need approximately 55 Feet/17 Meters of distance to clear a barrier that 10 Feet/3.1 Meters. If traveling 40 MPH/64.4 KPH with a Vehicle/Driver combination that handled at .6 G’s, the driver would need approximately 59 Feet / 18 Meters distance to clear a barrier that is 10 Feet/3.1 meters. Same scenario traveling 40 MPH/64.4 KPH but now with a Vehicle/Driver combination that handled at .5 G’s the driver would need approximately 65 Feet/19.8 Meters distance to clear a 10 Feet/3.1 Meter barrier. With all the parameters the same as above, such as vehicle position and speed (40 MPH/64.4 KPH) but now with a Driver/Vehicle combination that can handle only .4 G’s, they would need approximately 72 Feet/ 22 Meters of distance to clear the same barrier. Every 10th of a G that you can use gives you more time and distance to drive out of the problem – this is why computers are needed to measure the driver’s ability to use the vehicle’s capability. These measurements can be computed using a radar gun and accurately measuring the vehicle’s path through individual exercises. Understanding the concept of lateral acceleration is a must for a security driver. Sign up for the Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Magazine. It is one of the oldest Protective Services publications in the profession. EPST Magazine was first published in the mid-1980s. At that time, it was a quarterly newsletter read by the Protective Service community. EPST covers all facets of the protective services profession. Many of the articles are authored by ISDA members with an average of 18 years of experience. The Magazine is of value to all practitioners working or entering the protection profession – and it’s free. Sign Up for the Magazine
11 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 164 - Vehicle Dynamics and Passing
The topic for this week’s episode is Vehicle Dynamics and Passing. Passing the vehicle in front of you is one driving skill we often do but don’t give it much thought. Once you decide to pass a vehicle in an urban environment, realize, and remember that you and your car will be spending a good deal of time in the wrong lane. To give you an idea of how much time and distance, consider this scenario. If you are traveling at 50 mph or 80KPH and passing the average sedan or SUV going 40 mph or 64 KPH, you will need about 10 seconds and 736 feet or 225 Meters to complete the pass safely. Essential points you can use to help in the decision-making process. Is the car you are about to pass aware of your presence? Sometimes it appears apparent that it is, but don’t assume the car in front of you is aware of your presence and that the driver will react rationally. Don’t assume the vehicle you’re passing has Blind Spot Detection System. Are there side roads ahead that may hide a car about to turn into your path? Even if you can’t see them, assume they’re there. How long is all this going to take? Do you have enough time to pass and get back in your lane? Estimating whether or not the pass is safe requires quick thinking. You haven’t got much time. Check your mirrors before you pass; it’s just good sense to check your mirrors before you make any move with your car. There are some critical issues A. The speed of the vehicle you are about to pass. B. The speed of your vehicle The critical issue is the difference in speed between your vehicle and the vehicle you’re passing. For example, if you are traveling 60 mph or 96.6 KPH and the vehicle you are passing is 40 mph or 64 KPH, you will be in the opposite lane for 450 feet or 137 meters and 5.3 seconds. Keep your speed at 60 mph or 96.6 KPH and change the speed of the vehicle you’re passing to 30 mph or 48 KPH; you will be in the opposite lane for 300 feet or 91.5 Meters and 3.5 seconds. The bigger the speed differential between vehicles, the less distance and time you will be in the wrong lane. Even a speed differential of 10 mph or 16 KPH between the vehicle you are passing creates a significant difference in the amount of time you are in the opposite lane. C. When do you pull out to pass? Start to pass from a safe following distance. Do not speed up directly behind a vehicle and then turn out suddenly to pass. The closer you are to the vehicle in front of you, the more you will have to move the steering wheel to drive around it. Always keep in mind the fundamental laws of physics, “Combining high speeds with a lot of steering can be harmful to your health.” But how far ahead is far enough? There are so many variables that it is hard to come up with absolute numbers. The distance to pull out depends on your speed, the speed of the vehicle you are passing, and the length of the vehicles involved. Also, the closer you are to the vehicle in front of you, the harder it is to see around them. You cannot safely pass unless you can see far enough ahead to be sure that you can get back in the lane before meeting any traffic coming from the opposite direction. Many Security Drivers use SUVs as the Principal Vehicle. We need to talk about SUVs and passing. Due to their high center of gravity, you need to leave much more room between you and the car you are about to pass. You must start your pass sooner than you would if you were in a sedan. If the driver pulls up too close to the vehicle in front, the driver will need to make a sharper turn to pull around the vehicle. D. When do you pull in front of the vehicle once you have completed the pass? As you go by another vehicle, be sure there is plenty of distance between your vehicle’s right side and the left side of the other car. You have not finished passing until you get back onto your side of the road or in the lane where you belong, leaving the vehicle you have just passed at a safe following distance behind you. Some guidelines For example, if the vehicle you are passing is traveling at 30 mph or 48 KPH, and you are traveling 60 mph, or 97 KPH, leave 60 feet or 18 Meters clear before returning to your side of the road (20 feet or 6 Meters for every ten mph of speed differential). A good rule of thumb is that you can usually be sure it is safe to return to the right side of the road when you can see the vehicle you have passed in your rearview mirror. When it comes to passing, there are some “never-dos.” Never pass on curves. Never pass at intersections. Never pass when crossing railroad tracks. Never pass at night when you can’t see far ahead of you. We mentioned that – “If the driver pulls up too close to the vehicle in front of them, they will need to make a sharper turn to pull around the vehicle they are passing. In an SUV, you need to leave yourself much room if you will attempt a pass.” This scenario presents the driver with the difference between having sufficient time and distance to drive around an object, in this case, a moving vehicle in front of them, or not having the time and distance to make a smooth transition around the object. These two events are the difference between emergency maneuvering versus cornering which leads to the next discussion. Emergency Maneuver vs. Cornering Training to avoid an emergency is difficult for both the student to learn and the instructor to teach. When a driver is confronted with an emergency, the amount of turning, steering, and braking needed to get out of trouble are not predetermined; in fact, that’s why it’s called an emergency. When the driver is confronted with an emergency – it’s “Holy Stuff,” and then the driver goes to work. From a vehicle dynamics perspective, an emergency maneuver is different from driving through a corner. When driving through a corner, the energy applied to the vehicle’s center of gravity is being applied relatively slowly and smoothly. I know it does not seem slow from inside the vehicle, but from the vehicle dynamics point – it is. There is a big difference between energy applied to the vehicle going through a corner at speed and the energy applied to a vehicle during an emergency maneuver. In an emergency, a massive spike of energy is applied to the vehicle’s center of gravity. Again, the driver does not purposely put a high spike of energy on the vehicle. Consider that if they are moving at the rate of 40 MPH or 64 KPH and an obstacle is in their path 75 feet 23 Meters away, they are 1.25 seconds away from the obstacle. Since it is a surprise, the driver’s reaction time will eat up at least half a second. At that point, the driver has to apply enough energy to move the vehicle away from the obstacle and not too much energy that would cause the vehicle to go out of control and do all that in a couple of tenths of a second, in the blink of an eye. The event’s success will depend on the vehicle’s speed, how quick the steering wheel is moved, and the student/vehicle capability. Racing fans may consider the following blasphemy. But when the vehicle’s center of gravity gets hit with a large spike of energy, it does things that would challenge the best racer. The driver will need to perform an emergency maneuver with a vehicle that has about 75% less handling capability than the average race car. That is one hell of a dance. The skill needed to drive out of an emergency is not something you learn driving lines and apexes. It is a skill learned in the lane-change exercise. The exercise’s dimensions, the speed the students enter, and when the signal is given for the lane change all need to be synchronized. It is one of the most valuable skills taught when it’s all together and working. That’s it for this week, be sure to subscribe to the podcast, and if you’ve been listening for a while, we’d really appreciate it if you gave us a review. It would be great to hear from you and let us know how we are doing – good or bad, hopefully, more good than bad. Thanks so much for listening to this week’s episode. For more articles on secure transportation and executive protection, I invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association and become a member. By becoming a member you’ll get access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits head over to https://isdacenter.org. You can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 163 - A Dramatic Increase in Carjackings
