Smiths Detection plays a critical role at Birmingham 2022
Smiths Detection played a key role in helping to create a safe and secure Games environment for spectators, athletes and staff at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. As the Official Security Equipment Provider, Smiths Detection was tasked with deploying security screening equipment at 2 3 venues around the central region of England and in London – plus training over 400 operators.
The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was a very-challenging project with short delivery times, delays in venue availability, a complex brief and some extraordinarily hot weather. Nevertheless, a relatively small team of around 30 had everything up and running in time for the start of the Games on 28th July. As the equipment came from the Smiths Detection rental service, extensive decommissioning was required. With each sport and para sport having its own schedule, this began literally one day after the last system was installed. Despite the challenges, those involved found it very rewarding and learned much from working on such a massive, high-profile event.
Field Service Engineer
Birmingham and the surrounding area being his usual patch, Field Service Engineer, David Storer was hoping he would be chosen to work on the Games project. He was involved in the installation of 70+ screening systems at several venues including the main Birmingham stadium, Alexander Stadium, which hosted the Opening and Closing Ceremonies and athletics and para-athletics events.
“It was an eye-opening experience. I was astonished by the size and complexity of the logistics needed to prepare venues for such a big event. You literally see an empty ‘blank canvas’ turn very quickly into a fully fitted facility. Timings were crucial and we had to stick to a strict schedule for the arrival of our equipment and the installations – we had to make sure we didn’t hold up any of the other activities going on around us. Knowing how many people would pass through in the coming days once again underlined the importance of our work.”
David was also lucky enough to take part in the Birmingham 2022 Queen’s Baton Relay which travelled across the 72 Nations and Territories connecting communities and encouraging collaboration. People of all ages and from all walks of life were chosen to carry The Queen’s Baton.
“I felt privileged to take part in the Queen’s Baton Relay and it more than lived up to my expectations. The crowds lining the streets were out in force supporting everyone and the noise was deafening. I was a bit nervous waiting to receive the Baton but once it was safely in my hand, I just enjoyed the unique moment in my life. I didn’t want it to end, so walked rather than ran the distance before handing on the next person. Truly amazing.”
Project Management Apprentice
Haydn Roberts started his apprenticeship at Smiths Detection just a few months before the Games. He had been attracted to the company’s global reach, the nature of the products and a diverse job rotation covering many different aspects of project management. Little did he know how quickly he would have the opportunity of working on such a prestigious and interesting contract.
“When I first arrived, there was already great excitement around the Games Contract and when it happened, I didn’t really expect to be involved. But my flexibility as an apprentice meant I could be put to work immediately and was asked to focus on accreditation and logistics. It was a very fast learning curve and underlined the importance of timescales and communicating with all the various stakeholders. I also managed to spend a week in the field helping with the decommissioning and finding out more about how the teams operate. It’s really eerie going into venues after the event has finished. Overall, it was a very special experience which really brought it home to me how every day we really do make the world safer.”
Smiths Detection supplied to the Games X-Ray systems for screening everything from sporting equipment to incoming goods and personal belongings. In addition, the IONSCAN 600 was used for explosives and narcotics trace detection, and the BioFlash, a biological aerosol identifier capable of detecting SARS CoV-2 from air samples.