From Fireteams to Fire Sprinklers

Posted on by Alex at ABCO

ABCO’s Veterans Explain Why Our Industry is a Perfect Fit.

For decades marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen have found ABCO to be a great fit for them after leaving the service. It’s no secret that veterans make great employees (just Google “why hire veterans”), and we regularly find that many of those who contribute the most to our mission have a military background. For that reason we’re passionate about recruiting those who have served, and our current workforce consists of veterans of Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and a variety of peacetime operations.

So why does fire protection seem to be such a good fit for military veterans?

Purpose & Teamwork

Black & white newspaper photo of a US Marine. According to Brian Hoffman, it’s about having a sense of purpose and a common goal. Before becoming a special hazards suppression salesman out of ABCO’s Cambridge (OH) office, Corporal Hoffman served in the US Marine Corps between 1990 and 1994. He received a Certificate of Commendation for his actions during the Gulf War.

“Similar to serving in the military, at ABCO we work as a team to protect lives each day,” says Hoffman, “and a team with the same goals will be successful.”

A male soldier in uniform in the desert during 2004-2011 war.

Sgt. Chris McDaniel

Chris McDaniel backed him up on the sentiment. Now a sprinkler fitter out of ABCO’s Cleveland headquarters, Sergeant McDaniel served in the US Marine Corps from 2004 until the end of 2011. A fireteam squad leader during the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, few are more qualified to talk about the importance of teamwork.

“Small team cohesion is important here,” says McDaniel, referring to the small, dynamic crews he works with when installing fire sprinkler systems. “Each individual has a role to play in order to get the job done.”

Merrick Murphy echoed this, based on his experience in Vietnam.

“Similar to the fire protection industry, you learned to work with others in order to accomplish a common goal,” said Murphy of his time in the service. First Lieutenant Murphy was a fire direction officer with a US Army artillery unit who served actively from 1965 until 1967, and on reserve until 1971. He now works closely with Hoffman in special hazards suppression sales.


Focus & Preparation

Two men in US Navy uniforms shaking hands and smiling.

ABH Len Sabo’s promotion to E-4.

Adding a different perspective was Leonard Sabo, an accounts payable specialist at ABCO’s corporate office. While serving in the US Navy from 1996 until 1999, Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Sabo was stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He assisted in DEA operations and played a role in ensuring the base was always prepared for attack, both of which he says help him in his career at ABCO.

Headshot of an American sailor in uniform, early 1990s.

EN3 Ron Burton

“My time in the service helped me establish the attention to detail necessary to complete my tasks at work,” says Sabo. “Plus, ABCO puts such a heavy focus on training, which was also a big part of being in the service,” he added, “here and in the Navy, properly trained personnel are keys in making sure that jobs are accomplished safely, on-time, and utilizing correct procedures.”

Ron Burton, who also served in the US Navy, put a different spin on the importance of preparation.

“In the Navy I learned how important fire protection and prevention is, and also learned a thing or two about being prepared,” says Burton. “When you’re on a ship out at sea you need to learn to work with what you have,” he continues, “that idea is important when you’re heading out to job sites and need to make sure you’re prepared so you can finish your job.” Burton is a suppression system installer and inspector at ABCO’s Cincinnati branch, and served aboard the tank landing ship USS Tuscaloosa as an Engineman 3rd Class, 1989-1993.

So, why do former military members answer the call when ABCO is hiring?

“Once out of the service, a career in fire protection is just a natural next step for veterans. It’s a great fit for a veteran’s lifestyle,” says Ron Burton.

We’re glad so many think so, and we thank current and former US and allied military personnel for their service—especially those at ABCO.

If you’re a veteran who would like to join ABCO’s team, visit the “Join Our Team” page of our website.

One Response to From Fireteams to Fire Sprinklers

Wendy says: November 11, 2016 at 9:01 am

What a great write up. Thank you ALL for your service!!
Happy Veterans Day!
Wendy-Superior Fire & Safety, KY