Ex-fireman fights the flames of workplace conflict

A former part-time firefighter from Bath is aiming to resolve conflict in the workplace and create more productive teams. Mark Fanning, who heads ACF Teambuilding and Events, said that teamwork is “vital” in the fire service because lives depend on it.

The father of two – who once saved a boy from a burning building while working as a retained (on-call) firefighter back in the 1990s – also worked as a senior sales executive at the time and is now using his experience in sales and the fire service to encourage employee engagement in the workplace.

Mark said: “Trust and effective communication are so important in the fire service as it can mean the difference between life and death. Just as in a fire station, emergencies arise; situations come up in a business in which a team must pull together.”

He explained: “Effective team building helps reduce conflict and increase collaboration. This means more engaged and productive employees. It’s good for the office atmosphere – and the bottom line.”

ACF Teambuilding and Events offers a range of training, from working with firefighters to samba drumming. The team (based at Aldwick Court Farm in North Somerset) also carry out psychometric assessments to better understand members of the team and how they can work to their strengths.

Mark said: “My work in sales has shown me the need to better understand people so as to communicate effectively and work well together.”

He continued: “I learned a lot during my time with the fire service and have great respect for the work they do. But my strength lies in sales, so that’s what I decided to focus on.”

Mark worked in sales for newspapers, radio and magazine publications before joining the company in 2006 as a sales director.

The business owner at the time tragically died in a helicopter crash in 2011 and Mark took over the business in 2012.

Pictured above: Mark Fanning of ACF Teambuilding and Events

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