Archive for the ‘Physical and Online Training’ Category

What a Garbage Idea

January 4th, 2017 Comments off

Garbage Idea


Given the recent events in France and Germany, where large trucks were used as weapons to attack soft targets, security practitioners have had to rethink large public gatherings. To safeguard an event that takes place on a single stretch of road is pretty straightforward. Just put large concrete barriers or other large objects that act as bollards on both ends of the street, but what about events with multi-street openings?

New Year’s Eve in New York is the perfect example, and someone had a brilliant idea. Block intersections leading to Times Square with sanitation trucks filled with sand. They can drive up and then drive away once the event is over. Using concrete barriers for that many intersections would have been a much more time-consuming exercise.

Hats off to the team that came up with this ‘garbage’ idea. Hopefully, other events and public spaces incorporate something like this into their security plans whether it is an annual or yearlong venue.


Experto en seguridad de América Latina, Arturo Garffer citado en Miami Diario

March 4th, 2016 Comments off


También se exploró hacia dónde va el voto latinoamericano en el 2016

Garffer afirma que el terrorismo en el siglo 21 es asimétrico y muy dinámico. No hay una fuerza militar convencional que pueda prevenir al 100% un ataque en territorio americano o en cualquier parte de Latinoamérica.

“Las fuerzas terroristas sí han podido muy hábilmente venir desde diferentes países de Oriente y norte de África y movilizarse hacia Latinoamérica estableciendo santuarios,  como por ejemplo la triple frontera entre Brasil Paraguay y Argentina, o la frontera entre Colombia y Venezuela, y a partir de los cuales puedan movilizarse hacia los EEUU, dijo Garffer.


Latin América Director de operaciones

“No se trata entonces de una operación militar solamente sino también generar un movimiento de inteligencia que ser pueda traducirse en acción y prevenir la entrada de estos individuos a nuestros países sino también evitar que puedan establecer comunicaciones directas internas y externas entre ellos.” dijo.

Garffer considera que el Gobierno estadounidense ha sido débil en combatir este fenómeno porque no tienen ni la capacidad no el conocimiento de cómo lidiar con este fenómeno asimétrico. “No peleamos contra un ejército regular. Peleamos contra gente que no se ve e identificar a menos que ellos hagan algo que los ponga a la luz. La administración presente ha sido renuente a tomar riesgos y lamentablemente en los próximos 10 meses no va a cambiar su política. Se va a dedicar a sostener su política de ‘political correctness’, y no cumplir con el principal deber del Presidente de este país que es el de ser Comandante en Jefe y proteger la nación del peligro de otro ataque en nuestro territorio.” dijo.

La XIII Cumbre Latinoamericana de marketing politico y gobernanza continúaba con una interesante ponencia a cargo deCarlis Souto, experto en realización de mensajes políticos que fueron muy exitoso en campañas politicas realizadas en 1999 y 2003 titulado Politicas, Mentiras y Vídeo.

A continuación, el analista político y periodista colombiano Jairo Libreros reflexionó acerca de lo que muchos analistas observan como un cambio en el péndulo político en la región basados en el resultado electoral en Argentina, la victoria de las oposición venezolana en la elecciones parlamentarias el pasado 6 de diciembre y la victoria del No en el referéndum boliviano recién realizado este 21 de febrero.

Libreros difiere de esa visión. El analista es pesimista y cree que aún falta mucho tiempo para que ese cambio de péndulo se realice. En su opinión el Liderazgo autoritario y oportunista se seguirá imponiendo dada la desconfianza del ciudadano hacia las democracia.  El descontento popular y la erosión del público hacia la política es grande.

“No se para dónde va el voto latinoamericano, lo que sí les puedo decir es que de cada 10 votantes, sólo 3 están de acuerdo en mantener la democracia, y por otra parte la política va hacia la manipulación del descontento popular y la lealtad de las fuerzas de seguridad”. Lo que más le preocupa es darse cuenta de que quien pueda manejar la fuerza pública será exitoso en obtener el poder y no hará nada por ser leales a la democracia.

Rob Shuster, AFIMAC VP on WTAP NEWS – Active Shooter Critical Moments

December 14th, 2015 Comments off

WTAP NEWS – Active Shooter Critical Moments


Rob Shuster of AFIMAC discusses active shooter incidents with WTAP NEWS.



Shootings in businesses and public offices are nothing new.

But in the past, they’ve been motivated by people with largely personal issues.

Because of that, companies have surfaced to help employees take a pro–‐active stance to deal with them.

