ON GUARD: Meridian Protection Group Ballina owner Rick Beddoes with his wife Carol, son Justin, 3, and newborn Ben.
ON GUARD: Meridian Protection Group Ballina owner Rick Beddoes with his wife Carol, son Justin, 3, and newborn Ben. Marc Stapelberg

'The big thing is not to panic': Stories of a security guard

RICK Beddoes stared down at his clothes, which were covered in another man's blood, and wondered how a suspect on ice had not been subdued by various choke holds that would have made other grown men cry.

It was not the first time Mr Beddoes had encountered dangerous and life-threatening situations in his 23-year career as a security officer on the Northern Rivers.

He has worked every Christmas and New Year's Eve in that time, and also lost his voice screaming at people to watch out for downed power lines during the Lennox Head tornado.

He very possibly saved someone's life when he ran over to help an injured man, who was bleeding from a knife wound to his leg.

Mr Beddoes pushed the man behind him as the perpetrator lunged with a large knife.

For this effort and countless others, Mr Beddoes has been awarded the 2016 Australian Security Industry Awards 2016 Security Guard of the Year award.

 

He was was recognised out of 300 nominations and is now automatically nominated for Australia's highest security honour - the Australian Security Medal - which is a Federal Government recognition.

"I always do training scenarios with staff so that way when we are confronted with those situations it is like driving," Mr Beddoes said.

"It is just autopilot.

"The big thing is not to panic because if you panic you've lost it."

Mr Beddoes was once ambushed by 12 young men after rushing to the aid of a man lying motionless on the road.

And on the same night they then used the security guard's dog, Bruno, to track down a suspect that had stabbed one of Mr Beddoes' workmates in the throat with a broken beer bottle.

"The main thing is, you think you've seen it all and the next day something else comes along," he said.

"I remember driving along Woodlark Street one night and I've seen this guy licking the door handle of the store.

"He said he liked the taste of silver.

"And back in those days we used to work guard, and old matey lunged for my gun.

"And that went from a guy licking a door handle to a major scuffle."

Mr Beddoes was prevented from entering the police force in 1995 because he had a colour vision problem, but continued with his passion for helping the community by starting his security company Meridian Protection Group Ballina in 2010.

"Prevention is better than cure and we are in a public relations role and if I can diffuse a situation that is always preferable," he said.

Not only has Mr Beddoes been behind an industry push for a proper recruitment drive and training for the security industry, but he is also very keen to change the perception about guard dogs.

He attributes his success to the endless support of his family and has just welcomed a new child into the family.



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