Business Protection, People

We can be heroes – Peter Jones, Business Protection

I joined the army at 16 and did five years in the military, then while I was still serving in the jungles in Belize I filled in the application form for the fire service. I had to write an apology note with the form to explain I was doing it from a hammock in the jungle.

A month after leaving the army I joined West Midlands Fire Service. It was the fire service that actually led me into the medical profession. I joined the fire service at 21. I stayed there for 14 years. I was inspired by a training sub officer who told me about a place in Stoke that did advance medical training. I paid for it all myself. I became an emergency medical technician and I still wasn’t happy with that so I paid for more courses and more training. I went to Denmark doing training courses, worked in Sarajevo and became a paramedic with the West Midlands Fire Service. I was still a fireman but a paramedic in my spare time.

I left the fire service in 2004 and I had my own company doing paramedic cover and teaching first aid courses. I taught for a company called Pilgrims and went to Nairobi and taught a medical and survival course to reporters who were going to be going overseas. I then went out to Baghdad because of my fire training and knowledge. It was during the elections, after the war, and they have a huge electoral building so they needed a fire and safety officer to run the building. I stayed in Iraq for about four years and went to Afghanistan and Kabul and Helmand Province for two years.

I spotted a job on Indeed with a company called GMS for a prevention officer to deal with fire and medical issues at Jaguar Land Rover. It sounded absolutely perfect. I joined April 1 2017. I joined the core team and took part in all of the training. I was the first to pass the first responder emergency care course to level 4.

I am now the CPD lead for FREC at Jaguar Land Rover. I maintain the level of all employees’ qualifications. I’ve just designed a course for the controllers on how to dispatch for medical injuries and conditions.

The minute an employee sets foot onto site the level of care they have is really quite something. We are not just security. At the Engine Manufacturing Centre for instance we have two fully functional medical rooms, medical response vehicle and four staff who are a minimum of FREC 3 trained. All the controllers are getting trained in medical dispatch. We’ve done the fire breathing apparatus course. We’ve gone above and beyond to look after employees at all times. On the shop floor we have tens and tens of first aiders. Our response time is only four minutes to anywhere on the site. We have a defibrillator and gas and air. I would have joined years ago if I’d know that we had this professional set-up and duty of care to our people.

I still reflect on the most formative years of my career which were undoubtedly in the army. It was about discipline and respect. That’s what shaped me into the person I am today. I was up at 5am every day making my bed in a block that was 15×15 inches. If your boots weren’t clean they were thrown out of the window. That’s where I got my work ethic. Taking pride in what you do, doing it well but also being honest and frank with people. I still run 10km per day and I’m always determined to do the best job I can every day.



Business Protection, People

We can be heroes – Przemyslaw Sicinski, Business Protection

I finished school at 21, which was a secondary engineering school. It works a little differently in Poland. I joined the army straight out of school as we still have national service, so I served for two years – one year national service and one year as a contract.

Between 1996 and 1998 I worked in Warsaw in security, fast transport team. We convoyed money, response work. Later in 2001 I came back to my home town of Wloclawek to work in the police force. I was in the police force for six years. I worked on the streets in uniform and then moved into intelligence and worked undercover in plain clothes.

I was always an athlete as I used to play handball from a young age. I got my first dumbbells when I was 15 and joined my gym. I’ve essentially trained for 30 years. I always just trained for myself rather than shows. I started competing in bodybuilding shows in January this year. Before that I was a strongman and entered many competitions both Poland and the UK. For my age I decided that bodybuilding is better for my body than strongman competitions.

When I was a policeman I was bigger than I am now. I was 20 stones so I was very big. I worked undercover so all the bad guys trusted me because of how I looked.

I rose to the rank of sergeant in the Polish police. When my friend from the UK offered me some work in the UK I jumped at the chance. I worked for a few companies including Laurence Automotive Interiors at Browns Lane as a quality technician, using my engineering skills. Coming to the UK with skills in engineering and security, there were lots of jobs for me to do. I went for the job of a CNC operator but during the interview they offered me a different job because they had problems with employees, so I became a plant protection officer. I was also trained as the fire marshal. I was there for six years at Browns Lane.

I have been at Gaydon for 18 months. I have been trained in so many things from security, to fire fighting, FREC 3 first response emergency care.

I was still competing every year in strongman competitions. I was having a lot of success but I am a little too short for the strongman events. I won the body power expo in my category in my first completion this year. It’s all about proportions. On 24 November I’ll be competing against 400 athletes in the Mr Universe completion. It’s the biggest show for 40 years. I do it all without the support of a crew, like coaches, chefs, trainers. All my crew are really supportive and let me do cardio when I need to.

I have to apply this discipline to the whole of my life. If you focus on a goal you can achieve it. I want to win in November. I work 12-hour shifts and attend so many different calls at Gaydon, then I have my family, my dieting and shift work. 24 hours sometimes aren’t enough but I’m 100% focused on achieving my goals.

In my professional career, all of the jobs I’ve done have been helping people. That’s always been the core theme. Even in security, the army, a police officer it’s all geared to helping people. That’s what makes me happy.