“People can, out of panic and out of fear, do things you wouldn’t expect them to do,” says Ron Shuster, Vice–‐President for training, AFIMAC “They’ll freeze; they’ll take things out with them, some of them will understand that priority one is to evacuate; some of them will not. Some of them will do things that will make things more difficult for the responding police officers,  and they have to be schooled not to do those things.”

AFIMAC provides active shooter training for businesses and similar organizations. Another company, Dark Angel Medical, helps responders prepare for those incidents.

But one of its officials says fighting back is one way not to deal with a mass gunman.

“Police are going to be coming, and I’m not going to be running out of the store with my gun out, because they’ll think I’m the bad guy,” says Dark Angel co–‐founder Lynn Davis. “I’m going to be trying to move away from the dangerous situation, and my main mission is to protect my husband and my child.”

Both companies say due to events of the past month, active shooter training may be evolving.

“I suspect that will happen, given Paris,” Shuster says. “I think it’s ridiculous to assume that won’t happen here. But it did happen in Paris.” AFIMAC was started in the 1980s by former Washington County commissioner James Vuksic.

Dark Angel plans a training exercise next June in Reno, Ohio, just outside Marietta.


Don’t Try This at Home

February 23rd, 2015 Comments off


After warming up my car a bit before pulling out from the office the other day, I was still feeling the cold from the -20°C (-4°F) weather, and that was without the wind chill (-30°C/-22°F). Four blocks away, I came to a red light and saw a man wrapped up from head to toe, with only his eyes uncovered passing in front of me on the crosswalk. There are several manufacturing facilities in the corporate park around our business, but there is not a very frequent public transit schedule, so there are a few people I often see making the 25 minute walk to the main bus depot on the other side of the highway. To cross over the highway though, pedestrians have a narrow pathway, but with heavy snowfall the plows cover it up.

If it’s raining or really cold, I’ll pull over and offer a ride to anyone I see making the walk. Disclaimer: don’t try this at home! It’s okay for me, because I have ninja skills. Okay I don’t, and I’m going to get in trouble after my wife reads this because I’ve been told not to do it in the past, as it can be dangerous. My excuse is that the area is full of hard workers leaving their jobs, so they are easy to pick out vs. a random traveller.

I put my window down and called out to the bundled up man, confirmed he was headed to the bus depot and offered him a ride there. He accepted and was very thankful. We exchanged names and talked about the weather and what plans we had for the weekend, (e.g. having a laugh over not forgetting that it was Valentine’s Day). Lawrence was jolly and had a great energy about him. As we pulled into the transit depot drop-off, Lawrence surprised me by asking if I worked at AFIMAC. There are over twenty businesses in the area, so it caught me off guard. I said I did and asked where he worked. He replied that he is a guard with AFIMAC and was at the head office for training. Our training room holds approximately thirty people and I hadn’t been past it all day, unaware guards were in.

We reintroduced ourselves and I thanked Lawrence for working with AFIMAC and he thanked me again for the ride. I spent less than ten minutes with Lawrence, but could tell he was a great guy. I’m glad I met him.

AFIMAC guards are a dedicated bunch, working in remote areas and difficult situations, so Lawrence’s dedication was a good reminder of this. Kudos to my colleagues like Michael Husnik and David Runzer for hiring extremely polite and courteous guards, and keeping up their ongoing training.

HRCI Credits

October 24th, 2013 Comments off

AFIMAC Online Training is running a limited time 50% off promotion for all courses through until Halloween October 31st.  Please note several courses meet the criteria for HRCI credit.  Click here to review courses.

Your Resume is Online for Human Resources – Like it or Not

October 1st, 2012 Comments off

There have been stories in the past months about candidates going for job interviews where the managers conducting the interview have openly asked them for login information to their Facebook profile.  Yikes!  On the spot without warning or remembering what is on your profile?  Some people gave the information and some didn’t.  For those that did and commented about it afterwards, they said they had absolutely nothing to worry about.  But then there were others that felt pressured, felt like they had no choice or were just desperate for work.

I’m very selective with what I post on my personal social media pages, but the problem is, others can post photos of me.  I did a little digging before writing this blog and found a photo with me tagged in it.  The photo was taken and posted by some people my wife and I met at a rock concert.  The one guy was visiting from Chile and attended the concert with his cousin who lived in Toronto.  If someone did a little digging past all of my tame photos with family etc., they’d find a picture of me holding up a concert T-shirt making a crazy face which is a stark contrast from the person my clients see on a daily basis. The simple fact is that a picture can’t show context or explain the truth of a situation (such as the beer bottles in the background – one could assume that they were mine but in reality they belonged to the people who took the picture of me and my wife). So, the question is, should a person’s employment really be decided by a photo which cannot explain the behaviour of the people it contains or the context?

