What's in your Toolbox? Choosing the right gear for Nightclub & Bar Security
Throughout my career in the security industry, I've learned various types of gear and equipment to carry on me. Early on, I thought I needed anything and everything for my every day carry (EDC). Nowadays, I only carry tools on me that I will actually use. To start, the most important tool is a quality flashlight. I consider anything 200 lumens or better, as a quality light. My light of choice is a 750 lumen, Streamlight ProTac HL. I use to carry a 200 lumen Streamlight TL-2X, but needed to upgrade my lumens due to the venue I work in. Being able to illuminate an area in the venue, not only is great for general visibility, it aids in signaling coworkers you need help. A flashlight is also a simple mental judo technique to let guests know you are there, and you can see them. Next would be a basic medical kit. I personally carry two kits on me. One for basic cuts, and bleeding, and one for trauma care. My basic first aid kit contains band-aids, alcohol swabs, gauze pads, and gloves.
I also carry an IPAK (Individual Protective Agent’s Kit, also know as an IFAK, Individual First Aid Kit) for emergency trauma care. The IPAK contains QuikClot gauze, SWAT-T tourniquet/pressure bandage, a CPR face shield, antiseptic wipes, and gloves. Before you start carrying first aid kits, for your safety, and others, make sure you are trained & certified in first aid. Local health departments, or American Red Cross locations, offer inexpensive/free courses. Depending on the size of your venue, I highly recommend a decent radio for communication with other staff members. It doesn't have to be anything crazy expensive, or complex. A simple $30 radio, with a noise reduction headset ($20+), is a great investment in yourself & team. I carry a Baofeng radio, Retevis headset, and a SureFire Sonic Defender earpiece attachment for noise cancellation. I also carry a Gerber Crucial multi tool, for various reasons. Minor repairs around the venue are always discovered after you start the shift. If you have time, it's never a bad idea to fix whatever may be broken. Paper towel jams, toilet paper rolls falling off, leaky sinks, loose door locks, etc. Not only does this improve customer opinions of the venue, it shows management/ownership that you're willing to go above and beyond in the workplace. I also have my “go bag” close by in case I need additional flashlights, a larger trauma kit, a CPR mask, or communication replacements.
I always remember a quote from one of the trainers I've had, “everything is task, threat, environment dependent.” My toolbox works for me, and the environment I am in. Yours may vary slightly depending on the needs of your venue. Hopefully you can take away something from this that helps improve your skills, and makes you a better professional. Be smart. Stay safe.
Zachary L. Rugen, Owner and Instructor, Nightclub Security Services