Fly Right! Have a plan.

As many of you know, I entered the commercial UAV/UAS world (better known as drones) several months ago.

The unfortunate thing is, the only media coverage that really is predominant are those incidents that shine some negative light on what can be and is a valuable tool in a variety of disciplines.

This recent incident in West Kelowna B.C., just screams of a UAV pilot that doesn’t appreciate the responsibility, the accountability and the general safety and Inspire 1 site photowell being of anyone. Scratch pilot from that previous statement and just add operator. Any reputable UAV pilot knows the restrictions, respects the regulations and in fact is mostly likely a proponent for change. Such as I am. This is an aircraft plain and simple.

So how could this particular situation been different? A UAV/UAS could have been used for pre-evacuation surveillance at the leading edge of the restricted airspace. It could have assisted the various other emergency services on the ground in pre-planning or execution. This task or function could be facilitated either from a commercial entity or that within one of the attending services.

The skies can be friendly, there is room for a UAV/UAS industry to work in conjunction with the already existing commercial flight world and in the assistance of emergency services.

Those individuals conducting stunts like the one highlighted in this article and others I’m sure you can Google, obviously do not adhere to the training, research and for that matter the pre-flight rigor that I put myself through and many others in the industry do as well.

Prior flight day equipment checks, site research, flight plan research, day of flight equipment inspections, site assessment (often including a physical walk about), neighboring property (where applicable) communication, on site communication and training, NOTAMs where needed or required, closest areodrome contact and so on. A long flight, a short flight…safety is always first.

Is there a lot of work that can go into a pre-flight process? Yes. Could all that work be done and no flight takes place? Absolutely. Weather & safety considerations are probably the biggest two obstacles. And of course, pilot mindset. All worth it in the end.

As with all the services I provide, and the advise I give; Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

In the neighborhood for a UAV/UAS Pilot? Do your homework and make sure they have a plan.

 

 

What do you do as a profession?

What do you doNow there’s a question I get asked a lot.  Reasonable question.  Honestly asked.  Pure curiosity.  Not always the easiest to answer.

So how have I answered that question in the past?  I’ve tried the formal route: “I’m a consultant that specializes in Security Management, Risk Management and Emergency Management”  Usually followed by the next question of, so what really is all that?  Then I of course would dive in to explain each segment of my statement.

So I changed it up.  “I save companies time, money, liability, I inconvenience some but hopefully help to save lives”  Well that peaked the interest of many.  The money and liability statement peaked the interest of the business crowd whilst the saving lives peaked everyone’s interest.

DefencemanI was at a personal engagement and amongst the various conversations about this and that, that were totally unrelated to anyone’s work, I made a slightly humorous comment about doing one thing so that we can accomplish another and the gentleman said “…and that from a security guy…trying to figure out all the angles…” and then he said this “…it’s like knowing where the puck is going to be”  A wow went off in my head.

You see, as a much younger person I was quite heavily into organized sports, especially hockey and I played defence.  In fact I played right defence but shot left.  Another story for another time.  But to be a good hockey player you need to anticipate where the puck is going to be.  So either you can intercept it from an opponent or accept a pass from a teammate, or block the shot, or be able to take that winning goal shot.

Much of what I do is trying to figure out what is going to happen, how best to get it done, how people are going to react and what is the best way to get them to do what they need to do.  Anticipating where the puck is going is a skill set that I discovered and honed whilst playing hockey.  Bobby Orr was one of my childhood idles and in my opinion was one of the greatest hockey players that did just that.  That made him a great defenceman.

broomBut I had another recent related experience while at Spanish class.  Yes I took a conversation Spanish class in hopes to learn another language a little better than I know it now.   Anyways, it was a conversation with my Spanish instructor in how she delivers her lessons.  She hopes not to blow through content and would rather her students learn and understand the structure of the language rather than just learning how to say words, whilst not understanding the basics and having a base to build from  Which of course, you guessed it, reminded me of when I was again a younger man learning weightlifting.  For the first month my weightlifting coach (Charlie Arnett – great guy, huge, but the kindness and  one of the most gentle hearted men I know) only allowed me to lift a broom stick for the first month of training.  What! The basics and techniques needed to be learned first before he would let me move on to anything else

So what does Spanish and weightlifting have to do with this?  Back to what I do as a profession…I review what your company, organization have in place and I take the basics (known best practices and standards) and I apply them to what your company, organization has ( or even create new), overlaying the knowledge of where the company, organization is, what your business does, and what your needs are.  Put that all into either your Security procedures, your Emergency preparedness training or your Emergency Response Plans.

standards

I assist your company, organization in figuring out what it’s broom stick is, what will be it’s foundation.  All the while listening, writing, reviewing, coaching, and delivering the company, organization a product that will then allow your company, organization to work with it and begin to see where the puck is going to be.

