Calvin Gamble


In these tough economic times when everyone is busy crunching numbers and focusing on the bottom line, it can be easy to lose sight of what the security industry is really all about: protecting people and property. Two stories that recently came to the attention of SDM editors illustrate the essence of what makes our industry one that is rewarding and exciting to be a part of.

The first story was sent to us by the National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) and underlines the life-saving role monitored carbon monoxide detectors can play in any household.

Deb Makowski went to work one day while her daughter was resting at home in bed. Wintry conditions caused the home to fill with carbon monoxide—unbeknownst to Makowski and her daughter. The home was equipped with a Brink’s Home Security monitoring device and when it began to fill with CO, the detector sent a signal to the Brink’s Home Security monitoring station. Operator Cindy Satterlee phoned the Makowski home and found no answer. Satterlee contacted Makowski on her cell phone and then alerted emergency services. Makowski’s daughter was found unconscious and suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, but the emergency dispatch rushed her to the hospital and she survived due to Satterlee’s quick action.

NBFAA has presented Brink’s and Satterlee with its 2009 First Line of Defense Award in recognition of their quick, life-saving actions. The annual award was designed to publicize emergency response stories and promote customer awareness of alarm systems.

The second story, which came to us via VES Fire Detection Systems and Monitoring, shows how working in the security industry can help you stay cool in emergency situations.

Calvin Gamble is a second shift worker at the VES Fire Detection Systems and Monitoring Center in King of Prussia, Pa. On the way home from work late one night he came across a house fire in his Philadelphia neighborhood. Before the fire company arrived, Gamble heard a voice calling for help inside the building and without hesitation ran into the two-alarm fire. He was able to rescue a person who had fallen and was trapped inside. Gamble credited his work at the monitoring center for allowing him to think “coolly and clearly” in the tense situation.

Of course not everyone has the chance to be a hero in critical life-saving situations like these, but everyone in the security industry has a chance to help people feel a little bit safer and more secure. I’m new to this industry, but stories like these and people like Satterlee and Gamble, make me even more excited to learn more about what you do and be a part of it all.