Keep­ing his cool vi­tal for hos­pi­tal se­cu­rity guard

Hilling­don Hos­pi­tal se­cu­rity guard Dave McCool of­ten finds him­self chal­lenged to live up to his name. HAN­NAH RAVEN met the man keep­ing or­der on the wards and cor­ri­dors

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

DAVE McCool, 57, has been punched, kicked, pinned to the wall and wres­tled to the ground in his job at the bor­ough’s main hos­pi­tal, in Pield Heath Road.

Dave is a re­as­sur­ing sight for staff, es­pe­cially in A&E where he is of­ten called to calm ag­gres­sive or dif­fi­cult pa­tients.

“You have to be firm but calm, even when peo­ple are be­ing abu­sive,” says the 57-year-old fa­ther of one.

“Some­one might have drunk too much, be up­set about the wait­ing time or have men­tal health prob­lems and de­cide to take it out on staff.

“You do be­come an ex­pert at read­ing body lan­guage so can of­ten pre­dict what peo­ple are go­ing to do. I’ve found the more ver­bal they are the less likely it is to get phys­i­cal.”

He is part of a six-strong team re­spon­si­ble for keep­ing the peace on the 27-acre site, as well as en­sur­ing the hos­pi­tal’s maze of rooms and build­ings are se­cure af­ter hours.

He says the com­mu­nity spirit of the hos­pi­tal is some­thing he still en­joys af­ter 30 years, de­spite the con­fronta­tions, adding: “I live op­po­site the hos­pi­tal so I bump into a lot of peo­ple I know.”

The size of the hos­pi­tal, which in­cludes more than 30 build­ings, means the team can­not be ev­ery­where.

They keep an eye on things with the help of TV mon­i­tors hooked up to more than 65 cam­eras.

They also look af­ter the hos­pi­tal’s lost prop­erty which in­cludes the pre­dictable keys, mo­bile phones and wal­lets – and lots of walk­ing sticks.

Not only does Dave en­joy the com­mu­nity side of his job, he also says it keeps him fit.

He of­ten walks miles ev­ery day around the hos­pi­tal grounds.

“I’ve spent most of my work­ing life here so I am at­tached to it. We all have our mo­ments but I wouldn’t have stayed if I didn’t like it,” he added.

n VIG­I­LANT: Se­cu­rity guard Dave McCool

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