Hello, and welcome to episode 163 of the EPST podcast. I'm your host, Larry Snow. The topic for this week’s episode is the huge increase in carjackings. Statistically, driving the principal from point A to point B has been the highest risk the principal faces during their daily routine. A not so new risk needs to be added to that trip, and that is the dramatic increase, in fact, a staggering increase in carjackings in parts of the United States during the pandemic. If you are not familiar with the term, a carjacking is a violent, potentially fatal version of auto theft. Do a Google search for carjackings under the News tab you’ll see 3 New Year’s Day carjackings in St. Louis, another in Chicago, more in Oakland, and Washington D.C. According to ABC News, Minneapolis police report that carjackings there have shot up 537% this year. Carjacking calls to 911 in New Orleans are up 126%. Oakland police cite an increase of 38%. In Chicago, in all of 2019, there were 501 incidents of carjackings. So far that number has more than doubled to 1,125 this year, according to the latest Chicago police statistics. One of the reasons given for the increase – came from a criminal justice professor - "If we weren't in a pandemic and you saw a guy coming up to your car with a mask on, you probably would freak out and hit the gas pedal," he explained. "But nowadays, everyone's wearing masks. So, there's this anonymity part of the pandemic that I think many criminals are taking advantage of." Another reason there for the increase in carjackings is the impact of COVID on police departments across the country. Law enforcement has been hampered by the need to minimize officer’s exposure to COVID. In a recent report from the Police Executive Research Forum, 1100 of the NYC Police Dept had positive COVID tests in December alone. Similarly, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross stated that “right now, the Police Department has an uptick in COVID-19. 229 of my 2,100 sworn officers are out. That’s going to greatly impact how we do business.” With all this in mind, we thought we’d dip into the podcast archives and replay for you an episode I did from August 16th, 2018. Some closing thoughts As a solo practitioner or security driver continue to be vigilant and aware of your surroundings, leave space between you and the vehicle in front of you while in traffic so that you can more easily make an escape, discuss a plan with your principal in the event you are carjacked. We have links to the 3 Seconds to Safety Booklet and additional material in the show notes available at SecurityDriver.Com/163
11 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 162 - Reflecting on the Effects of COVID-19 on the Profession
As 2020 comes to a welcome end, we reflect on the effects COVID-19 had and look into its impact on the profession. There is no doubt that Covid-19 has changed Secure Transportation; the question remains: for 2021, how long the changes will last, and will those changes be permanent. It is impossible to accurately predict the overall impact that the COVID crisis will have on the Protection industry, but as we move into 2021, these are some thoughts and metrics. Thoughts and Metrics As in any crisis, those who can adapt to the changes will survive, and those who can't - won't. The financial impact on the Secure Transportation profession is unmeasurable. Not only was Secure Transportation, but also the Pandemic had a profound effect on Executive Protection and Event Security. How long this will last and can all of us survive is a question that, at this time, is hard to answer. But there are some basic business concepts that we can use as a guideline. Adaptability was the keyword for any business to survive in 2020 against the economic fallout from COVID. EP and ST training providers had to adapt to online classrooms and webinars. In-person conferences and training became online virtual events. Zoom became a household name and a business need. You had to understand the technology and how to market an online event. Businesses needed to rely more heavily on social media for marketing and communicating to clients on safety policies. Those that supply Secure Transportation and own their vehicles may have to look for other revenue sources outside the security. Many have already done so. Something that you can do. Market that your cars have been sanitized. We suggest creating a marketing program outlining your sanitation process. We recommend that you read Joe Autera/VDI article - Guidelines for Disinfecting and Sanitizing Executive Vehicles; a link is supplied in the show notes. When this is all over, and it will be, there will be a pent-up travel demand for corporate and high net worth, but they'll be a new paradigm as far as what is required from those who supply Secure Transportation; we suggest you get a head start. Inoculations and vehicle sanitization will be vital to the decision-makers. This also applies to sub-contractors that use rental vehicles while supplying Secure Transportation. Whether you are for or against vaccinations for COVID-19, we suggest you keep in mind that your personal beliefs are not what needs to be marketed. Talking to our corporate members in the future, those who subcontract Secure Transportation will require proof of vaccination and evidence of the vehicle's thorough cleansing. These are not facts but predictions; insurance providers will require proof of vehicle sanitization, and those close to the principal, including the driver, will need to show proof of vaccination. Training The effect of Covid-19 on EP and Security Driver training is immeasurable; it is our opinion that the major training providers, those that have an established market base, and were successful before the Pandemic, will survive and will do well in 2021, and well beyond. We see a trend by those who conduct training to get into the online training market, which, Pandemic and no Pandemic, in our opinion, is the right business decision. Some metrics from our training survey, when the question was asked, "How did you hear about the training program you attended? 72% answered Word of Mouth (WOM), and 10% answered through Facebook or LinkedIn posts. Those training providers who had a strong word of mouth working for them before COVID-19 will still have word of mouth working for them when this all comes to an end. Look at those offering online training and understand that not all providers are created equal, this is not a criticism, but an observation backed by 45 plus years in the profession. We suggest practitioners concentrate on soft skills. We also suggest that practitioners take this time to learn more about the IRS regulations concerning Secure Transportation and get very familiar with the K&R insurance business. As far as Secure Transportation is concerned, those are the two primary drivers for high-end market corporations and high net worth people to use Secure Transportation. We suggest that you concentrate your knowledge and learning experience on the business end and your profession. It'll be those who understand the concept of marketing in the post-pandemic environment that will have an advantage. Another survey question asked, What was the deciding factor for you attending the training program? 85% answered the reputation of the training provider. So, those training providers with a strong client base and a good reputation before the Pandemic, in my opinion, should thrive in 2021. In 2020 the increase in those marketing EP and Security Driver training programs increased exponentially. We have no metrics to back this up. Our opinion is that they will not make it through 2021. But it is also our opinion more will take their place in 2021. Also, as we had mentioned many times in the past, those training providers who supply knowledge at no cost before attending their training program do well. They did well in 2020, working through the Pandemic, and they'll do well in 2021. Sharing knowledge was a powerful marketing tool during the Pandemic, and it will be in the future. The Future? History says that vehicle ambushes are not going away. Over the last six months of 2020, a series of vehicle attacks have gathered a considerable amount of news. Two of which were discussed in previous podcast episodes – 161 and 143. The statistic that has been around for decades is still in effect. 85% of all attacks against the principal occur in or near the vehicle. That statistic did not change in 2020, and it will not change in 2021 or anytime soon. All one needs to do is look at 2020. The attacks on Omar Garcia Harfuch and the Iranian nuclear scientist made international headlines. Vehicle attacks in Mexico are almost a daily occurrence. The truck hijacking of the Apple products in the UK did not make major headlines. However, it's still a problem for those who need to supply Secure Transportation. This is 100% certain – what will not go away in 2021 or the future is the IRS regulations and code concerning executive travel and Secure Transportation. As we have said many times, the IRS has created and still will have one of the best motivators for using your services. We cannot stress what we mentioned above understand the IRS code and, if applicable, use it in your marketing. The same is true concerning the kidnap and ransom insurance. K&R has been around for decades. It also will be around for the foreseeable future. Again, we suggest you understand it and use it to your advantage. In 2020 our membership, by volunteering their knowledge and skill through articles shared through our network, reached more than 50,000 Executive Protection and Secure Transportation professionals. Since the inception of ISDA, through our members, we have shared well over 400 pieces of knowledge to the community at no charge. ISDA is confident that our members will continue sharing their knowledge in 2021. That will bring us to the end of another episode of the EPST podcast. The last of our podcast episodes until 2021. I hope you’ll join us then. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. On behalf of myself, Tony Scotti, and our members, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. As David Cameron once said, "Christmas gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us."
