Learn from Special Air Service Veteran Rusty Firmin via our online course as part of our UK Special Forces course series
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Welcome to this Toppa course featuring Special Air Service veteran Rusty Firmin. Rusty answers various questions and passes on his knowledge in multiple topics. Rusty will discuss the following topics and answer the following questions in this course:
1. What was the toughest part of SAS selection for you mentally?
2. Tell us about a moment you had to use gut instinct?
3. What advice would you give to someone in a leadership role?
4. Give an example of a good leader and why?
5. What advice would you give to someone trying to overcome fear?
6. What’s the hardest thing you have done in your life and what made you get through it?
Rusty Firmin is an SAS Veteran. Born and raised in Carlisle and adopted at an early age, Rusty lived with different relatives and attended many different schools until age 15 when he had to fend for himself. At the age of 17, he joined the 49 Field Regiment Royal Artillery and remained there for approximately four years. He completed several tours of Northern Ireland as a patrol commander and was heavily involved in adventure training, completing the Italian Alps walk, French Pyrenees walk, and the Great Divide trail walk in Canada in successive years. Rusty volunteered to serve with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery; completed the gruelling selection process, and at Lympstone received the coveted Green Beret. Within fifteen months of being in 29 Commando, Rusty was asked to become an instructor on the commando training wing. He applied to join the SAS and in 1977, completed the SAS selection course receiving the coveted beige beret and winged dagger in six months, assigned to B squadron.
Rusty was heavily involved as a Blue Team leader at the 1980 Iranian Embassy siege in London where he was directly involved with the incidents inside the embassy.
Between 1982 and 1990 Rusty took part in training operations around the world, most of a very sensitive nature. The types of training he did were Special Forces training, bodyguard training at presidential level and counter terrorist training to name but a few. He was a qualified paramedic, demolitionist, a colloquial Arabist and a Malay speaker. In 1990 he was ‘stood to’ for the Stanstead aircraft hijacking (Afghan terrorists seized a jet, flew it to Stanstead airport with 150 passengers aboard, after a few of days of intense negotiations all 150 passengers were released and 60 of them claimed political asylum in the UK). After 13 years with B squadron he went to HQ squadron 23 SAS as permanent staff instructor (PSI). In 1992 he attended Plymouth College and gained a NEBS M Diploma in safety management along with a National Examination body of Occupational Safety and Health certificate (NEBOSH).
From 1992 until present Rusty has worked all over the world or ‘on the circuit’. His jobs included being a diamond mine security consultant located in West Africa, delivering armoured cars to the CNN news crew in Sarajevo during the war and carrying out close protection and surveillance jobs both as a team member or team leader. He was a security manager for the Mobil Oil Company in Algeria, and spent eight years working for Herbalife International of America as an on the road security adviser (58 countries in all at that time and close protection operative for Mark Hughes the only CEO and founder of the company).
In addition, he was the security advisor for Mel Gibson whilst making the film Braveheart in Scotland, security advisor and a bodyguard for the Japanese embassy in Afghanistan, provided security in Athens at the Olympics for the American swimming team and the security consultant and personal protection officer for the Japanese ambassador at the Japanese Embassy in Kabul. In Afghanistan he was also a hostile training and security coordinator; once again for the Japanese Embassy. In Europe he was a valuable artwork courier, and in the UK he was a covert and overt vehicle fleet and logistics manager on a sensitive government project. Rusty has also worked on a residential security team and as a close protection operative for dignitaries and VIP’s.
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