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Fight or Flight – What Does it Mean for a Security Guard

There are two parties that can experience fight or flight syndrome in the security guard’s job.  The security guard may experience this feeling or the person(s) that the security guard is dealing with can experience it.

First, let’s examine what fight or flight syndrome is.

Fight or Flight Syndrome

The body has an in-built survival technique that kicks in automatically when one feels that they are in danger.  It can be real or perceived danger.  When someone feels threatened, two systems are activated by the hypothalamus in the brain: the adrenal cortical system and the sympathetic nervous system.  These two thing work together to make muscles more tense and to give the body speed.  Extra adrenaline and noradrenaline, stress hormones, are sent through the bloodstream.  They increase blood pressure and heart rate.  30 more hormones are also released to make the body react faster and be more alert.

Serotonin Syndrome

Serotonin Syndrome (Photo credit: Life Mental Health)

How Does This Relate to the Security Guard?

At some point in your job, you may be put in a situation where you are in danger.  When and if that happens, the fight or flight syndrome will kick in.  If you do not recognize these symptoms, you may be more likely to opt for the flight part of it.  This might be the right decisions.  But if you know what is happening and you know that you have been trained to handle the situation, you will be able to stay and “fight”.  Fight does not necessarily mean using physical actions.  It can mean just keeping control of the situation and keeping others safe.  But if you understand what is happening you’ll be more likely to handle yourself appropriately for the specific situation you are in.

On the other hand, it might be the person you are talking to that experiences the fight or flight syndrome.  It is your job to avoid that.  When confronting someone that may be doing something wrong or may have committed a crime, you need to appear to be non-threatening if at all possible.  If they feel that they are in danger the first thing they will do is run.  And if you catch them, which you likely will because you’re in great shape, they will fight.  If they are armed with any weapons, this can be very dangerous for you because the fight or flight syndrome can be very powerful.

Your best armor is knowledge.  The more you understand about the fight or flight syndrome and how it applies to your job, the more likely you will be able to anticipate future actions.

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One Response to “Fight or Flight – What Does it Mean for a Security Guard”

  1. It’s not easy to stay quiet in face of a threat and with this Fight or Flight syndrome.

    I think we need a very good preparation and some experience to handle more easily difficult situation.

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