10 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 161 - Assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
The topic for this week’s episode is an outline of the assassination of Iranian Senior Nuclear Scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, dubbed the father of the Iranian nuclear program, held the rank of brigadier general in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). According to intelligence reports, he was responsible for Iran's development of nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles. On Friday, November 27th, 2020, at 2:15 PM, Fakhrizadeh was ambushed while traveling in an armored Nissan Teana on a rural road in Absard. In the past, we've conducted many forensic analyses on attacks similar to the attack on Fakhrizadeh. But analyzing this ambush was a challenge. The open-source pictures and explanations and reported information on how the attack occurred did not match the data gathered from Google Map images. Reports on how, where, and who conducted the ambush varied from completely automated facial recognition satellite remote control machine gun mounted in a pickup truck with no attacker's present – to 12 attackers and a pick-up truck, motorcycle, two snipers plus 40 to 50 support personnel. We know for sure that the principal was in the middle vehicle of a three-car convoy. He was sitting in the back seat of the armored Nissan Teana sedan. The Nissan Teana is a vehicle used by officials of the Iranian defense ministry. His three-vehicle convoy consisted of a lead security car, the Principal's vehicle, and a follow vehicle. The convoy left the highway and turned onto Absard Rd., a two-lane road leading into the town of Absard. What is also known is that his security team was warned that there could be an attempt on his life; other reports mentioned that they were also notified that they were under surveillance. Many conflicting accounts came out of Iran concerning the assassination, but there are common elements to all of them when reviewing the reports.
7 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 160 - Understeer vs. Oversteer
Understeer and Oversteer are terms used to explain vehicle characteristics, and they are important signals transmitted to you by the vehicle, it is how the vehicle communicates to you. It is the vehicle’s way of telling you what you should do next. In a nutshell, understeer and oversteer are the interrelationships of the front and rear ends of the car. If you drove around a corner or made an emergency maneuver that created 3200 lbs pushing on the CG of your vehicle – in the perfect world your tires would be pushing back 1600 lbs. front and rear. This would be called neutral steering, and it is a characteristic seldom found in vehicles. But what happens most often is that the vehicle will either oversteer or understeer. Understeer is the condition where the front tires lose adhesion while the rear tires remain in contact with the pavement. The car tends to travel straight ahead, even though you are turning the wheel. In an understeering condition turning the steering wheel more won’t work and will aggravate the scenario. To fix it, reduce speed, and reduce the amount of the steering wheel is turned. You can correct understeer by reducing throttle until the front tires regain adhesion. Oversteer is the condition where your rear tires lose adhesion while your front tires remain in contact with the pavement. The back end of your car tends to slide out. Turning the steering wheel more will make things worse. To fix oversteer reduce speed and turn the steering wheel in the opposite direction of the skid.
7 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 159 - Cold Weather and Tire Pressure
The topic for this week’s episode is Cold Weather and Tire Pressure, Understanding Tire Pressure Monitoring System I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. Here we are in the beginning of December and only a few weeks until Christmas, the days are getting colder and the nights shorter. Colder weather can trigger a vehicle’s tire-pressure-monitoring system overnight, sending nervous drivers to dealers and service centers. For example, about 20 customers visited a Chevrolet dealership because their tire-pressure-warning icons were illuminated. Here’s why a cold snap affects tire pressure and sets off the tire-pressure-monitoring system (TPMS) warning light. What is TPMS? At some point, almost everyone has seen the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light appear on the dashboard. Its purpose is to warn you that at least one or more tires is significantly under-inflated, possibly creating unsafe driving conditions. The tire pressure readings are provided by pressure-sensing transmitters mounted inside each tire and sent to a central computer (ECU) for display on the dashboard. Tire-pressure-monitoring systems have been required on new vehicles since 2007. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires the TPMS to display an alert when tire pressure drops 25 percent below the recommended psi. Click here for full show notes.
