As a business owner and someone with a passion to constantly review and improve standards as well as someone through my own career path/development, at times met a few obstacles or challenges along the way. I wanted to develop and provide something different for our new starters, without burdening our experienced staff too greatly, something that is rare in our industry. Historically A&F have sent new engineers on various training courses to gain a basic understanding of fire protection design. But fire protection cannot be learnt from a two week course!
Our business has constantly evolved and grown with it and the sprinkler engineer pool has been dry for a while. We knew that to continue the growth we would need to employ engineers from colleges, universities etc and develop them with our way of thinking and solution finding. But the paradox for us was, the time required to ensure that the engineers were taught correctly and adequately, without reducing our output and quality of work. So, we started our own in-house sprinkler engineer training programme.
At A&F we believe in what we do, we have designed and installed a sprinkler system to protect our own premises. We have a newly fitted sprinkler tank and pumphouse comprising of two diesel pumpsets. This is linked to a Deluge, Wet and Dry Valvestations which are also used for training purposes so we have real life working examples.
We have also taken on a time served stalwart of the Industry, Nigel Mackenzie who has over 40 years of experience, including the infamous LPC competency exams along with many engineering and teaching qualifications/capability. He even taught me how to do manual hydraulic calculations for me to gain my FHC competency exam earlier in my career! Prior to that, Nigel used to be my assigned “over stamper” again earlier in my career. So, I knew that Nigel had the capability and knowledge, we had the facility and requirement, so the paving slabs for our in-house training road were not hard to lay down in the end.
Nigel also has a great wealth of technical knowledge from his years in the industry but also his previous involvements with technical committees, special risks, quality assurance, engineering and teaching qualifications, along with a calmness to assist remote from the day to day melee of contracting. Nigel brings a strength to the Team, which helps us grow and strengthen in many ways.