We are pleased to announce that Dave Green is joining Midland Fire Security Services Ltd as a Training and Technical Specialist.

Dave has over 35 years’ experience working with Gent Ltd since 1984 giving him excellent technical knowledge of Gent / Honeywell products. His new role at Midland Fire will be to provide further training to Midland Fire staff and provide advanced technical support to clients and end users – further improving the great service we already provide to our customers.

Dave is very well known amongst Fire Alarm Engineers in the area for his excellent advice and technical support provided in his previous role. Rather than us telling you, we asked Dave to tell us more in an informal interview.

Tell us about your experience

I joined Gent Ltd in 1984 after finishing two years at technical college. Initially starting in the manufacturing side of the business but over time diversifying into first customer service type roles before finally settling in training and development roles of one form or another, not all of which technical, from 1995 to the present day.

Over these many years I have witnessed the Gent business and the industry as a whole evolve beyond recognition. Gent as a business went through several changes of ownership from the Pillar electrical group, to RTZ, to Caradon/Novar and finally, since 2005, to Honeywell. Each change of ownership bringing its own set of opportunities and challenges.

As an industry, we have witnessed not only the development in flexibility and applications of fire alarm equipment but also the on-going increase in professionalism in terms of 3rd party accreditation in the form of BAFE, ISO9001, BS5839:1 design and more recently, associated standard sub-sections for installation, commissioning and maintenance.

What products have you worked with?

In the main I have perhaps been a bit of a “one trick pony” as I have extensive experience in the Gent 3400 fire detection and alarm system  from the late 1980’s, Vigilon F.D.&A from its launch in 1998 and it’s metamorphoses into the current Vigilon Plus range more recently.

In recent years, a considerable amount of my time has been taken up with Winmag (the Gent graphical user interface), BACnet, XLS80 (a Honeywell branded Notifier panel) and more recently the C.L.S.S. remote monitoring and service diagnostics tool.

Have you ever come across any problems when training staff?

I can honestly say that I have not really encountered any problems worthy of mention when delivering training. More often than not, delegates actually want you to be successful and are usually relieved that it is someone else at the front of the training room rather than themselves. There are, however, a few absolutely key elements that should always be taken into consideration during any training activity;

  1. Basic Respect – never talk down to anyone and always value the input and experience of the delegates.
  2. Training is about changing behaviour – acknowledge that change can be difficult for people for a variety of reasons and always empathise and attempt to understand their point of view.
  3. Remember that people do things for their own reasons, not yours. A failure to acknowledge and respect their reasons and motivations will generally end in disaster.
  4. Make it relevant, Informal and relaxed – very few people perform at their best when under duress or when they cannot see a useful application for the information that they are being given.

All of the above may seem like straight forward, common sense but they are all things that I have witnessed either being forgotten or paid lip service to all too often.

What do you enjoy about training?

It sounds corny when you put it into words but what I really enjoy is “the lightbulb moment”, that moment when you help someone to learn a new skill, where you can instantly see the difference that what you are doing as a trainer is making. Training is a profession singular in its ability to offer instant job satisfaction and reward (unless you count being an actor or rock star – neither of which I have the talent nor the temperament for). A trainer generally does not have to wait to witness the results of their work, unlike so many other job roles where you form one part of a larger process. Having started in a manufacturing role where I had no visibility of the process that came before my role, nor indeed what happened afterwards, this instant visibility and reward is not something that I ever take for granted.

What are the common questions customers ask you?

In fire alarm systems, as in most walks of life, the most profound and the most common questions are usually the simplest – “How do I?”, “What Happens if?”, “Is it possible to?”. (You can probably add “How much is it going to cost me?” to that list as well). All of these questions can, as you might imagine, greatly expand dependent on the circumstances in which they are being asked and the knowledge and experience level of the person doing the asking. The key is to have the answers.

What do you hope to bring to Midland Fire Security Services?

In my new role with Midland fire I would hope to be involved in the development of both the people that work within the business and of the business itself. I expect this to take many forms including developing and delivering training materials, providing technical support, coaching and mentoring our engineers, being involved with CPD’s and other customer presentations, to assist in the preparation of tenders and audits, to be involved in launching new products such as the C.L.S.S. gateway to our client base and ultimately to assist in building strong, long term relationships with our customers.

Got a question for Dave?

Dave Green is due to start with Midland Fire on the 31st November 2020 and will be available to provide advice and guidance should you need technical help with any of our products. Please get in touch if you need assistance.