10 minutes | 3 months ago
Epsiode 158 - Measuring a Driver's Skill Level
This week, the topic is measuring a driver’s skill level. Starting in the mid-'70s, the Scotti School and now VDI clients wanted, actually demanded, that we supply them with an objective measurement of their employee's driving skill, to produce a professional security driver who has been scientifically measured to an objective and documented standard. To meet that demand, we studied the research conducted by the Society of Automotive Engineers, ISO - International Organization for Standards, and NHTSA. Back in the 1970s, conducting research was not as easy as it is now. There was no Internet and Google. Their research created an understanding of how drivers make decisions in emergencies and how long it takes them to make those decisions. We found that these organizations created minimum standards, based on the laws of physics, for measuring driving skill and, therefore, survivability in an emergency scenario. Also, we decided that to perform the duties of a professional security driver; the minimum standards were not sufficient. From studying their research, we found white papers and studies that indicated that the average driver, when confronted with an emergency, can only use 40% of the vehicle's capability before they relinquish control of the vehicle (give up). Starting in 1976, the Scotti School spent a considerable amount of time, effort, and money to develop training programs (Executive Protection and Security Driving) that implemented the standards created by these institutions. Please keep in mind that this was before computers. Our on-track testing showed that at the 40% mark, the vehicle becomes non-linear, which in turn creates driver anxiety (fear). We also found that once the driver was at the 40% usage of the vehicle, much more vehicle capacity was available for the driver to use. After a considerable amount of testing and evaluating, we decided that a good driver should be able to use a minimum of 80% of the vehicle's capability, in the three modes of vehicle operation, in a measured minimum amount of time and space, to be considered for employment as the CEO's driver—hence the 80% standard. The 80% standard has withstood the test of time. Forty-five years ago, the goal was to create a standard and training system accepted by the K&R and Corporate community, and that was accomplished. Anyone who attended an old Scotti School or a Vehicle Dynamics Institute program knows that reaching the 80% standard is demanding. How much of the vehicle do you use when driving the principal? Read more
11 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 157 - Vehicle Dynamics and Training
Welcome to the Executive Protection and Secure Transportation Podcast brought to you by the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs. Hello, and welcome to episode 157 of the EPST podcast. I'm your host, Larry Snow. This week, the topic is Vehicle Dynamics. Vehicle Dynamics are two words you often see mentioned in training curriculums, RFP's and on websites. There seems to be a misunderstanding of exactly what the phrase means and how vehicle dynamics affect security driving, secure transportation, and protective driver training. For example, many training programs include "vehicle dynamics exercises. In fact, Vehicle Dynamics is not just "an exercise"; it is the foundation of any driver training program. Especially a protective driver training program. Whether driving down the highway, around corners or trying to navigate out of a potentially dangerous scenario, the vehicle driver combination must operate within the laws of physics and specifically within Sir Isaac Newton's three laws of motion. Understanding vehicle dynamics creates the platform for a standard for one of the most important aspects of executive protection - secure transportation. It is ISDA’s opinion that many training providers take liberty with the phrase Vehicle Dynamics. This opinion is not a criticism but an observation. Vehicle Dynamics is a scientific and objective approach to Secure Transportation, Security Driving, and Training. If you’d like to learn more about vehicle dynamics and the science of driver training, we suggest that you review VDI's Joe Autera series “The Science of Driver Training” Part's One, Two, and Three. These are the links: Training – Part I http://vehicledynamics.com/the-science-of-driver-training/ Training – Part II http://vehicledynamics.com/the-science-of-driver-training-part-ii/ – Part III http://vehicledynamics.com/science-of-driver-training-part-iii/ ======================================= That will bring us to the end of another episode of the EPST podcast. I hope you will join us next week for another episode. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app and if you’ve been listening for a while, let us know what you think by leaving us a review on Apple of Google. If you’ve enjoyed this week’s podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. Get access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits, head over to https://isdacenter.org.
12 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 156 - The Science of Winter Driving
Hello, and welcome to episode 156 of the EPST podcast. I'm your host, Larry Snow. This week, the topic is Winter Driving. I know it's not winter yet, but the days and nights are getting cooler, and just a couple of weeks ago New England area had its first snow. Winter will be here before you know it, so we felt it was the perfect opportunity to discuss Winter driving and secure transportation. Other drivers may have the option not to drive in winter weather, but not driving in icy and snowy conditions is not a luxury that most security drivers have. No doubt, driving in winter conditions can be challenging for all, including the Security Driver. An interesting metric from the ISDA Executive Vehicle & Secure Transportation Survey - Seventy percent of survey participants drive in winter conditions—this number aligns with the national (U.S.) average. These are some facts and statistics that support the dangers of driving in a winter environment. 17% of all vehicle crashes occur during winter conditions. (NHTSA, 2019) There are about 156,000 crashes annually due to icy roads. (Carsurance.net, 2020) Weather-related vehicle accidents kill more people annually than large-scale weather disasters. (The Weather Channel, 2018) It takes up to 10 times longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement. (Geico Insurance, 2018) Freeway speeds are reduced by 3% to 13% in light snow and 5% to 40% in heavy snow. (FHWA, 2019) Each year, 24% of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement, and 15% happen during snowfall or sleet. (FHWA, 2019) More than 116,000 Americans are injured, and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement every winter. (Safe Winter Roads, 2019) Over 70% of the nation's roads are located in snowy regions, which receive more than five inches (or 13 cm) average snowfall annually. (FHWA, 2019) (Source: https://driving-tests.org/driving-statistics/) Type of Vehicle Driving, any form of driving, including winter driving, is a balance. For decades we refer to that balance as the Security Driver Triangle. The triangle is made up of three components: THE DRIVER, THE MACHINE, and THE ENVIRONMENT. When measuring driver capability, you cannot separate the vehicle from the driver; both contribute, along with the environment, to the driver and the principal's safety and security. A skilled security driver understands the effects that changes in the environment have on the vehicle driver combination. They work to anticipate vehicle behavior changes and are ready to maximize all of the vehicle's capability. They know that driving in winter conditions significantly decreases the vehicle's capability. The security driver understands various vehicles' characteristics and their limitations – any vehicle, including All Wheel Drive (AWD). There is a misconception of the capability of AWD and FWD in winter driving conditions. Most of the confusion comes from misinformation seen on T.V. Ads about AWD Vehicles. In one ad, the announcer talked about driving on "Black Ice," He mentioned that if you press the correct buttons or switches on the vehicle, you solve the problems created by driving on black ice. PURE BS – Keep in mind that black ice is defined as a road covered with ice – unless the vehicle he is selling can alter the laws of physics –driving on black ice is dangerous and a challenge. No matter what the T.V. ads show, no AWD or 4WD system will make up for a decrease in adhesion. When ice – snow – etc. creates less adhesion between the tire and the road, the vehicle's capability to go – stop – and turn is greatly diminished. A quick definition of AWD and FWD drive is in order. All-wheel drive refers to automatic four-wheel-drive systems where the vehicle selects two- or four-wheel drive based on road conditions. In slippery conditions, power is automatically directed to individual wheels with the best traction. This is especially helpful for getting out of snowed-in parking spots or tackling unplowed roads. However, drivers should keep in mind AWD does little to aid turning and braking on snow and ice. The problem is that most 4WD/AWD drivers think they have a vehicle that can defy the laws of physics. No matter what vehicle the security driver is in, stopping on snow and ice will require up to 10 times the distance as stopping in normal conditions, and driving onto an off-ramp during black ice or wintry conditions will require a lot less speed than usual. The driver will have to anticipate that lower speed before they get to the off-ramp. The Science of Winter Driving If you are an ISDA certified driver or have attended an old Scotti School or Vehicle Dynamics Institute training program, you have been trained