Meeting With A True Body Armour Expert Can Save The Lives Of Others
Written by: Robert Kaiser
Being in the position of ‘power’ and having the responsibility to source, evaluate and ultimately purchase body armour can indeed be a daunting job. Your decisions will most likely have a significant impact on the safety of your frontline staff, and I can only imagine you really do not want to get this one wrong.
The convenience of relying on Google must be tempting. You may feel that your local police officer must know his stuff and hence you may feel he is the right man to ask a few questions. But please let me stop you there right there.
I have done this precise job for 15 years; travelling the world and clocking up some serious air miles in the process. In all the 500+ meetings with Senior Security Managers of Government Agencies (domestic and overseas) Healthcare Facilities, Universities, major public Buildings and infrastructure, public transport firms and enormous shopping centres, I always stated the same: I would not ever tell a paramedic how to save someone’s life following a major road traffic collision, I would not tell an experienced firefighter how to stop a housefire, and I would neither tell a police officer how to effectively enforce the law. For the same reasons no one else, but a genuine body armour expert, should advise you of the performance, design and manufacturing advancements of body armour.
Over the past few years, it is now our Technical Director Colin Mackinnon who primarily meets with our national and international clients. Following a 27-year long career in law enforcement (counter terrorism police, firearms units, surveillance etc) he clearly has a superb understanding of today’s real operational risks and threats.
When discussing this subject matter, Colin said:
“When I meet with our customers, we usually seem to build a relationship of trust up, through discussing experiences that both the client has gone through and my own operational experiences while serving in the Police. Common ground and mutual respect are strong bonds in understanding that the product that PPSS Group have developed are not only technologically sound but are based on actual operational experience and dealing with the very same risks and threats they face. I personally demonstrate the equipment on myself in front of the client which shows my confidence in the product and I strongly encourage the client to also take a blow from a baseball bat or a knife, developing their own confidence in a product which works. There is no substitute for feeling the weight, fit, and performance of our products before committing to buy them. This is something that cannot be done via an email or telephone call.”
I recently wrote an article on the importance of certified spike protection when searching for the right body armour. I had included our video, featuring Colin beating me with a baseball bat and several types of edged weapons. One reader commented and questioned why such physical demo is necessary and why the official certification cannot be deemed as ‘good enough’. My answer was quite straight forward:
“A physical demo of the body armour’s performance is essential, as it is crucial for the wearer to develop that vital level of trust in the body armour. It will give you peace of mind 100% knowing that it will do the job, that you can rely on it and that it will really protect you from the specific threat you face. It will also help you to understand what physical sensations such attack will result in (e.g. level of pain, discomfort, dizziness, breathing difficulties etc.)”
Also, and this is indeed of great importance, it will allow you to look at the eyes of the body armour company’s representative and ask clear and precise questions, e.g.: “Is your body armour CAST (or NIJ or VPAM) certified for knife protection as well as spike protection and impact protection?” I would personally urge you to follow this question up with another one important question: “Can I please see a copy of the certification?” It is truly shocking to see how many body armour manufacturers are still successfully blagging their way through their sales pitches.
A personal meeting with our body armour consultant allows you to raise any concerns your frontline staff might have. They will want to know why they are suddenly required to wear body armour. “Does my boss know something he/she is not willing to share with me?”. “Is he/she planning to change my job role, or will I be required to take on more risky duties?”
We are here to ensure the decisions you are about to make are based on physical facts, not based on hearsay or what someone with a reasonable, yet insufficient level of knowledge will have advised you to do.
Please contact us. We are more than happy to arrange a face-to-face meeting, or simply schedule a video call.