Ricky Cross was on duty as a security officer at a Wilmington, Delaware, community center last summer when gunshots rang out nearby. A woman with a head injury ran toward the center, and his instincts and training kicked in.
After examining the victim’s injury and concluding that her head likely was grazed by a bullet, Cross administered first aid and reported the emergency, according to his employer of 10 years, U.S. Security Associates (USA). While waiting for first responders to arrive, Cross applied pressure to the wound. The woman was flown to a nearby hospital and survived, USA reported.
All USA security officers must pass extensive background checks, drug testing, and basic training through the USA Security Academy or state-mandated schools. USA Security Academy is the company’s in-house training division that provides centralized, consistent training for its more than 49,000 security professionals nationwide.
Every USA security officer also completes on-the-job training and in-service training. About 700 security officer training courses are available via USA Security Academy, including advanced education and professional certifications.
USA has received numerous training and development and talent management awards in recent years. In 2015 alone, Chief Learning Officer magazine named the security company a Gold Learning Elite organization; the Association for Talent Development selected USA as a winner in its 2015 BEST Awards program; and Training magazine ranked USA among its 2016 Training Top 125, marking the 10th consecutive year that USA has been recognized as a BEST Award recipient.
Chief Learning Officer applauded USA’s use of technology in training—with one judge commenting, “This organization has embraced and leveraged virtually every technological tool available to support their learning operation. Examples included live sessions being streamed to classrooms nationwide, recorded videos, online training, social media/networking, smart phone quizzing, knowledge sharing via SharePoint®, and downloadable, digital content. Perhaps the most elite tactic is the eTutor online virtual classroom that replicates the classroom environment.”
“We are continuously expanding our training offerings to keep pace with security industry developments, regulatory requirements, and client-specific security officer training needs,” USA Training Manager Robert Lowrey said.
In 2014 and 2015, USA released nearly 50 new training courses via USA Security Academy. Segway Safety, Segway SE3, and T3 Motion are three of the new courses that were introduced in 2015. They average 12 minutes each, focus on the safety and operational features of the vehicles, and review key concepts covered in Driver Safety, which is a mandatory USA training course for all security officers who drive on the job.
“Safety is one of the fundamental benefits of using T3s and Segways in security applications,” Lowrey says. “But training is key. We designed these courses to require a minimal time commitment, which means the training has the potential to reach more employees.”
Those new courses are designed to complement hands-on field training, not replace it, Lowrey explains.
Other new training courses added in 2015 include an 8-hour advanced antiterrorism training program, which is mandatory for all mall and shopping center security officers, as well as courses on ammonia awareness, fall protection, Ebola and enterovirus, measles awareness prevention and response, pandemic preparedness, and the first in a series of training modules on USA’s technology apps.
“Technology is an area where we are leapfrogging ahead of the industry,” said Lowrey. “We are unique in that we have internal developers who are not just patching together third-party products but actually creating next-generation technology that will establish a new, elevated industry standard.”