Personally, I feel that asking for someone’s Facebook credentials can be a dangerous question. The candidate can be solely judged upon them agreeing or disagreeing to give access to their account. So what is the answer?? By conducting background searches on a candidate’s work history, criminal background, resume and education claims, credit history (if it relates to the position), and in-depth references from past employers is important.

I keep a closed and very secure profile on social media, but if connections of mine don’t, it could expose aspects of my life that could easily be taken out of context.

I watched a video recently that was absolute genius in the way the message was delivered.  It shows a clairvoyant reading the minds of random people that were asked to participate for a TV show.  The gentleman was incredible with the general information he can ‘read’ from the minds of his subjects.  The truth is – he has no magic powers.  Before the people volunteered, a team of researchers behind the scenes gathered some general information about them from online social media. It’s amazing what can be found.

What was the message?  Keep your social media and online presence locked up as secure as you can.

But wait!  If you are the subject of one of AFIMAC’s investigations for benefits fraud, insurance claim fraud, workplace theft or an undercover detail…please leave your profile open.  The investigations department wouldn’t be happy with me if that resource was no longer an avenue for their due diligence.  Social media investigations are conducted frequently for clients.

Rock on!

Family and Executive Protection vs. Yellow Jackets

September 18th, 2012 Comments off

Yes, you’ve read that title correctly.  Sitting on the steps of our home on a sunny Sunday afternoon while our daughters played on the front yard and rode their scooters and bicycles around, my wife and I had no idea that we were about to engage a threat.

Seemingly bored with racing up and down the sidewalk, the girls decided that they would put their climbing skills to the test and began scaling the sides of our steps along the railings, over the planter boxes and around the sides of the porch.  I wasn’t worried about them as much as I felt the plants were threatened to be squished by misplaced feet.

My four year old had made it around to the corner of the porch, holding on to the railings on either side of the corner pillar that goes up to the overhang.  She had one foot perched on a decorative rock, and the other on the edge of the wooden planter.  She was about 1 foot off the ground when she started to scream.

I looked and saw about nine to ten yellow jackets (wasps) either on or flying around her face.  To her, 1 foot must have felt like 10 feet because she was frozen with fear and didn’t let go to remove herself from the swarm.  I jumped to spring over the stair railing which would have been a straight line to her, but my youngest was in the way scaling the sides of the steps.  To avoid catching her with my feet as I cleared the railing, I jumped down the steps to the ground, then over to the corner of the porch.  In this time, my wife had also dashed to her – we reached at the same time.  I grabbed her under the arms, pulled her backwards releasing her grip on the railing, swung her around to put myself between her and the wasps (much like an executive protection agent should do to act as a buffer between a threat and a client), then stepped about another seven feet or so, which put us about 10 feet from the spot of the incident.  I brushed and swatted the remaining wasps from her.  My wife was at her side again now as well.  Once I realized that there were no other wasps on her and my wife was now aiding her, I jumped over to my other two daughters and removed them from the danger area.

Over the years I’ve received various training including each of Rob Shuster’s executive protection training courses. I’ve worked in the field for various protection details and been privy to many ‘out of class’ tips and best practices.  I credit all of this to my quick thinking and reaction.  Our daughters were our subjects to protect and my wife and I worked well as a team to bring them to safety.  In Shuster’s courses, he often discusses how you have to stay alert at all times when on an executive protection detail because routine can dull your senses.  A threat can happen when you least expect it.  How even at a subject’s home, office or any other location that is very familiar can be an area for a threat.  How true.

The threat in this case was a hive of wasps that had found a small space between the pillar and porch.  The pillar is hollow, so they were nesting there.  We never knew there was a hive there because it was to the side of our house, it was only a few days old, and the flight path (which I observed for a while after the incident) took the wasps away from our line of sight.

HR and security managers could use this story as an analogy for the daily routines of their teams.  For yourself and your executive team that are typically local or traveling within North America, I’d suggest self-applied protective training; either having someone with you or knowing what to do yourself can greatly reduce the risks.  If you have executives travelling to areas with a track record of kidnaps and crime like Latin America, I’d strongly suggest executive protection and/or security drivers are arranged for them.

