Four years ago, Aspen resident Shaun R. planned an amazing family vacation for his wife, their two children ages 14 and 16, and his mother-in-law. Shaun was senior vice president at a well-known finance company and a seasoned world traveler. He chose India as the destination instead of the family’s annual British Virgin Islands sailing trip. India had great sites to see, fabulous dining, and high-end hotels, plus he had been there many times on his own and always planned to go back with his family. Shaun and his long-time luxury travel agent planned an incredible itinerary. Everything had been thought of and arranged perfectly.
That is, everything until a serious crisis occurred. Shaun and his family never anticipated that a series of bombs would go off in the hotel they were staying in, that guests would be held hostage, and that his family’s lives would be at risk.
When Aspen resident John C. and his buddies planned a dream fishing trip, they spared no expense in the details. The location, the boat, the staff, the chef, down to the cigars and scotch—all of it first class all the way. What hadn’t been planned for was a serious medical emergency. During the best trip of their lives, a large hook accidentally went through the cheek of one of the guys. What do you do when a medical emergency happens in the middle of an ocean, with the closest doctor being hours away, and not knowing if the doctor would even be equipped to handle this type of injury?
Obviously, you can’t plan ahead for all the what-ifs that can happen when you travel, but you can be a member with a company that does just that and is fully prepared.
Denver-based Valor Agency is a travel risk mitigation agency that caters to the elite traveler. They specialize in emergency medical services, personal security, risk management, and crisis management that responds to members’ crisis needs on a 24/7 basis anywhere in the world.
My daughter and her boyfriend were stranded in St. Maarten due to Hurricane Irma. She had poor access to communications, but each time she could make contact, the situation was more dire. They were huddled together in the resort conference room, without power. Due to lack of power and limited staff at the hotel, and looting and violence in the streets, the resort informed them they could no longer be treated as guests and they were now legally refugees. If they left the resort, they would not be allowed to return.
As any father would understand, I’d do anything to protect my children, but I didn’t know what to do. I rang the consulate, elected officials, and traditional evacuation providers. Finally, a colleague referred me to Valor Agency, and they quickly leapt into action. The Valor Agency team worked tirelessly to help get my daughter home safely, despite the many logistical, safety, and extreme weather issues. The Valor team never gave up and were truly invaluable in getting my daughter home safely. — Frank Stallworth
Keith Brinkley, CEO and president of Valor Agency, is passionate about its mission.
“Our mission is to help keep people safe in an uncertain and dangerous world by providing global emergency medical and security services,” Brinkley says.
At least one in every one thousand people traveling abroad will incur a serious medical emergency. Most travelers assume that either their health or personal insurance would cover expenses in the event of a medical crisis, but more often than not, it’s not the case. In many countries, medical facilities demand large up-front cash payments before taking care of the patient, or for the institution to confiscate the patient’s passport and not allow them to leave until payment has been made.
“Our team at Valor does not want people to be put in such a situation,” Brinkley says.
According to Brinkley, Valor’s veteran staff is made up of medical professionals, crisis management experts, and former special forces and intelligence agency personnel, all of whom are trained specifically to assist with health, personal security, or business emergencies.
For an annual membership fee, Valor members are offered a vast array of services, available 24/7 on a global basis and provided by Valor’s strategic operations partner, Dynamiq.
Dynamiq looks after over one million travelers annually, and responded to 12,000 cases in 155 countries last year alone. Valor members in need of emergency assistance while traveling abroad contact the Dynamiq 24/7 Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) and are immediately placed in contact with the highly experienced case management team. The EOC is designed to help troubleshoot any medical or security emergency.
In the case of John C., and his fishing trip, I asked how Valor would have been able to know exactly where the boat was, since they were so far out and didn’t have access to the internet.
Jade Pender, vice president of Valor, explains that, “We asses all needs before one embarks, and if necessary, we provide our client with the most advanced tracking and duress response technology. These devices determine their exact location without the use of Wi-Fi or internet.”
Pender went on to describe how the process works when a member is faced with an emergency: “The case manager will work with the caller to understand their situation and the type of assistance they need and determine who needs to be involved and contacted. It may be a simple medical inquiry with a referral to a reputable local clinic, to highly complex and time-sensitive air ambulance evacuations.”
While medical assistance may be more common, the experts at Valor and Dynamiq stand ready to assist should an issue of personal security arise as well. In the case of Shaun R., highly trained special forces in India would have been immediately contacted to help determine the best plan for Shaun’s family, from coordinating an escape route to where to hide out until help could reach them.
“Travelers now have resources that were once only available to diplomats and country leaders,” says Brinkley.
Valor provides personal, white-glove service backed by hard-core technology. Whether business, pleasure, or both, Valor provides the peace of mind necessary to travel with confidence and the freedom to make the most of your journey.
Valor Agency Services
- Pre-trip medical, safety and security advisory services
- Country and major city intelligence reports
- Daily global intelligence briefs
- Tracking devices
- Duress response device
- Threat assessments
- Medical evacuation to closest global center of excellence and home location
- Kidnap and ransom, illegal detention or extortion response service
- Emergency medical care and stabilization
- Civil unrest/security evacuation
- Personal threat security support and evacuation
- Natural disaster evacuation
- Medical second-opinion service, even in home location
- Crisis response support to members’ businesses faced with a corporate crisis
- Emergency interpretation service with 140 languages and dialects
For more information on membership and services, contact Valor Agency at (303) 717-9524, or visit www.valoragency.com