Plan the Work (creating the broom stick foundation). Work the Plan (learning and honing the skills to see where the puck is going to be)

Impressionable Security Culture Maintenance

impressions-hand-prints

Pretty hefty title to the article.  So what does it mean?  Let first start by tearing it apart.

Impressionable and at the very least the root word Impression.  Impressionable means to be easily influenced.  Impression is often defined as or something like an effect, feeling, or image retained as a consequence or end result of an experience.

Security Culture.  So many of you may work in a corporate environment that has a dominant security culture.  That’s been created either by way of processes that needed to be followed such as your physical access privileges or by way of expectation whereby security violations socially and morally unacceptable in the group.

Maintenance.  The process of preserving something or a certain condition.  So in the context of this article, maintaining a security culture.

 

So does what does this image say to you?  (For those who don’t recognize this device its a panic station.  Push a button, summons security to your location.  Many educational institutions have the deployed across their campuses and quite often integrate them into their video surveillance systems.)

panic stationMy immediate impression is that this is not valued.  This is not needed.  Especially when the refuge container is only five feet away, this device has been given the same value and purpose. This is a very expensive yet convenient drink holder.  A convenient shelf.

So why is that?  The message about…

what this is, what it is to be used for, why it’s there, why it’s needed, it’s value

…is not clearly expressed to the entire environment.

Let me describe the environment a little more.  This particular device is situated at the front door area of a prominent university in Canada (had I posted the original daylight photo you’d probably know where this is, also goes to show you that the garbage was there when I returned many hours later).  Sure the garbage was put there by lazy individuals who were most likely if asked “in a hurry”.  But this is at the front door and the fact that it was at the front door really doesn’t matter.  So when visiting this campus this is my first impression of what the safety and security culture or attitude is.  There isn’t one, at best its not strong.  This may or may not fizz some parents dropping off their kids to go here but may have stuck in the memories of many, including the students, visitors (as I was) and even visiting emergency services personnel.

So why do we accept it?  Listen, there was an agreed need to have such a device placed in dozens and dozens of locations at this particular campus.  I know that similar locations have been tagged with graffiti, notices about parties and so on.  I don’t mean to pick on this particular educational institutions because this sort of behavior happens on corporate campuses also.

My point in this rant…if you’re going to find the need to have these devices or many other safety and security devices, there needs to be a culture of understanding as to why they need to be there, what the devices are to be used for and that the need for everyone to ensure that they are readily available, free from obstruction, and free from unwanted distraction.  It’s not just the safety and security departments job to make this happen, its the faculty’s, the student body, visitors.  Anyone who appreciates the value of what this represents.  If the buy in exists throughout out and is maintained throughout, the impressions will last a lot longer.

Plan the Work. Work the Plan.

The eyes have it.

In the shadow of 9/11, in the wake of the Arab Spring, rioting in the UK and various other global events either classified as terrorism, freedom uprising or just misguided youth, one industry that has been constant and growing is video cameras.

Whether its been surveillance or sousveillance we capture billions of images and stream days upon days worth of video daily.  Here are the distinctions between the two;

Surveillance (in the context of this article) :observation from a distance by means of electronic equipment (such as CCTV cameras); it is the monitoring of the behavior, activities, or other changing information, usually of people and often in a surreptitious manner.

Sousveillance (in the context of this article): typically involves community-based recording from first person perspectives, without necessarily involving any specific political agenda, whereas inverse-surveillance is a form of sousveillance that is typically directed at, or used to collect data to analyze or study, surveillance or its proponents (e.g., the actions of police at a protest rally).

So where is it all lead?  Interesting article on the Post 9/11 surveillance.