267. Seeing a Need, Creating a Niche: A Career Path for a Post-9/11 World
Raffaele Di Giorgio
Being a police officer didn’t do it for him. Being an EMT and a security officer left him longing for something more. Right after moving to Alaska to provide security for the trans-Alaska pipeline he got a call from military friends who needed his skills overseas.
Raffaele M. Di Giorgio is shaping the ways emergency medical care and security services are provided worldwide. A licensed paramedic in the United States as well as the United Kingdom, he is a mentor, instructor, a field operations specialist and an author. When not actively engaged in teaching, Raffaele stays active in the field at various operational levels, providing government agencies with protection and medical services throughout the world. Raffaele and his company have provided support to protection details guarding cabinet-level and ambassadors in high threat and non-permissive environments, in which the host country’s military and law enforcement agencies might not be assisting or cooperating with the intervention.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
Raffaele was already serving as a police officer, with EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) certification, when the U.S. was attacked on September 11, 2001. He was quick to recognize a need for rapid changes to speed up delivery of medical and emergency services. He also envisioned a new career niche in the post-9/11 world. As military forces were deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq, Raffaele was among those who saw those emerging needs up close. “For the past 11 years I’ve spent upwards of 10 months a year deployed overseas in about 18 countries where I’ve provided teaching or actual hands-on services.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
“When 9/11 happened, I took a position with a company that provided security and search and rescue to the trans-Alaska pipeline. My wife and I moved to Alaska. When we got there, a couple of friends I’d served with in the military said to me, ‘We need people with your abilities in security and emergency medical skills overseas.’ That’s when I started contracting overseas for the U.S. Departments of State and Defense and other agencies. That was the real changing moment in my life, because it helped me engage everything I enjoyed: private security, governmental security and law enforcement operations along with emergency medical services.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“Sometimes you do something right—not because it’s easy, but because it’s the right thing to do. So, I have had some push back and resistance, but the alliances and friendships I’ve been able to make with people and peers that are working in the space that I occupy have been fantastic. I’ve met people from Jordan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all over the world, and they all share the same mindset, so we’re making incremental changes in attitudes, and holding the line a little better.”
Steps to Success from Raffaele Di Giorgio
1. Get over the fear factor, period. Fear will immobilize you, and stop all forward progress.
2. Surround yourself with peers and mentors who will challenge you to do your best.
3. Setbacks and failures will happen. Learn to get back up and keep moving forward.
4. Take on your goals in bite-size chunks, otherwise you’ll quickly feel overwhelmed.
On His Bookshelf
A Gift of Fear, by Gavin De Becker
Legal Considerations for Tactical Medical Responders: For Both the Individual and Agencies, by Raffaele M. Di Giorgio
Connecting With Raffaele Di Giorgio
If you would like to receive a copy of the author’s “Protection Checklist: Top 10 Ways to Protect Yourself & Your Agency Against Legal Liabilities,” go to: http://gos911.com/free-gift-protection-checklist/
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