The Mak­ings of a Se­cu­rity Guard GESCO Se­cu­rity Ser­vices

In­ter­view with Ramiz Gayt­ma­zov, the Direc­tor of GESCO, a pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pany

Azer News - - Nation -

Ques­tion: How long have you been work­ing in the sphere of se­cu­rity and how has it changed over this period?

Answer: I started my ca­reer in se­cu­rity in Rus­sia dur­ing the most dif­fi­cult period – in the early 90’s. For sev­eral years, I worked in pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies in Moscow and Toly­atti, then I re­turned to Baku and started a busi­ness. About seven years ago I re­sumed my ac­tiv­ity in se­cu­rity ser­vices and since that time I have been work­ing for GESCO. I was a chief of se­cu­rity at one of the com­pany’s pro­jects, then be­came a deputy direc­tor of the com­pany, and headed GESCO just over a year ago. Now, it is much eas­ier and less stress­ful to work in the se­cu­rity sphere than 20-25 years ago, we have new tech­nolo­gies which fa­cil­i­tate our work.

As for GESCO, the com­pany has been op­er­at­ing in the Azer­bai­jani mar­ket for 15 years. It started with just sev­eral clients, but its po­si­tions have strength­ened and the num­ber of clients has in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly over this period. Now, we pro­vide se­cu­rity ser­vices to many oil and gas com­pa­nies, uni­ver­si­ties, two big em­bassies – Chi­nese and Turk­ish, and ac­tively de­velop co­op­er­a­tion with the trade sec­tor – shop­ping malls, large su­per­mar­kets, stores, etc.

At the same time, we im­prove the work­ing con­di­tions of our em­ploy­ees, im­ple­ment in­ter­na­tional stan­dards and have been cer­ti­fied ac­cord­ing to ISO 9001: 2015, ISO 14001: 2015 and OHSAS 18001: 2007. As an em­ployer, we en­sure that our staff does not ex­ceed max­i­mum work­ing hours ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional stan­dards. Thanks to this ap­proach, we pro­vide bet­ter ser­vices than many other se­cu­rity com­pa­nies. There are some com­pa­nies that do not meet these stan­dards and of­fer cheaper ser­vices. Cheap does not mean good and our clients un­der­stand that.

Q.: The ma­jor­ity of your clients are oil and gas com­pa­nies and var­i­ous uni­ver­si­ties. What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween the work of the se­cu­rity guards in these ar­eas? Do you have dif­fer­ent types of train­ing for guards of dif­fer­ent spheres?

A.: Se­cu­rity guards in dif­fer­ent spheres do quite sim­i­lar jobs. A fire or at­tack could hap­pen both at a univer­sity and in an oil com­pany, and ev­ery se­cu­rity guard should be pre­pared for it. In the case of a fire at a univer­sity, the main task of the guards is to or­ga­nize an evac­u­a­tion for a large num­ber of peo­ple. Mean­while, in an oil com­pany, they should pre­vent fire ex­ten­sion to flammable sub­stances.

Oil fa­cil­i­ties are strate­gic sites and the se­cu­rity guards are to­tally for­bid­den to pro­vide any in­for­ma­tion about these fa­cil­i­ties to third par­ties or take self­ies in the work­place. We also have a full ban on smok­ing at oil fa­cil­i­ties. The rules for the guards at uni­ver­si­ties are a bit softer. For ex­am­ple, they can smoke in a des­ig­nated smok­ing area dur­ing the work­ing day. But univer­sity se­cu­rity guards should have good com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills and be able to smooth things over. They should win stu­dents fa­vor and trust, that will help them to pre­vent pos­si­ble prob­lems in fu­ture. There­fore, we pay great at­ten­tion to psy­chol­ogy train­ing for univer­sity se­cu­rity guards. More­over, guards at dif­fer­ent sites have dif­fer­ent clothes, shoes, and

por­ta­ble trans­ceivers. For ex­am­ple, they are made of non-flammable ma­te­ri­als at oil and gas fa­cil­i­ties.

Q.: What qual­i­ties should a good se­cu­rity guard have?

A.: First of all, they must be smart. They must be able to make the right de­ci­sion in time. We al­ways em­pha­size that a guard should work not only with their mus­cles but also with their heads. They must be in good phys­i­cal shape. They must be hon­est and re­spon­si­ble. And they must love their work.

