Sarah Hutchinson

Briefly explain your role

I am a KST Engineer however, I am a contracted specifically to work for West Yorkshire Police, installing crime prevention alarm systems all over the county.

I have installed KST alarms for all sorts of victims of crime from domestic violence to burglaries to witness protection. The job is very varied and different, which is why I am so proud of it!

I am the sole Engineer for WYP* therefore, alongside the installation of the alarms themselves, I also complete all administration and invoicing.

What do you love about your job?

The main aspects of my job that I love are that no two days are the same and I get to spend my whole working day helping people. Most of the customers I meet in my working day are vulnerable and really benefit from the alarm systems being installed – the gratitude I get for helping them is highly rewarding and one of the best feelings in the world.

How does KST empower you in your role?

I have been with KST since it was a family owned and run business. I started as a Service Coordinator and, after 3 years, I wanted to move and progress my career. I was offered to be put through an engineering course that I was instantly interested in. Once I passed this, I was offered the West Yorkshire Police contract due to being the sole female Engineer at the company. Therefore, KST have empowered me by giving me the opportunity to learn and work in a job I really enjoy.

What made you move into the security sector?

I just found the opportunities and chances to work within this sector or, in a way, they found me!

I started as a cleaner at another security company in West Yorkshire. I was then offered a chance to progress into Sales and Administration due to having a typing qualification that I gained at school. From there, I worked my way up to running the whole department before moving to KST.

When I finished my engineering qualifications, I never looked back!

Has there been any significant barriers to progression in your career within the security profession?

No I have never found a progression barrier in my security career. I have got to where I want to be and love what I do!

How does KST help support your sense of purpose in your career?

KST have supported my sense of purpose within my role by providing managers who are supportive and accommodating with my working day. I work the usual office hours (9am – 5pm) but as my role is far from ordinary, I also must be available in the evenings for call outs. Because of this, it has benefitted me that my managers are flexible with the hours I work.

What’s your most memorable moment in your career so far?

There are so many, and a huge number of moments have stuck with me whilst working within this role.

There are 200 alarms for WYP that are shared and reused around the whole of the West Yorkshire County. As you can imagine, I have seen a lot.

The more uplifting and satisfying moments in my role are when the criminals have been caught for their crimes because of the alarms I have installed.

I was asked to install an alarm system on a classroom Portakabin. There had been many break-ins by gangs and the police wanted the alarm system to notify the dog and helicopter teams. One night, the alarm was activated, and the dog department were called out – because of the quick response, 3 of the culprits were caught.

What opportunities does the security profession offer?

No two days are the same.

The role I have is very niche and unique. Not many people can or are able to do it. I am honoured by the fact that I was offered this opportunity, especially because they specifically needed a woman engineer for the WYP contract.

To me, this proves that women are needed in the security profession and are highly appreciated.

What would you say to any women who have reservations about how male- dominated the industry is, in order to put their minds at ease?

I don’t class it as a male dominated industry anymore.

At 17 and 18, I gained all my qualifications to become a builder. That was my dream job. When I finished the course, I applied for over 50 job roles in the sector and heard nothing back. No one was willing to help kickstart my career because I was female.

From this point, I started looking at moving to the USA to live as they were more forward-thinking when it came to female builders.

And then I found the Security Industry.

KST take pride in having a female Engineer. I believe there should be more women in this industry and my view is, go for it! It’s not like it used to be at all.

How do you balance work and home responsibilities?

When my children were younger, I had to plan how to balance work and home responsibilities. School during the day helped a lot! However, I also had my neighbours who would help with the children when I was working. I had a great support system!

Now, its just me and the dog – so I find balancing both easy.

Sign off your employee story with anything else you would like to add

My role is very unique and I thoroughly enjoy it. I love getting up on a morning knowing that I will be spending my day helping people. I live to work, it’s a privilege!




What our Customers say

We wanted a smart-looking, contactless approach to access control here at Little Dot. We love the Openpath solution proposed by KST; it’s sleek, simple to use and has excellent reporting features. What’s more, KST’s inhouse commissioning team remotely configured the software to meet our requirements - including who goes where and when, through which doors, the reporting we need and integration to our fire alarm system. Thanks to this we have saved the cost of two days labour on install!

Greg Rochford
IT Manager - Little Dot Studios

KST has once again exceeded all expectations with their outstanding service. Safety is our number one priority for both our Post Masters and customers, therefore we are always on the lookout for new technologies and new ideas. Morphean platforms, along with the installation and maintenance provided by KST, has been the perfect decision for us due to our existing knowledge of their excellent services and competitive prices.

Mark Dinsdale
Security Programme Manager - Post Office Ltd

The mobilisation was smooth with little involvement required from ourselves. Communication, in particular, has been extremely strong with regular meetings. Monthly management information has been circulated and Clipper are using the real time management information that KST have provided with their DYMENSiON software. We also have working action plans on each site focusing on improvements and change management. All in all I would be happy to recommend KST to any company looking at contract award; our experience has been very positive and I am happy to endorse them.

John Welsh
Head of Bonded & Secure Operations - Clipper

The whole process of mobilisation and onboarding to KST was conducted in an exceptional manner, from start to finish. The preparation for the move between City Plumbing Supplies and KST was comprehensive. Collaboration was very good. The days of transfer were event free and smooth - with no major issues. The branches’ onboarding onto the KST system during the 12 weeks following the mobilisation was completed fully with excellent communication sessions conducted on a weekly basis. We are now looking forward to a long and effective partnership with KST.

Steve Kemp
Security, Audit & Loss Prevention Manager - City Plumbing Supplies

We’ve been delighted with the partnership between ISS and KST and the approach to transferring the access control contract. The teams have gelled quickly to understand our estate and we’ve seen significant service improvements.

Andy Southern
Head of Security - Santander Bank