The Last Word with Reece Paprotny

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Amthal’s newly appointed Commercial Director, Reece Paprotny, talks about his new role and the company’s recent rebrand

Can you tell us about your journey from apprentice to Commercial Director?

My journey has been an incredible experience for which I am truly grateful.

It has shaped my professional growth and provided valuable insights into a fast-evolving industry.

I joined as a Finance apprentice in 2015 and I’m not sure I truly anticipated the career opportunity.

I was eager to learn, and one of the key aspects of working with Amthal is the chance to gain hands-on experience in the sector, embracing the technical intricacies of what was required to succeed in fire safety.

Soon after I joined, we all witnessed the devastating impact of Grenfell and the subsequent influx of new legislation. 

As a trusted partner to many customers across the UK, we had a duty of care to understand what was required for compliance and tailor solutions to meet specific needs, quickly and efficiently.

As all of Amthal does, the commercial team came together with the Fire team to deliver the new standards and ensure our customers comply with the Fire Safety Act and the Building Safety Act.

And this continues as more legislation comes through.

How do you plan to lead your team in addressing the challenges of fire safety?

Our Amthal fire safety team is our most important asset in offering guidance, advice and having the adaptability to change in a dynamic environment.

I am not here to lead but to share their journey and help expand our skillsets to meet our customers’ needs. 

We are actively recruiting Fire Safety Engineers to help comply with weekly, monthly and annual testing schedules for life safety equipment and fire doors.

In line with Amthal’s new rebrand, how important is the fire safety side for the business?

In a word, critical!  Whilst Amthal started as a residential security company, in 2008 we achieved our BAFE accreditation because fire was becoming an increasing part of our business.

Fast forward to now and it’s about a 60:40 split between fire and security.

In our strategic plan, we reflect on the impact of recent years and how life safety issues have been brought to the fore of people’s minds.

What advice would you give to apprentices starting, in the context of a career in fire safety?

If you look at Amthal – the founding members John Allam and Paul Rosenthal together with CEO Jamie Allam, all started their careers as an apprentice. 

As did I and a quarter of the current Amthal team.

The fire safety sector is ready to lean on new talent and the next generations as it opens up systems to the smart potential of cloud technology and remote, real-time monitoring where any incidents can be responded to quickly, and appropriately.

I recently spoke at our company day, referencing the three virtues of being ‘an ideal team player.’ 

To be humble, hungry and smart.

The fire safety sector epitomises these objectives where the skill sets can be learned with a hungry ambition to do more. 

The smartness comes from consistent training and effectively translating the expectations of our customers into everyday actions. 

And the humble is appreciating and supporting the team around you, all willing to achieve customer excellence.

Put this together in the context of fire safety, and you have the career opportunity to make a real difference in saving lives and protecting property.

This article was originally published in the September 2023 issue of International Fire & Safety Journal. To read your FREE digital copy, click here

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