and measured to use 80% of the vehicle's capability. That means that you can apply 80% of the vehicle's weight pushing on the center of gravity of the vehicle either in a braking scenario - turning scenario, or a combination of braking and turning. But when driving from dry conditions to ice (Black Ice), the traction to maneuver your vehicle decreases by 65%, so you suddenly have gone from an 80% driver to a 15% driver. This means you can only use 15% of the car to go stop and turn, not a pleasant thought. Let's use the science of driving and work the numbers to illustrate the danger of driving on ice or inclement weather. Consider that you were driving a Suburban that handles at .85 G’s., which means it can absorb 85% of the vehicle's weight, pushing on the vehicle's center of gravity. So if you were driving a 6000 pounds Suburban that can handle at .85 G.S., under normal conditions, meaning no snow or ice, when you move the steering wheel, the vehicle is designed to absorb 5100 pounds (.85 times 6000) pushing on the center of gravity, and as an 80% driver you can apply 4000 pounds (.80 X 5100 lbs) to the Suburban center of gravity and life will be good – exciting but good. A Scenario Let's create a scenario where you are driving a 6000-pound Suburban that handles at .85G's, and you move from dry conditions to icy conditions. Again, using the science of driving, the following explains why you and your principal's life is about to get exciting; who, we must keep in mind, pays you to drive him safely and securely. You are now driving a vehicle that has gone from being able to absorb .85 G's to accept only point .3GS or 30% of the weight of the vehicle; The .3 G's represents a 65% loss in your cars handling. So, now in a matter of tenths of seconds, you are driving a car that went from .85 G.S. know down to .3 g's, quick arithmetic tells us you can apply 1800 pounds to the center of gravity; once you get past that number, refer to the get exciting mentioned above. There is more bad news if you are an 80% driver - consider that you share that icy road with a substantial number of average drivers. The average driver, as we have talked about for decades, can use only 40 to 50% of the vehicles capability, which translates to that they can apply only 720 to 900 pounds on the Suburban's center of gravity before they slide off into the snow - hopefully not taking you with them. Consider this if you have attended a Scotti School or VDI training program in the last 10 to 15 years. Imagine that you cannot drive through the slalom course at a speed greater than 25 without losing control; that is the difference between driving on ice on drive pavement. Again, for those who have taken our training, we ask you to go back to the driver's equation. If the coefficient of friction between the tire and the road surface is low, you only have two options; you can decrease your speed and limit your steering. But, since you may have to use the steering to drive onto an off-ramp, your only real option is to lower your speed. Summary No 4WD or AWD system will make up for the 65% decrease in traction. If there is less adhesion between the tire and the road, the vehicle's capability is greatly diminished. But using some simple math, consider that when you were driving on icy roads, the coefficient of friction is very low, so having the capability to use 80% doesn't mean much because 80% of .1 is still a dangerous scenario. That's not to say that AWD is not useful in bad weather. It might be enough to get the vehicle up snow-covered hills and get the vehicle moving from a stop position where 2WD would not accomplish that. Although this has been said many times and many ways, stopping on snow and ice may require up to 10 times the distance as stopping in normal conditions. You can't beat the laws of physics, so the only way you can survive driving in these conditions is to keep the speeds down. ====================================== That will bring us to the end of another episode of the EPST podcast. I hope you will join us next week for another episode. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. If you haven’t done so already, make sure to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app and if you’ve been listening for a while, let us know what you think by leaving us a review on Apple of Google. If you’ve enjoyed this week’s podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs—access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits, head over to https://isdacenter.org.
7 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 155 - Decision Sight Distance
The topic of this week's episode is Decision Sight Distance or DSD for short. Decision Sight Distance plays an essential role for those that provide secure transportation. But understanding DSD is vital for anyone who drives an automobile. As a quick refresher for those unfamiliar with DSD, the Decision Sight Distance definition is the length of road surface drivers can see and have an acceptable reaction time. In the US, the organization that is responsible for designing our highways, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), have guidelines concerning "line of sight," and from those guidelines developed the all-important Decision Sight Distance (DSD) AASHTO defines DSD as the distance needed to recognize a problem and complete a maneuver safely and efficiently. And according to the scientists who have done an enormous amount of research on driver reaction time, the "average" driver needs 2.5 seconds to complete the "recognize a problem" part of the DSD. We have discussed decision-sight distance in past podcasts and articles, but now we would like to present a DSD visual representation. For our podcast listeners, we’ll do our best to describe the visualization. We'll use the Omar García Harfuch (OGH) scenario. Keep in mind that we are using the OGH scenario for illustration and demonstration purposes only. The attack occurred in the early morning. All the pictures used for this podcast are from Google Street View in daylight. The significant difference is that the OGH’s driver was looking at headlights crossing the intersection—more than likely assuming that the truck would take a left onto Ave Reforma. To establish a timeline, we looked at the video of the attack; we found that it took approximately 4 seconds for the truck to pull out across and block the intersection. So, from the first time the driver could have seen the truck's headlights to the time the truck stopped, blocking the intersection was four seconds. Keep in mind that all vehicle attacks or accidents are a time distance relationship - as the blocking vehicle pulled into the intersection, the question is how much time did OGH’s driver have to react? – the answer depends on the speed of the vehicle. If the driver was moving at: 20 MPH/32.2KPH the driver was 8.7 seconds from the Intersection 40 MPH/64.4 KPH the driver was 4.4 seconds from the Intersection 50 MPH/80 KPH the driver was 3.5 seconds from the Intersection 60 MPH/96.6 KPH the driver was 2.9 seconds from the intersection To get a sense of how much distance the driver had to work with, we use landmarks on Paseo de la Reforma for reference points. The picture depicts the driver's eye view 100 Meters or 328 Feet away from the intersection. If you look at the top right-hand corner of the picture, you can make out a car stopped at the intersection. We estimated from our forensic analysis that the vehicle was traveling 65 kilometers per hour (or 40 MPH). From the 100 Meter mark at 65 KPH per hour 40 MPH, the Suburban vehicle was approximately 5 1/2 seconds from the intersection. They were closing in at the rate of 18 Meters Per Second (MPS) or 58.8 Feet Per Second (FPS). As they continued down the Paseo de la Reforma moving at 65 KPH per hour 40 MPH, 2.8 seconds later, the vehicle is at the 50 Meter – 164 Foot mark. The picture shows the driver's eye view at 50 meters – 164 feet from the intersection. You can see the car clearly now; hence the principal vehicle's driver could have also seen what was about to happen. From the 50 Meter – 164 feet mark one second later, this picture is the driver's view. They are 32 Meters 105 feet from the intersection. Assuming that they may have decreased their speed. At this location on the road, if traveling at 20 MPH – 32.2 KPH they are 3.5 Seconds away from the intersection 30 MPH – 48.3 KPH they are 2.4 Seconds away from the intersection 40 MPH – 64.4 KPH they are 1.8 Seconds away from the intersection. Secure Transportation Sight distance plays a vital role in supplying safe and secure transportation. It is a significant factor in determining if the event you drive into is winnable. During your route survey, know how far you can see and DO NOT DRIVE FASTER THAN YOU CAN SEE – Which means drive at a speed that will give you the time to react at the given sight distance. As you are conducting a route survey, the question you need to ask yourself is – At the speed I am moving with the given sight distance, how much time do I have, and in that time frame, what can I do with this vehicle? No matter the scenario, accident, or vehicle violence, if you don't have enough sight distance at the speed you are moving, it is a no-win scenario. Your training must take this into account. ===================================== That’s it for this week, I hope you will join us next week for another episode of the EPST podcast. Show notes as well as the short visualization for this episode are available at SecurityDriver.Com website. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcast app and if you’ve been listening for a while, let us know what you think by leaving us a review. If you’ve enjoyed this EPST podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs. Access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits head over to https://isdacenter.org.
