ATLANTA – February 6, 2014 – Last week, Atlanta was blanketed in ice as a snowstorm gripped the city, trapping motorists on the roads, leaving children stranded at schools, and confining employees to their offices. As the governor declared a state of emergency, city operations ground to a standstill. U.S. Security Associates (USA), a national security company headquartered in Atlanta, kicked its emergency response plans into high gear, with local security officers, managers, and executives pulling together to keep area security operations running smoothly.
One USA supervisor on duty at a retirement community manned his post for 30 hours, as ice on the roads prevented relief officers from reaching the remote location. Appreciative residents provided food and space heaters for the supervisor, who kept a steady vigil, swiftly directing first responders to the homes of elderly residents experiencing medical emergencies.
While treacherous conditions left some Atlanta residents with little choice but to sleep in their workplaces or vehicles, USA employees remained alert on post at sites throughout the city, some for more than 35 hours. A supervisor on duty at a national superstore continuously patrolled the property for 24 hours, protecting stranded employees inside the closed store and guiding frustrated drivers safely into the parking lot to get off the roads and rest. Another security officer, on duty for over 24 hours, refused the client's offer of a place to sleep and kept watch over the property until relief arrived. His relief officer, blocked by traffic gridlock, volunteered to walk to an area gas station, where a USA executive picked him up and drove him to the site.
Another security officer braved the icy streets to drive to his post at a frozen food distribution site, where he kept the client informed of developing site conditions and ensured that site equipment continued to function properly. Officers continued to exceed the call of duty even after the crisis; a supervisor who had continuously coordinated post coverage and monitored staff well-being during the storm worked a 16-hour shift once it ended, giving the exhausted officers time to rest.
Bill Gensler, Vice President of Operations in Atlanta, acted as a relief ranger, delivering food and encouragement to impacted officers. Though the highways were jammed with immobile cars, he detoured along side roads, scouted out open food merchants, and hand-delivered food and water to as many sites as he could reach.
In a city paralyzed by the storm, USA employees at every level of the organization pulled together to keep security operations running, both through effective teamwork and individual perseverance. One week after the storm, Bill Gensler has no regrets. "Times of crisis put security companies to the test. In a southern city like Atlanta, this storm presented a tough challenge, but our officers successfully met the challenge, pushed through exhaustion, and passed the test with flying colors."
U.S. Security Associates (USA) is the market-leading, wholly-owned American, full-service safety and security solutions provider. With over 160 locally-responsive offices, international locations and over 50,000 dedicated professionals, they offer the most complete array of physical security, remote surveillance, and global consulting and investigations to ensure better outcomes for thousands of clients and a range of industries. Innovative applications of leading-edge, proprietary technology enable USA to rank annually among the world's best training companies, sustain the highest standards of quality, and underscore world-class customer service with unparalleled accountability. USA's rise as one of the largest innovative security solutions leaders is a natural byproduct of these differentiators and enables the company to provide the most Safe. Secure. Friendly.® environments for people, assets, and brands. For more information, visit www.ussecurityassociates.com.
Natalie Fischer, Marketing Manager