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During routine cargo screening for DHL, the international logistics provider, at Athens’ International Airport, Greece, in November last year, a G4S security officer identified two suspicious parcels. These were isolated and found to contain explosive material. They were destined for delivery to two high-ranking European agencies.

At that time, there was a European-wide alert regarding parcels containing explosives which Greek terrorists had addressed to recipients in a number of countries.

This success in intercepting the packages demonstrated that the G4S Aviation & Ports Secure Solutions division in Greece operates with the highest standards and security procedures and the training given to its employees makes them experts in their field.

The Greek police detonated the packages, along with others discovered in Athens. Two parcels sent by the terrorists through one of DHL’s competitors were not recognised as containing explosive material by that company’s security screeners.

Among the packages sent in the terrorists’ coordinated attack which successfully reached their destinations, using international airmail and parcel services, was a bomb addressed to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Security forces in a building adjacent to her office destroyed it.

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and French President Nicolas Sarkozy also had explosives sent to them. Similar packages were sent to various foreign embassies, including the Russian Embassy in Athens where it was destroyed in a controlled explosion.

G4S has been providing a range of security solutions at Athens’ Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport for many years.

Following on from my G4S in one word post, we launched a thread on the G4S LinkedIn group which asked the question, what makes you proud to work for G4S? We have had some really great responses and some great stories of particular characters in the company and how they have inspired colleagues and clients. I thought it would be good to give you a small snapshot of what our employees and alumni are saying:

“ I really enjoyed the Synergy of the team I work with in Canada. The sum of the parts are certainly greater than the whole. It is amazing to watch the team spirit evolve when a project comes to life and begins to consume resources and time.”

“Our commitment to our customers and our core values truly makes us the best in our industry.”

“I have only been with the company for a short time but all the dedicated and energetic professionals that I have met with in that short time totally motivates me!”

“Throughout my career with G4S I have had the real benefit of working with professional, inspiring people who are truly committed to making a difference.”

“ I was very proud of the fact, and still am. I agree with Paula; no company is perfect, but it’s what they do well that makes them good.”

“you would be hard pressed to find another company striving for perfection as hard as G4S.”

G4S deminers carried out a daring night-time rescue recently when members of a Greek Cypriot fire response team inadvertently drove onto a minefield.

Stricken Fire Engine

The five firemen in two cars and a fire engine accidentally turned into the minefield, the latter detonating an anti-tank mine with one of its rear wheels.

G4S Ordnance Management’s field supervisor Larry Brophy received the emergency call at 5pm and immediately began mobilising a small emergency response demining team. “We knew the fire crew was still in the vehicles, but that was all the information we had at that time,” said Larry, who led the extraction team, accompanied by team leaders Denis Faluco and Ramos Nuvunga, and deminer Eugenio Rumbana.

Despite the fact that mine clearance is never carried out at night because of the risks, the rescue team entered the minefield with two torches and made their way to the stranded fire crew. “We followed the vehicle tyre tracks and our deminer used painted wooden pickets to mark a safe route,” Larry revealed. “If there was any indication there was a mine, we were careful to go safely around.” After two hours, the rescue team reached the fire crew. The five men were safely escorted from the minefield on foot and the operation to recover the three vehicles began a few days later.

The G4S team recently completed a major milestone towards making Cyprus completely landmine-free when it cleared its 25,000th mine. Over 9.5 million square metres of land have been cleared over the past six years,

returning much of it to productive farmland. Since 2004, the 60-strong team of G4S deminers has been engaged in clearing 71 minefields in the island’s 180km-long buffer zone between the Turkish-controlled north of the island and the Government controlled region, and is on course to complete the task very shortly.

The next step is for the cleared mines to be moved to a central demolition area and destroyed. “For an island of this size,” said Jerry Barlow, who heads up G4S Risk Management‘s ordnance clearance division’s team in Cyprus, “the quantity of landmines has been considerable and they have presented a great danger for many years.”

Since the launch of the Career Centre we have had a huge volume of noth internal and external canddiates applying for roles and we have had a number of people asking about internal movement between different business units and countries, I thought it would be good to share one of the stories with our readers:

Among those who have put the website to the test with outstanding results is Martha Manoli who, until February this year, was manned sales administrator with G4S Greece. Having worked in security for 17 years, 10 of them with G4S, she felt ready to explore how the international security market worked. A position with the Group in the UK might be the answer.

With that in mind, Martha kept an eye on the G4S intranet where vacancies were regularly advertised and made several unsuccessful applications. She started to wonder what she was doing wrong. But with the launch of the G4S Career Centre, she realised, from the advice and tips it offers, that she was not following the best procedures.

“I had a strong CV and knew the working circumstances in UK but my cover letter was a disaster because it did not present who I am and what I can do. I learned this from the website’s ‘10 things that will help you get hired’ and also ‘Your Personal Statement’. “I followed the instructions with reverence and made the appropriate corrections to my cover letter,”

Martha explains. “Three applications were enough to get me an interview and I was well prepared, having also read the advice offered by the website: “Five tips to help you in your next interview”. The interview went very well and after a few days Martha received a congratulatory e-mail. She is now planning her relocation, to become administration manager with G4S Integrated Services in the UK.

Anyone looking for help and advice on CV writing and interview best practise can get access to all our interview resources once they have registered with the career centre.

With thanks to Martin Sayers

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