14 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 154 - The Business of Executive Protection - Social Media Basics
Hello, and welcome to episode 154 of the Executive Protection and Secure Transportation podcast, sponsored by the International Security Driver Association. I’m your host Larry Snow. The topic of this week’s episode – we are getting back to the basics of the business of executive protection. The business of EP is so important but very often is overlooked as an afterthought. EP training providers teach hard skills, but very few focus on business and marketing. So, in today’s episode, we’ll be playing for you a snippet from the course Social Media Basics for Protection Professionals. The course was developed by yours truly. The 3-hour course comprises six parts with various topics: defining your brand, social media profiles, and opportunities to social media marketing, marketing funnels, advertising, social media tools, and metrics. Why did I create this course? It doesn’t matter if you are a subcontractor or a large security business; social media is an essential piece of your business marketing strategy. I created this basics course to help EP/Secure transportation providers/security companies be successful with their social media efforts by using it effectively. Social platforms help you connect with your customers, increase awareness about your brand, and boost leads and sales. Social media is one of the most significant marketing elements for establishing your brand. You and your business need to be having conversations on these channels. Now, your specific market may not be entirely on social platforms. Still, the people who you might hire, your competition, perhaps your future business opportunities are. Or you are looking to find your tribe, like-minded individuals who can support what you do, and vice versa. We all know word of mouth in this business has an enormous impact. Getting information out or from a trusted source about someone or something is really how the EP business runs. Using social media effectively is word of mouth on steroids, a considerable amplification. Of course, if word of mouth is about you and your company, and you’re not on social networks, you can’t control or defend what people are saying about you. This snippet is from Part one – Before you start on social media where I talk about the importance of defining your brand, market, and business goals. If you’d like more information on course availability, please contact me at email@example.com. The price for the course $299 – ISDA members receive a substantial discount. That’s it for this week. I hope you will join us next week for another episode of the EPST podcast. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Google, and any podcast apps. ================== If you’ve enjoyed this EPST podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs—access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits, head over to https://isdacenter.org.
7 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 153 - Surviving Mob Attacks on Your Vehicle
The topic of this week’s episode is Surviving Mob Attacks on Your Vehicle. It is well established in the protection community that the time an executive spends in their vehicle is, without a doubt, the highest risk period of their day. In recent months mob attacks on a vehicle have increased the risk of Executive Vehicle Travel. Some suggestions and thoughts. Know the laws in your state regarding this issue. According to a fact check - When questioned, six law professors said that laws vary by state, but essentially the legal question is whether the use of force is justified as self-defense. Experts said such use of deadly force would be legal only if the driver feared for their life, and using the vehicle was proportionate to the amount of force being used against the driver. Comments from the legal authorities. "The fundamental point is that a moving motor vehicle is a deadly weapon. Therefore, all these questions are, at the bottom, about when you are authorized to use deadly force against another person," said Frank Bowman III of the University of Missouri. The question is whether the driver of the car reasonably thought he or she was about to be killed or suffer serious harm unless the car moved, said Vanderbilt University's Christopher Slobogin, and whether the driver was reasonable in thinking that anyone hit by the car "was threatening such harm or would not be seriously hurt by it." The fact check article is available in the Podcasts post. https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/jun/03/facebook-posts/not-legal-hit-gas-and-plow-through-menacing-protes/ From the ACLU – State by State laws accurate as of 2017 https://www.aclu.org/issues/free-speech/rights-protesters/anti-protest-bills-around-country A Brief Legal Take Is Running Over Rioters Self-Defense or A Gray Legal Area? https://ehlinelaw.com/blog/striking-protesters-on-the-freeway Recommendations Have a plan for the course of action that you would take. We (ISDA) suggest you have a plan of what you would do in this scenario. If you hire a contractor to supply Secure Transportation, ensure they have a plan. Real-time intelligence is probably your best tool - Keep in mind that the best way to avoid a mob attack is don't be there when it happens. Keep abreast of the demonstrations and protest in the area that you will be moving the principle through. If you find yourself coming to a complete stop on the highway due to a protest, do so from a distance that will keep you safe from the protesters. If you fear for your life, call 911 and tell that you fear for your life. Ensure that the driver knows what effect Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) will have on any decision they make to escape the issues. The Problem With New Vehicles Joe Autera CEO of Vehicle Dynamics Institute, in response to an article discussing the subject of vehicle mob attacks, brought up the problems that you may face simply because of the vehicle you're driving; this is what Joe had to say. If you were driving a newer vehicle and moving a principal, corporate, or high net worth, you would be driving in a vehicle equipped with ADAS and be cautious of the safety equipment. If you're driving a later model vehicle equipped with collision avoidance, automatic emergency braking, and/or pedestrian detection technology, it should be noted that those systems may prevent you from moving forward at any speed, even a crawl, through the smallest of crowds. https://www.motortrend.com/news/automatic-emergency-braking/ It's also worth noting that in a recent test, pedestrian detection systems were found to be very unreliable at speeds over 20 mph and were ineffective at night https://www.autoblog.com/2019/10/03/aaa-pedestrian-detection-systems-failures-nighttime/ If your vehicle allows those systems to be disengaged or deactivated, know how to do so and practice doing so repeatedly so that under stress, you can perform the necessary steps without having to think through them. If you can't find the information for your vehicle in the owner's manual, check out YouTube for videos showing how it can be done on the specific year, make, and vehicle model you drive. If your vehicle doesn't allow you to deactivate or disengage those systems, or if doing so is too cumbersome a process to perform quickly, or you find yourself struggling to do so when a crowd is surrounding your vehicle, your options may be limited to backing out of the crowd. Maintaining control of your vehicle while driving in reverse, particularly under stress, takes practice, which most people don't get enough of in everyday driving. Newer vehicles are also equipped with reverse speed limiters that, as the name implies, will limit how fast you can go in reverse. That speed varies on the year, make, and model of the vehicle, so you should take the time to familiarize yourself with your vehicle's characteristics. ISDA has been preaching for all security drivers to understand the new paradigm - in many emergency scenarios, being surrounded by a mob is one of them, the driver does not control the outcome of the event - the vehicles ADAS will be making the decisions. The time to determine what decisions the vehicles ADAS will make is not when the emergency is taking place. Over the past couple of podcast episodes, we have been discussing the effects of ADAS and security driving. We’ll leave links to the episodes in the show notes of this episode which can find by going to isdacenter.org/podcast. A couple of other important recommendations Not only check the laws of the state that you reside in but when traveling, check the laws of the state that you will be driving in; if you are using a secure transportation provider, ensure that they know what the laws are and that their policies align with your policies. Also, ensure with the Secure Transportation provider that they have communications – a dash camera – and are attuned to the protest scenario in the area that you will be driving the principle through. ======================================== That’s it for this week, I hope you will join us next week for another episode of the EPST podcast. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Google as well as any of the podcast apps as the show is widely distributed. If you’ve enjoyed this EPST podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs. Access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits head over to https://isdacenter.org.
