What are your responsibilities as the Fire Systems Team Lead?
I’m responsible to support and lead the Medxcel Fire Team in Indianapolis to carry out our mission of ensuring that our client’s fire systems are inspected, tested, and maintained as required by our local, state, and national regulatory agencies. We ensure building fire systems are in top shape, so that our customers can focus on caring for patients, visitors, and staff, knowing that Medxcel is providing a safe environment for everyone. We serve nearly 50 healthcare properties around Indiana, so I begin most mornings reviewing our schedule to confirm where teams are working that day and make sure they have what they need to do their job. I’m also responsible to review and archive required inspection documentation and reports and delivering to our customers. In a typical day, I take many calls about all things fire systems, from our associates, customers, and staff in the facilities.
How did you arrive in your current role?
I began my electronic field service career in the cable TV industry, climbing telephone poles. I eventually moved into the field of fire and security when I joined an industrial fire and security business in 1998, working for a global industry leader. I ultimately developed a passion for the fire & life safety business, and still carry it to this day. I’ve been blessed to have worked in a variety of facilities from hospitals to high rises, military installations to manufacturing plants. With my previous employer, one of my accounts was St. Vincent Hospital, which eventually led me to Medxcel.
What types of training and development have you taken advantage of?
Medxcel does a great job providing educational and professional development opportunities for associates. They offer everything from MyLearning to Medxcel University, informative podcasts, and web-based resources. Often, I wish I had more time to take advantage of these great learning opportunities! I must say, some of the best teaching resources have my Manager, and Director. My direct manager and his manager have been consistent, reliable, and patient teachers, and sources of information for me personally. The life safety business is 24/7/365 endeavor and they’re always available to us; we’re all in this together.
What is the best part of your job?
Personally, it’s a great feeling to be able to use my God given talents, gifts, and experience to serve others. The reason we go to work each day is to help provide a safe, healing environment for patients and the staff that provide patient care. I absolutely love troubleshooting and solving fire alarm system problems and issues to alleviate or avert a system impairment that could lead to an unsafe environment. I also enjoy teaching others and sharing what I’ve learned over the years. We have a wonderful, talented, passionate group of fire alarm techs who care about what we do and those we serve.
Which of Medxcel’ s Core Values speaks the most to you?
All the Medxcel Core Values are important to me, and relevant to my job each day. If I had to pick one though, Integrity would be the one that speaks the most to me. I feel integrity is another word for honesty or truth. Those qualities are very important to me, and I strive to demonstrate them in my work and in my leadership and service to others.
What is the most interesting thing that’s happened to you during the course of your work?
This pandemic has been the most interesting time of my career so far. In February of 2020 our team began to feel the effects of this pandemic. We had to figure out how to continue to inspect, test, and maintain fire systems in facilities even though some were empty, or at reduced capacity. Like many of our associates, initially we faced many unknowns regarding the processes and procedures for doing our work. We were unsure of areas we needed to avoid and had to pay attention to the often-daily changes in facilities and look out for each other to remain safe. We tested thousands of smoke detectors in the COVID-19 isolation units, ICUs, and throughout the hospitals. There are literally smoke detectors everywhere, and they need to be tested and inspected regularly even during a pandemic.
Is there something you’ve learned in your role that you didn’t expect?
One thing I’ve learned in my career is to never assume anything. It’s kind of funny because our job in fire safety is to “test” and “inspect” equipment. Normally we “assume” nothing, as we verify and test everything. It’s the expectation and requirement to ensure things are done correctly.
What would you tell someone considering a career with Medxcel?
Some companies may slot employees into a job and leave them there but not Medxcel. If you aren’t sure exactly what you want to do with your career, or you need a way to explore maybe where your gifts and talents lie, Medxcel is a great place to be. There are so many opportunities here for young people, or anyone else, to find a fulfilling way to serve within the healthcare field. The size of the organization and the variety of jobs within facilities management provide variety and the opportunity to try new things.
Is there a project you’ve been involved in that was especially meaningful to you?
Medxcel really promotes community service and one project I really enjoyed was when our team had the opportunity to serve at our 2021 Earth Day service event. The project provided a wonderful team building opportunity where we were able to get outside of our normal routine and serve alongside other Medxcel associates to improve our local community. Medxcel associates from a variety of field came together to spend an afternoon picking up trash along local roadways. It may sound like a chore, but it was a really great day. We got to work outside, met others from the Medxcel team, and improved the roads in the community where we work and live.