(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final article in a two-part series focused on a Middle Tennessee-based entrepreneurial initiative named The Vigilance Group.)
By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA
Michael “Moose” Moore and Pat Moore, the principals and twin brothers behind The Vigilance Group, admit that they are still trying to determine the correct path forward for their entrepreneurial venture that has been more of a mission or calling than a true start-up.
Currently, they offer a range of programs.
- There are the keynote addresses that are presentations about how to live safely in a dangerous world. These sessions focus on the life skill of personal safety and the principles of vigilance, awareness, and skillful response.
- There are two-hour interactive and active shooter response training workshops where participants learn the principles of awareness, avoidance and skillful response. After the classroom presentations, the instructors teach attendees the necessary self-defense skills required to escape and survive if they were ever physically attacked.
- There are more than a dozen online training programs with topics such as “Vigilance Basics,” “Fear and It’s Effects,” “Right Not to be a Victim,” “Stun and Run” (two parts), “Know What To Do,” “Distractions Make You Vulnerable,” and “What if They Gave a Gun.”
- Finally, there are security risk assessments conducted for both public and private schools.
“Women leave our workshops feeling empowered,” Pat says, adding, “The workshops are getting us the most attention.”
A year ago, in discussions with a faith-focused media company, The Vigilance Group realized they needed to offer an active shooter program for churches. Six months later, they also added the security assessments for schools and even explored ways to serve spouses and children of military personnel who are deployed overseas.
Another possibility involves working with universities and colleges to focus on teaching incoming, first-year students how to be vigilant in their new environment. After all, in most cases, it’s the first time those young folks have been on their own away from home.
“There are all kinds of verticals,” Moose says, to which Pat adds, “We’re trying to figure-out where to go.”
Both believe there is a significant opportunity with the risk assessments.
“We’ve conducted 15 in Nashville thus far, all but one with private schools,” Pat says. The findings are both telling and chilling.
“One school did not have a back-up generator even though everything (in its risk and security plan) was based on having electricity,” Pat said.
“How do you mitigate risks like these,” Moose asks. Pat answers that one important way is to empower teachers to be first responders.
Serving banks and other financial institutions is a newer opportunity. The Vigilance Group has started developing customized videos for Pinnacle Financial Partners.
Regardless of the customer, Pats says simply that “we teach people how to stay safe in a dangerous world,” with Moose adding, “We have to stop it (violence) by teaching the world how to react under fire.” That’s clearly something both brothers learned during their military careers.
Perhaps the best way to capture their focus is the question they want everyone to be able to answer correctly: “When is it time to fight for your life?”
As Pat says, “This started as a cause and that hasn’t changed” even as they work to scale the effort.