Putting Out Fires

Putting Out Fires

The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is known for his statement, “The only constant is change.”  Personally, I embrace change.  After all, if things did not change we would get bored with the mundane.  Along those lines, I recently decided it was time for a change in my career and joined BC in the Cloud this year.   After spending nearly 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry I prepared myself for a tidal wave of change and a steep learning curve.  Now with a few months in the field, I am pleasantly surprised to find I was more prepared than I thought, thanks to the years I spent as a volunteer firefighter.

How could firefighting prepare you for a job in a company that provides a planning platform for business continuity and disaster recovery?  You may be surprised by the similarities.

Firefighting is all about planning and preparing for an emergency.  As a firefighter you never know when the alarm will sound or what that next call might bring.  This is no different than what business continuity practitioners do for the businesses they support.   In business continuity plans are created and those plans are tested through a variety of exercises.  When an incident occurs, the plans become the backbone of how a business responds, hopefully with as little disruption and impact as possible.

In the fire service, officers of the fire company are responsible for putting together plans for responding to a variety of incidents ranging from minor events like carbon dioxide detectors being triggered to major incidents like vehicle accidents, house fires, and explosions.   Much like the exercising activities you see in business continuity, fire officers conduct frequent training sessions with firefighters to ensure that in the event of an incident the firefighters know exactly what actions to take.  Firefighters spend countless hours being trained, running through various scenarios as they practice the incident plans.  After all there is no time to discuss how to respond in an emergency, lives and property are often at stake.  Firefighters, much like in business continuity practitioners, have the goal is to eliminate and reduce damage that is incurred during such an event.

As with any new job, the learning curve still exists.  Thanks to my experience firefighting, the steepness of that curve is not as drastic as I anticipated.