Business Protection, People

We can be heroes – Sharon Richardson, Senior Security Supervisor

I was always more of a hands-on, physical type of person rather than an academic type. I left at 16 and secured a job at the DSS benefit agency doing basic security. From there I saw a position working for Group 4 for a new privately financed prison in Rugby. I saw that as a big new challenge so applied and was successful. That was the start of my career in the prison service for the next 20 years.

Over my 20 year career I was in charge of conflict management and conflict resolution with prisoners, dealing with aggressive people and de-escalating it without using force.

I worked on the segregation unit as a segregation manager which dealt with the most non-compliant, refractory prisoners. They couldn’t be controlled on a normal regime so I would house 21 cells and you knew that when you opened the cell door, you would have to use force. When I left Rye Hill where I was for 12 years the prisoners were crying as they were so sad I was leaving. They were serving 30 years so they wanted stability and they wanted to trust people. I then moved to Oakwood prison which was then the biggest prison in Europe. I wanted to be very visible and show the staff the standards I expected by leading from the front. I went in as a residential manager and that lasted for two weeks. I moved into security and intelligence.

In 2016 I moved to JLR. An ex colleague of mine joined JLR into Business Protection and that was the first I’d ever heard of it. It sounded amazing. The work sounded perfect. The position that came up was as a team leader on the gates at Solihull. I’ve had four promotions since I joined two and a half years ago. Because of the level I worked to in the prison service I can deliver to a very high level. So I’m now in a senior security supervisor role. I have a first line of security officers. We’ve evolved the security team since I’ve been here as we didn’t have any of that in place.

I’ve already started to set up an intelligence process where I work with the internal investigations team to track and monitor. We work really closely with the police force and I have the expertise to present cases with the correct evidence packages to assist them.

We use a lot of surveillance techniques and act on anonymous whistle-blowing information. We then develop the lead gathering evidence and data. We’re present on site 24/7 so by being visible, we’re anonymous. It’s about a security culture and mind-set, we want to change it across the plant. We want people to understand that security is everyone’s responsibility. I run a risk log for the site. I audit processes and techniques for all areas to avoid and minimise risk and theft. You probe the business for weaknesses and then put in fixes to rectify them.

I want Solihull to be the centre of excellence for security.

Communication has been the one skill that has always steered me right over the years. Clarity right from the top to the teams so we’re all clear on what we’re doing. People management is essential and managing performance. It’s the only way you get the best out of people.

Business Protection, People

We can be heroes – Andrew Sheppard, Business Protection

I left school and started out as a baker. I always wanted to be a chef growing up. I started as a baker and went on to be a pastry chef. I did that for a good few years when I left at 16 until I was 20. At 20 my parents emigrated to Spain so when I was 20 I moved there and lived there for 6 years. I baked over there and helped my mum who was a teacher.

A job opportunity came up when Land Rover was building the new T5 building Body in White. They needed security to keep an eye out and help the contractors. This was in the Ford era. I came over for a couple of years on the Solihull site.

I then applied and got a job working on the gates for two years and then an opportunity to progress to the core team presented itself. I got my first posting as an SEO (security emergency officer) at Browns Lane.

When I worked on the gates at Solihull I did some shifts with the core team following them around and learning about the different types of scenarios they had to deal with like fire and medical. When I did my basic fire course I won an award as the most outstanding pupil.

Then I moved back to Solihull and I was there for 7 years. I’ve done lots of training since in medical and fire related courses. It’s so busy there it’s unbelievable. I’ve dealt with five deaths, traumas, car crashes, finger lacerations, strokes, heart attacks, anaphylactic shock. Everything you can think of we’ve dealt with it. All of our people now have to be FREC 3 trained. I’m FREC 4 which is about advanced airways. The spread of work is huge and require a lot of mental strength.

About 3 years ago I got asked I would be the lead trainer on breathing apparatus. I went to the fire service college in Moreton in Marsh. It’s an external qualification so I can teach anywhere. I teach in Warwickshire as well. I’ve taught lots of our people now in firefighting and breathing apparatus.

We have a fantastic reputation here with the outside services. In September we have five weeks of training with Warwickshire fire. When we do joint exercises with the external fire crews they really trust us. We know the best way to cut our cars if they’ve crashed and they turn to us for our expertise and knowledge of the cars. When we have a job and they come over the first thing they’ll ask is ‘what do you need from us?’ You can’t get much more of a compliment really.

Physically it’s hard. You can lose up to 2 litres of water through sweating when you’re training as we work in such intense heat all day long.

I moved to Fen End last October when the new building was finished. My formative time was when I joined the training team. I wasn’t a supervisor at that time. I did the training and really enjoying and found myself in a position that I felt I could affect some change in the business. The things I never liked or moaned about I had the ability to put a better process in place which was so rewarding. It changed from just being a job to being able to influence some change. Now I have the opportunity to do that at a senior level so that was a really impactful moment for me. 2018 marks 15 years with business for me and I’ve loved every moment.