In my youth, my father was the City Auditor in Pittsfield, MA. His position provided me early access
to the fire and police functions in the city. Additionally, the future Fire Chief, lived in the same apartment house,
owned by my parents, in which I was raised. Through daily contacts with the Chief, plus his Deputies and Lieutenants,
I gained insights to firefighting / prevention and knowledge of fire science. I knew about standpipes and charged suppression
systems before my friends knew about "Spin-The Bottle."
I spent a great part of my teen years marching in a drum corps sponsored by the Fire Department. In addition to this
close connection with a fire station, where we praciced while at home, this sponsorship also provided a connection
while the corps was on the road. We stayed at firehouses. Central Station Alarm systems and panels were as commonplace
as contests for the fastest pole slide.
My first experience with death by fire came when I was very young. There was a lumberyard fire in which the yard's horse
was trapped and burned. (There were no sprinklers.) While this had has a lasting effect on me... it has not been
as great as a fire that ripped through the home of a fellow alterboy. He, his three sisters, and his mother
all perished in a house fire. This left only his father... a lifetime of dispair --- and some ridicule from people
accused the father of only looking out for himself. (This fire was before smoke alarms. And, it also
demonstrated the painful, personal after-effects of such a tragedy.)
Early in my career... I spent years as United Computing Services' Account Executive to Grinnell Fire Protection
in Providence, RI. Through UCS's custom software development, USC provided both the software and computer time-sharing
for eventually Grinell's entire pipe and sprinkler estimating programs. Also
during this same period, my home was robbed. (There was no alarm system installed at the time, but soon was.)
In the mid 80's, I formed a marketing services company. Lifeline Systems (now in Framingham, MA) became a
client. Lifeline is the legitimate company (not the "Help I've Fallen" company) that provides monitoring
systems for people -- mostly elderly -- who have a need for instant access to first-responder help when personal
help is not there. While my company's service was to only include the processing of leads and the referral of customer
service calls into Lifeline, we soon found that it was impossible to coldly shut-out these often very lonely people.
In essence, we often provided firstline support... a support that could last for over 20 minutes when we had calculated
a less than three minute call into our service fee. Empathetically, it was worth the loss. Today, Lifeline provides
a a pro-active call-out service to provide this contact to their clients.
Also in the late 80's, my company worked as the direct marketing arm for a company that was manufacturing flame
retardants and distributing special purpose fire extinguishers. At this point, I had become a member of
the NFPA... and was accumlating safety products and services which I was seeking to represent.
In the early 90's, several profitable business situations went away... almost simultaneously. This was financially
and personally devastating... and far too complicated to explain here. Nonetheless, in the mid 90's, I seriously evaluated
monitoring services and the installation of "smart home" systems and monitoring. However, I found that I had neither
the money to effectively launch the business... nor the desire to be an independent contractor in a field where large, established
companies were quietly rolling into the "smart home" concept and business. And, I certainly did not have the resources
or reputation to compete in the business-to-business markets for fire and security monitoring.
Enter the Internet...
By the mid 90's, the Internet started to become the "new" technology that was to fuel a communications / marketing
revolution. Having been with Honeywell EDP with the formation of the ARPA-Net... and having spent 6 years in
computer time-sharing, of which the Grinnell account was a major experience... I made a decision to pursue the Internet...
Within just a few years, the Internet has become both the international and private networks for many companies.
These Internet networks are easily providing monitoring / networking possibilities that even 10 years ago would have been
difficult to imagine.
There is not much more that can be said about this date. The only remaining activity is to see what is
done... nationally, corporately, and individually, about this uncertain, new world in which we find ourselves.
One result will be increased vigilance... from monitoring to bio-metric scanning all the way through hi-tech scanning.
Another result will be greater concern for infrastructure security... including evaluation and evacuation.
Considering the collective current needs throughout this country, my past involvement / knowledge with safety and security,
my accummulated skill-sets in sales, marketing and negotiating -- especially in business-to-business environments, plus my
current desires and needs, I am investigating ways to be a significant resource to a nationally established security
company looking to penetrate new markets, drastically expand exisiting ones, or attempt to secure new markets /
accounts traditionally held by competitors.