“My life is an adventure!”
I have introduced myself in front of an audience many times using this line. This is a reflection of my personal and professional lives, which have rarely been boring. For the past 20 years I have been involved in emergency services delivery, emergency management and disaster recovery. While I have been deployed to a few disasters, mostly I work behind the scenes in an emergency operations center leading the preparation for, response to and recovery from the most serious of catastrophes.
“I’ve been in three county jails and one state penitentiary…”
This statement leads most people to believe that I am a convicted felon, but that’s not true. I have never been convicted of any crime except “driving with an obstructed windshield” which was a plea bargain offered when I appeared in court for a speeding ticket received in college. The truth is that I ended up in jails and a state penitentiary in Texas many times responding to calls while working in Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
The adventure began when I signed up for a student job dispatching EMS first responders in college. “Here’s the radio and that’s the phone,” I remember from training on my first shift. After about 15 minutes of show and tell I was left on my own to handle medical emergencies on campus. Not much happened that first evening, but eventually the phone rang and I was ready. After that first call I was hooked!
Identify and Correct Immediate Threats to Life
My work in EMS developed into passion for disaster recovery, crisis management, business continuity and enterprise risk management. Over time the scope of my work has become progressively more broad encompassing compliance and safety programs in addition to disaster recovery and business continuity. I have had the privilege of working with exceptional teams preparing large companies and government for emergencies and disasters. I have also led the implementation of those plans many times over for real world disasters from earthquakes in Taiwan to the pandemic influenza outbreak in Mexico.
All bleeding eventually stops
This theorem of emergency medicine applies equally to corporations as it does to trauma patients in the emergency room. For corporations the bleeding either stops when critical functions are recovered after an incident or the company goes out of business. My passion is to ensure the companies I work for stop the bleeding quickly and then transition to thrive where others fail. Loss of revenue, loss of customers, loss of supply chain, loss of reputation, and loss of operations are all at risk in the world today. Whether by a single catastrophic incident or by repetitive incidents brought on by neglect of risk and compliance programs – the death by a thousand cuts is just as dead as the fatality inflicted by a single laceration.
“It’s all good…”
I adopted this phrase from a colleague and friend I worked with on crisis management projects in Australia. For as many risks as we would think about, analyze and plan for my colleague would begin a sentence with, “it’s all good.” You could call him on the phone in the middle of the night and say, “Media outlets in the US are reporting terrorist attacks at multiple sites” and he would respond by saying, “it’s all good mate, don’t worry we’ll figure it out!” He was right…we could figure out the right approach to any risk by breaking down the core issues, gathering facts, setting clear priorities, and rallying the team around the vision. Risk management is about applying common sense to all sorts of rational and irrational challenges.
What Better Risk Management is About
- This is my personal motivation to read, analyze and maintain knowledge on current topics in Risk Management. Success is feeding the blog new posts regularly.
- This site is an outlet for ideas – have something to share? Comment on a post or send me an email.
- My goal is also to educate others on risk management topics. The motto of business today is more work, fewer resources. Sharing information and knowledge is the only way to survive.
Thanks for stopping by!