“There was no way I was going to let him die” - Carl

Our Behind the Licence series takes a look at the men and women who have trained to hold a licence and work in their chosen field, whether that be having an SIA Licence as a Door Supervisor, or a Bar Manager with a Personal Licence.

This week we speak with 43 year old Carl Simpson. A Security Guard who lives and works in Sunderland and has been working in the security sector for over 20 years.

Carl discusses how he first began working as a Door Supervisor at the age of 19, and how one morning while starting his shift he was faced with a life changing incident, and how his actions would save the life of a little boy.

Why did you become a Security Guard?

Back in the day when I was 19 a lot of my friends were already Door Supervisors and they introduced me to this line of work and I have just done it since.

What do you like most about being a Security Guard?

Just being around people and the public and the job itself, including all the lads that I work with. It’s a great team.

What’s the most important skill for a Security Guard?

Being able to interact with the public and just being able to talk to the public and interact with them.

Does physical appearance play an important role in this job?

No, not necessarily, it does help with certain situations but it is not necessary. There are women doing this job too so it is not just a male originated job.

Tell us about your first aid lifesaving experience

It was pretty early in the morning so the shopping centre had not long since been open. I had just gone down to start my shift when there was a woman running up the mail screaming and hysterical saying that they needed a Security Guard or a First Aider at the café at the bottom of the centre.

I shouted out to the woman ‘what had happened?’ and was informed that a little boy was chocking and so I communicated it through to the radio that I was making my way down there so that the guys in the control room had CCTV Cameras already placed on the incident.

At the bottom of the centre there was a lot of commotion, chaos and people panicking when I had arrived. I saw a little boy being passed around from different people with members of the public trying to intervene to help.

Everybody, including his mum were in a state of shock and panic as you would in that situation. By the time I had arrived the little boy had been chocking for about 2 minutes and had turned blue.

A lot of people were trying to help but didn’t know what to do exactly, so I come into the situation and took over from there.

How did you save the boy from chocking?

A guy had him upside down and was patting him on the back but not doing it the correct way. The little boy was coughing out bits of blood so I intervened and grabbed the lad and started doing what they call the hymek manoeuvre, which is like backslaps between the shoulder blades while bent over doing chest lunges, and it wasn’t working.

I had the guys from the control room calling out from the radio saying that paramedics were on their way and that an air ambulance had been deployed. By this point now the boy had been chocking for just over 3 minutes now.

I kept trying to perform chest lunges but nothing was coming up apart from just a lot of blood. At one point I thought that he had coughed up what he had chocked on, which I learnt was a sausage that he had for breakfast in the café and so I had stood him up and he had coughed a little bit of it up and everyone seemed to be a little bit relieved, but then we released that it had in fact not been coughed out which is when he eyes began to roll back and he turned a grey colour, so I had to begin all over again.

I still had the control room telling me to keep going as paramedics were still on their way so I continued as I thought that there was no way I was going to let him die. One of my work colleagues had brought the defibrillator just in case we had to perform CPR.

At this point I lifted him back up and started to do chest thrusts and back slaps again and then all of a sudden, a lot of blood came out of his mouth with a big chunk of sausage. As soon as the sausage came out of his mouth his arms flopped forward and his skin turned from a grey colour to pink and he started breathing again.

Interested in becoming a Security Officer like Carl? Click below to learn more.


Olu – “I enjoy saving people’s lives.”



Wendy – “When I turned 50 I vowed to enjoy life and that’s what I do.”


I've not found it difficult as a female in this Industry" - Wendy

Standing at a petite 5 ft, Wendy is probably the least likely contender to work in the security sector. However, don’t let the height fool you, as this 52-year-old mum has been around the security sector for much of her life, raising 2 sons who work in the security industry themselves. The security sector has always held a stereotype of the unnerving ‘tough guy’.

But in the case of Wendy, it just goes to show that literally anyone can train to work in the security sector, even the ones that you would least suspect.

Starting as a Steward

I’ve mainly been stewarding at events. I started last year and Creamfields 2018 was my first event. I loved being in the control room at Creamfields, being in the hub of the festival and learning all that goes on behind the scenes and seeing my son doing a job that he is very good at and well respected for. It was a proud Mum moment. Both of my sons have always worked in security from as soon as they were old enough. So, my house has always had security guys about.

I had just finished my BSc (Hons) in Psychology with CBT and I asked my son if I could work with him and he agreed. He has his own security company, Facilitate Security Ltd. Previously, I had been stewarding at football and rugby events but only recently completed my SIA course.

Getting her SIA Licence

I wouldn’t say there have been many crazy moments as working in the security sector, most would say I’m the crazy part of the scenario. When I turned 50 two years ago, I vowed to enjoy life and that’s what I do. I’m lucky that I have another business so don’t need to rely on earnings from working in this industry and do it for fun. I love having a laugh with everyone (a few women included), I have a great rapport with the fans at the various events I do the security for and get to attend some great events. I’ve worked in a customer service environment since I was 10 years old, so I rarely have situations that I can’t handle or find difficult and I work with a great team of people who I know I can rely on if things get tough.

Working as a woman in the security sector

I’ve not found it difficult being female in this industry and will often say to the guys I’m working with, that if someone needs to be spoken to, then it’s probably less confrontational if I speak to them. At 5ft tall they don’t see me as someone they need to be confrontational with and it can defuse a situation. Personally, I’ve always preferred working in a mainly male environment and easily have a laugh with them.

Is the security sector for you?

I do think you have to have a certain confidence to work in this industry and it’s not for everyone but there are so many variations of this job. From events, doors, static and hospitality. Find what area suits you by trying them all. Also, it can be hard work, working 12+ hour shifts at festivals and not having much sleep.

Being out in all types of weathers isn’t always glamorous. I would recommend that anyone thinking of joining the security industry to try stewarding first, learning what it’s like to be in environments such as football terraces and other passion fuelled situations, as it can be very different when you are surrounded by thousands of boisterous fans singing.

My time in this industry has been great fun with great people and long may it continue.

Want to work in the security sector? Whether it’s as a Door Supervisor or CCTV Operator. There is a licence and a career for you. Click on the link for more information…


Olu – “I enjoy saving people’s lives.”



Carl – “I continued performing CPR as there was no way I was going to let him die.”