As well, ensuring that you select a company that is experienced and well trained to protect your staff is crucial.  When an agent is deployed to protect an executive, they should always ensure the subject is the first priority – like a father allergic to wasp stings protecting a child.

My daughter escaped with two stings (one on her nose and one above her eye) which we of course treated immediately – and luckily she was not allergic as I am.  After treating the stings and giving some TLC, my wife and I applied some distraction techniques and she was fine (e.g. announcing we would all go for an after dinner ice cream treat because she was so brave).  After I watched the hive for a while to see how I had not noticed it previously, I destroyed it.  Our daughter was of course in shock and petrified when it happened, but the next day she came with us to look at the aftermath and climbed back up on the rock that she was originally stranded on to peer right into the space where the hive used to be – brave little girl.  Hopefully that helped lessen the odds of her having a lifetime phobia of yellow jackets.

Contingency Planning vs. Spam Filter Error

August 9th, 2012 Comments off

After months of planning, AFI International and IMAC announced their merger to AFIMAC on August 1, 2012.  There are lots of things to consider when rebranding such as business cards, websites, old hyperlinks, social media pages, etc.  Everything seemed to have switched over smoothly.  I had even sent an email out to Peter Martin letting him know everything was alright around 2pm that day, mentioning that unless any unforeseen hiccups came up…we had nothing to worry about.

Well, there was an unforeseen hiccup – a BIG one.  Every outgoing email that was sent by any staff was ending up in spam filters and not reaching the intended recipient.  But why!?  Our IT and creative department got on it.

After drilling down, we realized that spam companies globally had flagged our new URL.  It had so effectively been keyword targeted that I’d class it right up there with emails that get flagged for ‘Free Viagra Pills’.  As best as we can pin point why, spam filters didn’t know our new URL until August 1st, and so when we emailed the news of our merger to our large client database, it flagged it as spam – even though we’d never had issues sending mass email announcements previously.

So regardless of why, we had to make some major changes quickly.  The IT and creative team did an excellent job to get things corrected, but it was something that nobody reviewing our prelaunch could have predicted.  We were able to make massive change quickly because we had contingencies in place that if we had to completely go in a different direction, we were ready.  We didn’t think we would need it, but having that continuity plan in place was a huge benefit.

Having several backup plans was key, much like strike or disaster planning, but the real lesson learned was that we have no control over what rules and regulations spam companies use and even if we did, they can change at any time.

Media Training for Corporations and Citizens?

July 27th, 2012 Comments off

Even a community is susceptible to a tainted image during a crisis it seems.  Corporations look to media training prior to events that could tarnish their brand and image, or after a disaster to properly handle the crisis in the eyes of the public, but now a community is concerned with their image after a mass shooting.

Residents offered media training after mass shooting

TORONTO – Toronto officials are offering media training to an east-end community rocked by a mass shooting last week after they say residents complained about how they were being portrayed in the news.

Scott McKean of the city’s community crisis response program says residents in the Danzig Street area requested the training after finding their neighbourhood swarmed with reporters eager to interview them.

He says the residents “recognize that there are a lot of eyes on their community” and want to make sure they send the right message.

Read more…

Workplace Bullying – From Kids?

June 22nd, 2012 Comments off

I wish I could say that this story is unbelievable, but unfortunately it is real, and the workplace bullying a 68-year-old woman had to endure was as well.

Luckily social media played a part in bringing this too light.


Emotional, widespread reaction to harassment of 68-year-old bus monitor

By Greg Botelho, CNN

(CNN) — Karen Klein is likely not the first face that comes to mind when you think of a poster child for bullying.

Yet there she was, sitting in the back of Bus 784 as it rolled through the streets of Greece, New York, on Monday afternoon. Four middle school boys barraged her with verbal abuse, jabbing her about her weight, attacking her family and chuckling as they made violent and graphic threats. Except for a few even-keeled retorts, the 68-year-old bus monitor brushed sweat from her brow and remained quiet, peering up front and out her window seemingly waiting for her hellish ride to end.

Her suffering may have gone unnoticed, had not one of the young teenagers posted a 10-minute video of the harassment on YouTube.

By Wednesday, police were interviewing Klein and her alleged verbal abusers. And by the next day, as the video began going viral, she had become a cause celebre.

Her torment became a prism through which total strangers, the world round, characterized her experience as symbolic of everything wrong with modern-day parenting, children and more. Beyond anger, some expressed sadness for the seemingly defenseless older woman who, they felt, bravely suffered the slings and arrows flung at her for no good reason at all.

Read more and watch video…

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