9 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 152 - Security Driver Algorithm and Training
Hello, and welcome to episode 152 of the EPST podcast. I’m your host Larry Snow. The topic of this week’s episode is Security Driving Algorithm and Training. For more than 45 years, we have been using the Security Driver’s Triangle to describe the threat associated with secure transportation. A Quick Refresher – The Security Driver Triangle Driving, any form of driving, is a balance, and that balance is called the “driving system.” The driving system consists of three components: THE DRIVER, THE MACHINE, and THE ENVIRONMENT. If there is an accident or a successful ambush, it is caused by a failure of the Triangle, the driver, the vehicle, or the environment failed. You can learn more about the Triangle at the end of the article. The Vehicle Side of the Triangle is Changing With the advent of Electronic Stability Control (ESC), there is a significant change in the Triangle's Vehicle side. Those changes also flow over to the Driver portion of the Triangle. All Executive Vehicles are equipped with ESC; therefore, we need to examine the challenges that vehicles equipped with ESC create for Secure Transportation, Protective Driver Training, and the Security Driver, and it should go without saying. Still, students must be trained in vehicles that are equipped with ESC. If not, it is negative training. How the students’ skills are measured, the design of scenario-based driving exercises, plus a host of other training points change with ESC equipped vehicles. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) Basics For those who have lost control of a car, we know that it’s that first twitch of the vehicle that tells us that we are about to have an exciting experience. That twitch is information the car is sending to us. For some, interpreting this information is second nature, and for others, it’s like trying to understand Swahili. That sinking feeling we get in our stomach is the car telling us that it’s not going where we want it to go, but it is going in a path that it wants to go. The value of ESC is that it interprets the information, in most cases, before the average driver (the crucial word is “average”) – or even the above-average driver can sense the problem. All executive vehicles are equipped with a computer that monitors the information the driver inputs to the vehicle. Once the ESC computer analyzes the driver’s inputs to the vehicle, it starts to set the car on the correct path before the “average driver” can figure out what’s going on. At the moment, the ESC takes over control of the vehicle – the driver and their passengers are at the mercy of the ESC computer Algorithm. When conducting Protective Driver Training, there is a crucial time in the algorithm where the ESC computer will control the vehicle. This transition is called “the switch,” and must be monitored and coached by the training providers. The Security Driving Algorithm As we mentioned, the ESC will take control from the driver at some point in a protective driving program. An algorithm within the ESC computer controls that take over point (the switch). At that moment, the vehicle's control is “switching” from a human to a computer. All in accordance with the algorithm. The definition of an algorithm is a formula or set of steps for solving a particular problem. The issue is the words “particular problem.” The algorithm design is to solve “problems” concerning safety, not necessarily security. More on this later. The Ambush Algorithm All accidents or security scenarios are an algorithm. A significant component of the security driver algorithm is familiar to all Scotti School and VDI students – it is the driver’s equation. LA = (V x V)/(Rx15), where LA is the amount of force exerted on the vehicle's center of gravity. V is the velocity of the vehicle (in MPH). R is the path the vehicle takes measure in feet. Electronic Stability Control accomplishes this by using the existing ABS and Traction Control computers, plus additional sensors called Yaw Sensors, to monitor what the car is doing after the driver tells it what to do. By measuring throttle position (V in the Driver’s Equation), steering wheel angle (R in the Driver’s Equation), and lateral acceleration (LA in the Driver’s Equation), which is (the amount of G’s pushing on the center of gravity of the vehicle) the computer compares the intended path of the vehicle to the path the car is actually taking. If it’s not doing what you want it to do or not in the best interest of the passengers’ safety, the ESC computer takes over. When ESC decides to handle the driving chores, it applies one of the front brakes, or in some systems, one of the front and/or rear brakes, to straighten the car and put it back on the path you wanted to go. The ESC algorithm takes control (the switch) when the driver and the vehicle go into what engineers refer to as the vehicle’s nonlinear range (NLR). The NLR is the point where the force on the center of gravity of the car increases exponentially with every small movement of the steering wheel or small inputs in speed; this is the point where the vehicle’s computer algorithm takes over control of the car – this is the switch point. The Switch Point The switch point, the switch from human to a computer controlling the vehicle, is becoming a science all unto itself. From the training perspective, this change from human to computer needs to be managed; training scenarios need to be designed to create the switch, and instructors need to know how to measure the driver’s response to the switch. The instructor must know when, wherein the exercise, and at what speed the switch will occur before the driver enters the exercise. The switch needs to be monitor, instructed, measured, and made into a teaching point. The Switch – Security Versus Safety When the computer takes over the vehicle, it’s not making decisions based on security; the computer makes decisions based on what the algorithm says the vehicle’s path should be. In a security scenario, the computer's path wants you to drive, and the path the driver will need to avoid a security incident may not be the same. The vehicle can supply the safety algorithm – but the driver’s mind and eye working with their skill, knowledge, and experience are the security algorithm. The question that the ESC algorithm cannot answer; is the switch due to a safety or a security event. The algorithm can’t make that decision. The individual holding on to the steering wheel has to control the security algorithm. Security Driver Triangle https://isdacenter.org/security-driver-triangle/ That’s it for this week. I hope you will join us next week for another episode of the EPST podcast. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. Be sure to subscribe to the podcast on Apple, Google, and any of the podcast apps as the show is widely distributed. If you’ve enjoyed this EPST podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs—access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics. For more information on all of the member benefits, head over to https://isdacenter.org.
