View Full Version : Choosing Safety Team Members?

02-19-2004, 05:04 PM
How do you select people as members of your Medical or Security Team?

Over the last two years we went from who was available, to being more selective on the person joining the team. I will pass along some of what we have done and also ask for feedback to improve the process.

Both Teams

Any prospective member must be a saved Christian and a member of the church. Many believe that the desire to serve is enough but we believe that if you wish to serve you should officially make a commitment to the church. Additionally, a baby Christian must spend some time walking the way before allowing diversions to interrupt their bible studies and faith walk. I like to see a person attending a year before committing to this type of ministry. I have made some exceptions when long established Christians relocate to the area, but that might reduce the time frame to 6 months, we still need to get a “feel” for their personality. If we are to spend the time to train you we need to know you will be here for a while.

Medical Team

The people who make up are teams are mainly certified EMT’s from the local fire departments and Emergency Room Nurses. We have a few doctors who have also volunteered time. All have worked well so far. Problems can occur with general duty nurses who are not used to handling a fast paced or gory incident. The same can hold true for doctors who seldom care for trauma injuries. The best doctor candidates are GP’s and ER doctors.

Security Teams

Choosing the team members for security can be a far more difficult task. The current members on the team include current police officers, former police officers, retired military (weapons specialist and high level officer protection), firemen, a manager of private security for a private business, several businessmen who work in positions of authority or own their company, and a college student.

When we interview a candidate we try to get a feeling for why the person feels called to enter this ministry. The first thing to eliminate is the person who has no control in their normal home or work life and would like to be in a position of authority. You need to present a loving, helpful caring attitude to the church members. The Barney Fife’s and cop wannabe’s are not the people I want on the team. People who are used to authority as part of their normal job tend to be very level headed and calm when an incident occurs. In this position – attitude is everything.

Our candidates must fill out an application, which inquires into the skills that they have that would be valuable in the mission. However, if I have a candidate that may have no former LEO or security training they are not automatically ruled out as they can be trained in the needed knowledge. Additionally, the application has a signed witnessed release that permits us to conduct a 7-year felony background. The candidates are also checked against the state sexual offender’s list.

I will post a list of standard questions such “Why are you interested in the team” later. I would like input from the forum on questions you would ask and traits you would look for.

02-19-2004, 05:27 PM
Very well thought out, JJ1. I would get a release for and conduct a complete background and credit check for at least the last 10 years. That information is readily available through one of your local private investigators or through a good internet site such as accurint, irb search, pallorium, choicepoint and others. The credit check will give you some insight as to their stability and creditworthiness. People who have bad credit tend to be bigger risk takers in general and more reckless. This isn't always true, but in many cases it is. That's why car insurance rates are based to a certain degree on how good your credit is. I would be particularly concerned in finding if any protective orders, restraining orders or lawsuits had been filed against this person. Of course you should also check the sexual offender registry of your state, many are available free online. I think this along with your excellent ideas would give you a good starting point. Any other ideas?

02-19-2004, 05:47 PM
Of the 6 to 8 services I have checked, none will provide a check going farther back than 7 years. It might be a state law here in Ohio.

02-19-2004, 11:11 PM
JJ1, it is wonderful to see the program you have set up. Ours appears to be similar.

One hitch, however with your med team--if they are active with the local fire or EMT's--there will be a possible conflict of interest if an emergency strikes, where they will be needed both in your church actions as well as on the job.

We asked our med people openly which arena they would be working in during an emergency. Most opted to be with the church family. A few said they would try to help at both. However during a major crisis, we know that anyone working in a hospital will be staying there indefinitely, and we have made plans accordingly.

So far as the security team, I agree that everyone needs to be checked out. Regardless of how professional their background has been, we also require them to pass various tests each year and undergo regular (monthly) training with the team. We rely upon live scenarios heavily after a classroom-type teaching session.

Anyway, great job on your organization and efforts. The church is where it ought to be happening ! If God's people can't respond to a crisis effectively, who is this left up to ?

02-20-2004, 12:46 AM
Have to say I'm impressed by the vetting you do and the way you set up your team. I'll admit when I read your first post about having nurses and doctors on the team I cringed. Seems like you've see /dealt with the problems of having non emergency personal in an emergency enviroment. Seems like you have an excellent system in place-pray that it has to be used little.

Yours in Christ
NM Eric

02-20-2004, 07:44 AM
Of the 6 to 8 services I have checked, none will provide a check going farther back than 7 years. It might be a state law here in Ohio.

The database searches work for some things, but not for others. Credit,addresses, verification of ssn, phone numbers and the like can be checked on-line. A LIMITED amount of criminal and civil records can be checked on-line, as can most sexual offenders.Bankprutcy records can often be searched by a phone call to an automated system at the U.S. District Court in your area. Don't let anyone tell you that they can do a nationwide criminal search by database. It does not exist. Only LE with the use of NCIC can do this, but even it is not always correct. Civilians do not have access to NCIC--it is illegal. Only county-level courthouse searches will provide the info you need. In my state and probably in yours too, anyone can search public records at the courthouse, including civil and criminal records. It could be different in your state, so you would need to check. This is basically what Homeland Security is checking now, combining databases such as Accurint with criminal and civil checks. Compare the addresses where they say they lived with what you uncover in the background check. This will give clues as to their honesty. Hope this helps.:)

Pale Horse
02-20-2004, 05:46 PM
Something to concider would be those who have ccw permits. The feds have already done a background check on them. My team leader knew me for 2 years before he asked me to help the team. Then came the training, mainly meetings, mock senerios, 1st aid and cpr. Mainly the guys on the team consists of former military, several police officers, a few guys who have no experience, the maintenance guy (invaluable member he knows where everthing is), ushers, elders, and pastors. The maintenance guy is one of the most important guy on the team, he makes the keys, know where the shut off valves are, security codes both issue and maintenance, know if locks have been tampered with, these are a few of the things our guy handles for us.

Our team leader mainly wants guys that are faithful and guys that are willing to learn, the background check is a must as well. He prefers former military, cops, and the sort for security.

For the medical staff we have RN's, 3 Dr.s, and a few other people.

02-20-2004, 09:30 PM
Here in Ohio we have just passed a CCW permit process that does not go into effect until April 7th. At that time you may apply for a permit if you have completed the mandatory training of 12 hours - 10 classroom & 2 on the range. After that it is up to a 45 days wait. I like your idea of using that as one of the measures in vetting a candidate. As you stated, you still need to know and trust an individual before permitting them to carry as a representative of the church. With that in mind, those of you who carry as part of the Church Security Team assignment, does the church have liability insurance for you if a problem occurs while you are working as a team member?

I look forward to including this as one of our tools but also must set a use of deadly force policy in place and determine what will be required as qualification skil level. Not every team member will be capable of dealing with CCW and the required warrior mentality. When I went through the academy, one of our first decisions was "Could I use deadly force if required?"

From a training aspect, a key skill will be the ability to make a clean single shot, first time, every time into a 5" circle at up to 20 yards. Those of you that already carry, what are your requirements?

02-21-2004, 08:01 AM
Antoher thing to check in your state, is the ability of the applacant to have a background done, here in Virginia, one can go to the local State Trooper barracks and for a fee have a background done, and its run thru VCIN/NCIC/NLETS, and a couple of others.

03-14-2005, 08:39 PM
A good read on choosing team members