Q.: Is there a big com­pe­ti­tion in Azer­bai­jan’s se­cu­rity ser­vices mar­ket?

A.: The mar­ket is com­pet­i­tive. There are a lot of se­cu­rity com­pa­nies in Azer­bai­jan. We un­der­stand that if we do not pro­vide the high­estlevel ser­vices, we will lose the mar­ket and end up with noth­ing. There­fore, we have a rig­or­ous re­cruit­ment process, we in­tro­duce new tech­nolo­gies, and we do our best to im­prove the phys­i­cal form of our em­ploy­ees, de­velop their pro­fes­sional skills and com­pe­ten­cies through var­i­ous train­ing, and mon­i­tor their work 24/7. We have a spe­cial in­spec­tion, which vis­its ev­ery fa­cil­ity pro­tected by our com­pany two to three times per week at dif­fer­ent times of the day and night to check if our se­cu­rity guards do their work prop­erly. Ev­ery three months we or­ga­nize a phys­i­cal fit­ness test for our em­ploy­ees, and ev­ery six months all our se­cu­rity guards take a com­pul­sory phys­i­cal exam.

Q.: Nowa­days, many women move into his­tor­i­cally male-dom­i­nated oc­cu­pa­tions, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity. Are there any fe­males in your com­pany? Does their work dif­fer some­how? Are there

any sit­u­a­tions in the se­cu­rity sphere where fe­male guards cope bet­ter?

A.: We do have fe­males in our com­pany. Male guards should not carry out the se­cu­rity check of fe­males, they should not en­ter any premises for women, for ex­am­ple, the fe­male locker room. How­ever, if se­cu­rity guards sus­pect that a woman is car­ry­ing a for­bid­den item to the pro­tected fa­cil­ity, or some­thing is hap­pen­ing in a fe­male locker room, it should be checked. So, there should be a fe­male guard at the fa­cil­i­ties with fe­male staff. In ad­di­tion, in some cases, women in­deed cope bet­ter with some se­cu­rity work, be­cause it is eas­ier for them to find ap­proaches to other peo­ple and win their fa­vor. But, we still have many more male guards than fe­male guards. Fe­male guards pass the same train­ing as male guards do. They also have to be in good phys­i­cal shape, be smart, and able to work with peo­ple.

Q.: To­day ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence dis­places hu­mans in many ar­eas, in­clud­ing se­cu­rity. For ex­am­ple, the pop­u­lar­ity of au­to­matic ac­cess con­trol sys­tems, video cam­eras with mo­tion sen­sors, and var­i­ous scan­ners are gain­ing mo­men­tum. In your opin­ion, can it lead to a de­crease in de­mand for se­cu­rity com­pa­nies’ ser­vices?

A.: I do not think that cam­eras or any other inan­i­mate ob­ject can re­place hu­mans. If a sur­veil­lance cam­era is in­stalled, there should be a per­son who views the video and is able to re­act to a dan­ger and pre­vent an emer­gency. More­over, a cam­era will not call the po­lice or am­bu­lance if nec­es­sary. On the con­trary, mod­ern tech­nolo­gies help us in our work. For ex­am­ple, we can­not have a se­cu­rity guard in ev­ery room to re­act to a fire im­me­di­ately, but spe­cial fire sen­sors send sig­nals and help us act quickly.

Q.: Pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies do not have a lot of power in Azer­bai­jan, un­like many other coun­tries. For ex­am­ple, you are not per­mit­ted to carry weapons. In your opin­ion, do you need more power?

A.: You are right. Pri­vate se­cu­rity com­pa­nies in Azer­bai­jan do not have per­mis­sion to use weapons. We are not even per­mit­ted to use rub­ber trun­cheons. If there is a case of an at­tack on a fa­cil­ity, pri­vate se­cu­rity guards can re­sist only with their bare hands. It lim­its our sphere of ac­tiv­ity to some ex­tent and im­pedes us from de­vel­op­ing co­op­er­a­tion with banks and pro­vid­ing cash col­lec­tion ser­vices. These ser­vices are pro­vided by state bodies. If we were al­lowed to have smooth-bore guns, or at least trun­cheons, elec­tric shock­ers, and gas spray, we would have more clients.

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