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When and Where
  • 11/4/2021 11:00 AM CDT
  • 11/4/2021 1:00 PM CDT
  • Online Everywhere

De-escalating Confrontations in the Field

with Jim Willis

Course Schedule:

Thursday, November 4, 2021

11:00am - 1:00pm ET

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the basic de-escalation concepts
  • Identify the obstacles and issues of de-escalation in the field
  • Learn an effective de-escalation method that works in the field


Some people handle verbal confrontations with ease, yet most of us find it difficult and unpleasant. Utility workers are no exception. Utility work tends to attract adventurous and forceful personalities, so backing down is rarely the first instinct and de-escalation is seldom their natural response. 

For utility workers, de-escalating volatile situations in the field takes unique skills and approaches that typical de-escalation training just doesn’t address. They need proactive skills which help them understand - when to engage, how to engage, and when to escape the situation.

The good news is de-escalation is a learned skill, not a natural talent. This training session introduces the skills and approaches needed for effective conflict de-escalation. 

Earn up to 2 CUSP points.


  1. Understanding utility workers focused hostility
  2. Why de-escalation in the field is different from other situations
  3. The five levels of public encounters
  4. The goal of de-escalation 
  5. The role of situational awareness in de-escalation
  6. How to quickly assess the situation, or when to de-escalate and when to run
  7. The InDev ASSIST conflict de-escalation technique (simple, unique, and effective)
  8. Summary
  9. Questions and Response

Program Length – 2 hrs

Trainer Bio

About Jim WillisJMW- #3 - Kandahar 02-06

Jim Willis is a credentialed security expert and anti-terrorism specialist. He is an experienced electrical engineer and international development professional that has worked in more than 37 developing countries, including conflict and post-conflict areas of Cambodia, Ethiopia, and South Sudan. He spent six years in Afghanistan as a Theater Operations Director leading security operations, training, and reconstruction efforts. Jim's security expertise is founded on the ground combat-zone experience supplemented with training from the US Defense Security Service, the United Nations Dept. of Safety & Security, and the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

Jim’s utility expertise started after a tour of duty with the Navy during the waning days of the Vietnam War, Jim began a life-long utility-focused career that has taken him from lineman to graduate electrical engineer and to utility manager. He has held a myriad of positions in distribution and transmission electric power systems. 

Using his in-depth knowledge of electric power systems and utilities, combined with his expertise in security Jim developed “ASSIST”©, a proprietary active shooter and violence prevention training series.

Jim's education includes a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a master’s degree in International Development and Security

Jim is an active member of -

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Society for International Development (SID-Washington) 

International NGO Safety and Security Association (INSSA)

International Association Counterterrorism & Security Professionals (IACSP) 

National Utility Training and Safety Education Association (NUTSEA)