First Call Difference
“A month at First Call Environmental is equal to six months anywhere else!” I make that claim to friends of mine in other industries all the time. As I reviewed all of the happenings around First Call in order to write this, I am convinced that maybe I should change it to a year anywhere else. The past couple of months have been an extremely busy time for First Call Environmental on many different levels. We have been presented with extremely challenging projects, exciting personnel developments, training exercises, and unique team-building events that continue to grow and strengthen the First Call team.
Operationally, we have completed some of the most challenging and technical projects in the history of our company without interrupting our Emergency Response capabilities in our coverage area. These projects, including a decontamination and waste management project on St. Thomas Island, containment of caustic material after a fire at an industrial supply company in Central Virginia, and a level B Emergency Response to a pretty nasty poison in northern New Jersey, are a small example of the expanding capabilities of our team. Many hours of research, project management, planning, and hard work have gone into the successful completion of these projects (as well as the other 207 projects from October and November!).
Much of our expanding operational capabilities can be attributed to the addition of new personnel. Chuck Reinwald has joined the FCE team as the Northern Region Manager and brings with him a wealth of experience with vacuum trucks and tankers as well as emergency spill response. Reid Foster will be taking over the management of the Virginia Region as well as accepting the role of “class clown” in the corporate office. The Western Region received a major upgrade with the addition of Assistant Managers Wayne Mosely, Nicholas Moore, and David Dyer in Louisville, Bowling Green, and Knoxville respectively. Another Assistant Manager, Steven Arthur, strengthened the Southern Region by joining the Columbia, SC office and Orlando, FL is up and running thanks to the hard work of Anthony Donahue.
The quarterly meeting saw these new faces, as well as the rest of the Managers, project managers, and others meet in Ashland, VA to continue to refine the First Call Difference. Attendees received training on drone operation, were introduced to software improvements, and participated in our first HazMat Challenge. After much spirited competition, the winners of this inaugural event were Jeff Weer (Asst Manager, Baltimore, MD), Dylan Whittenburg (Asst. Manager, Fayetteville, NC), and Steven Arthur (Asst. Manager, Columbia, SC). The cooperation and communication demonstrated by all of the participants, as well as the technical proficiency was truly impressive to witness.
As crazy as the schedule is with all of the projects and trainings, we pride ourselves on our ability to “Work Hard to Play Harder!” This was evident when the Southern Region crews gathered in Charlotte, NC for the 24th Goodguys Rod and Custom Association car show. Held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, the show featured thousands of unbelievably cool cars and trucks as well as autocross racing, burnouts, and a fantastic atmosphere. What a great way to spend a day! The American Towman Exposition in Baltimore, MD provided the crew an opportunity for a little R&R (although I don’t believe there was much sleep to be had…) and great networking opportunities. The largest gathering to date of First Call employees happened recently at a hockey game in Washington DC as crews from Richmond, Baltimore, New Jersey, Raleigh, and the corporate office gathered to celebrate the Holidays and the incredible year First Call has experienced. Lots of laughter, great food, and an awesome experience at the Capital One Center, as well as a win for the Washington Capitals seemed to have everyone in a festive spirit. What a great way to begin the holiday season!
As mentioned previously, there are so many exciting things happening around our company on a regular basis time seems to always be in short supply. Great people, unusual opportunities, continuing education, and a challenging work environment have a tendency to really make the time fly.