13 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 151 - Two Attacks That Have Changed the Way We Work and Train
Hi everyone and welcome to episode 151 of the EPST podcast, I’m your host Larry Snow. The topic of today’s episode is 2 Attacks that have changed the way we work and train. In the first edition, which the ISDA created back in 2014, is a description of the attacks that have changed the way we work and train. In the downloadable eBook, available for ISDA members, we covered the assassination of Aldo Moro, Hans Martin Schleyer, John Butler, and Alfred Herrhausen. 2020 brought us two events that has changed the way we work and conduct training. https://isdacenter.org/ambush-ebook-2/ Those two events are the: Covid-19 Pandemic and Omar García Harfuch (OGH) Ambush Changes from the Omar García Harfuch (OGH) Ambush The OGH ambush was the 1st vehicle ambush where a forensic analysis and scenario testing could measure the effects of Electronic Stability Control “ESC” and “Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS) on the outcome of an ambush. A significant addition to the forensic analysis and testing came from the available information due to the surveillance cameras in the area of the OGH ambush and the amount of video that was available to the public. The OGH ambush is one of the first vehicle attacks that was videoed as it was happening The other significant contribution was the information and the accuracy that come from the advancements in Google Maps. The combination of the surveillance videos, Google Maps, and Google Street view created an overwhelming amount of accurate data. A quick explanation of the use of forensic science and engineering principles to determine the cause of a vehicle ambush in the past. The analysis is used to identify the problem that causes an event. We measure maximum speed, the path the vehicle takes, vehicle performance, sight distance, and come up with the cause of the event followed by lessons learned. From the forensic analysis, we developed a hypothesis from which we created data points. Data is collected and analyzed. From the data collected, the Vehicle Dynamics Institute team conducted tests to determine the accuracy of the data - and from that data, we develop lessons learned, operational suggestions and follow it up with training points. While testing the hypothesis of these data points, ISDA and the Vehicle Dynamics Institute team produced information concerning operational procedures – training and personal safety and security that were of significant importance. We feel we had to share some of the information with the community. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) At one time, when bad things happened, it was all up to the driver to control the executive vehicle. The person holding on to the steering wheel made all the decisions. The driver was the algorithm that determined the outcome of the event. Now computers control executive vehicles, and in an emergency scenario, accident, or vehicle violence, executive vehicles rely on the computer algorithm to control the vehicle. The OGH Suburban was equipped with ESC – our test indicated that due to the ambush design, the driver could not have moved the vehicle either to the left or to the right. There were buildings and cars on the right, and on the left, there was a curb and trees. If the driver attempted to jump the curb, the ESC and other Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) would have prevented him from doing so. We need to examine the challenges that vehicles equipped with ESC (as most Executive Vehicles have ESC these days) create for protective driver training and security drivers. It should go without saying, but students must be trained in vehicles that are equipped with ESC. When conducting protective driver training, there is a crucial time in the ESC computer algorithm where the computer will take control of the vehicle; this transition is called the switch point and must be monitored and coached by training providers. Driving exercises and scenarios need to be created; students need to be coached and tested on controlling the switch point. The change of human to a computer must be monitored, coached, and have exercises designed to create the change. If you purchase protective driver training, we would suggest asking the training provider if they are using training vehicles equipped with Electronic Stability Control (ESC). If they are not using ESC vehicles in our humble opinion it is negative training. Braking Methodology Our forensic analysis determined that the OGH’s driver had sufficient time to stop the vehicle if the driver used the traditional method of braking an ABS vehicle, which means pressing the brake pedal as hard as possible and let the ABS computer do what it is designed to do – stop the vehicle with the ability for the driver to maintain steering control. When we use threshold braking with a trained threshold braking driver, it took 70% longer to stop the vehicle. If OGH’s driver attempted to threshold brake with an ABS-equipped vehicle, our analysis and testing showed the outcome would have been considerably different. Instead of stopping before they got to the truck that was blocking the road, they would have gone under the truck blocking the road. The following can’t be stressed enough. As a potential student or purchaser of protective driving training, we suggest you ensure that you or your employee is not attending a program that instructs students to threshold brake with an ABS vehicle. Reversing Our forensic analysis indicated that the driver attempted to back out of the Kill Zone. Vehicle Dynamics Institute team found that a two-second delay was caused due to the vehicle’s ADAS Transmission Control Module (TCM) system. If the driver does not follow the proper sequence before reversing, tests indicated that there could be as much as a 2 to 2 1/2 seconds delay before the car moves in reverse. This means that the driver would sit in the kill zone for up to 2 1/2 seconds before having the ability to back out. TCM definition - A transmission control module is an electronic mechanism that collects data and processes signals within your transmission to regulate the transmission’s gear shifting. Also, once the vehicle does back out, most executive vehicles have reverse control devices that limit the speed that the vehicle can back up. Recommendations Training providers need to determine if the student’s operational vehicle has a Transmission Control Module. If they do, they need to discuss the effects of the TCM on reversing. Those who train students working in a high-risk environment need to examine the reversing characteristics of the operational vehicles the student will be driving and the environment that they will be driving in. Security drivers need to know the characteristics of the vehicle while driving in reverse. Keep in mind that all new vehicles have speed limiters, preventing the vehicle from reversing quickly. Runflats The Omar García Harfuch Suburban photo riddled with gunshots and sitting on four flat tires received a substantial amount of social media attention and criticism. The ISDA and the Vehicle Dynamics Institute team devoted a considerable amount analysis and test time to examine the vehicle dynamic characteristics of an armored B6 Suburban with four flat tires equipped with run-flats and reversing out of the kill zone. To say that the testing was exciting would be an understatement. The complete data will be available in the final forensic report. Our research in testing indicated that backing up with a vehicle with runflats creates a vehicle characteristic that needs to be addressed and trained. If an operational vehicle is equipped with run-flat tires, training programs need to consider an exercise, specifically a backing up exercise with one or more of the tires flat. We suggest caution when doing so. We found that it does not take much speed or steering wheel angle or steering wheel movement to put the car in an uncontrollable situation. Night Driving We address the issue of night driving and in last week’s podcast episode. If you have not done so, yet we suggest that you listen to the episode by going to https://securitydriver.com/09/episode-150-low-light-driving-conditions/. -------------------- Changes from COVID – 19 It is ISDA’s opinion that COVID-19 has permanently changed the Secure Transportation profession. The security driver and the provider of secure transportation services will need to change how business is done. Whatever your feelings are concerning the COVID-19 pandemic, you cannot dismiss that the market has been affected by it. In some parts of the globe secure transportation and security driving were shut down and still is shut down. Things to think about The vehicle itself is now a threat to the safety of the principal. Those responsible for protecting their principal will need to raise the level of due diligence concerning the principal’s driver and the vehicle they are driving in. Anyone who rents a vehicle or uses a rideshare program needs caution; there are profound health implications. A recent study found that these vehicles are so bacteria-laden that normal driver actions such as rolling down windows, buckling seatbelts, and grasping door handles and steering wheels is a health hazard. We have a link to this article in the notes for this episode. If you know anyone who is renting vehicles, you can tell then they are entering a vehicle that has more germs than a toilet seat – that’s a pleasant thought. https://www.netquote.com/health-insurance/health-insurance-articles/driving-with-germs There needs to be proof of documentation – when was the vehicle disinfected, what material was used to disinfect, and was the driver recently tested for COVID-19. Training: If you attended or are sending company personnel to a training program, ensure that the training provider has a COVID-19 Plan. For an example, ISDA Member Joe Autera has an article on tools for training in the COVID age. From VDI – The Tools for Training in the “COVID Age” https://isdacenter.org/from-vdi-the-tools-for-training-in-the-covid-age/ The vehicle’s medical equipment needs to be expanded to include equipment specifically to deal with COVID. Article from ISDA member Carlton Smith COVID-19 and the Executive Protection/Secure Transportation Profession – Carlton D Smith https://isdacenter.org/covid-19-and-the-executive-protection-secure-transportation-profession-carlton-d-smith/ Lastly, we suggest you subscribe to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Newsletter - Behind the Wheel at Work https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/motorvehicle/ncmvs/newsletter/default.html Additional Material on Secure Transportation and The Risks of COVID-19 https://isdacenter.org/secure-transportation-and-the-risks-of-covid-19/ Our Survey Results. Episode 146 – COVID-19 Survey Results _______________________________________ That’s all for this week’s episode, I hope you will join us next week for another episode of the EPST podcast. Show notes for this episode are available at the SecurityDriver.Com website. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast on iTunes, Google, and other podcast apps like Overcast, which is my personal favorite. If you like listening to Audible books, Amazon now hosts podcasts on Audible. Just search for Executive Protection and you’ll find this and all of our past episodes there. If you’ve enjoyed this EPST podcast episode, we invite you to check out the International Security Driver Association. The ISDA is a valuable resource for all practitioners working in the protection profession. We offer benchmark educational, networking, and marketing programs. Access to the encyclopedia of executive protection and secure transportation – The ISDA knowledge center. The knowledge shared encompasses a wide range of EP and ST focused topics with resources, information, and metrics.
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