In Episode 17 of The Mission Critical Fire Protection Podcast, Lee Kaiser sits down with ORR's Tim O'Brian, Account manager. Tim discusses his tenure in the fire suppression industry and talks about Chicago's different fire regulations.
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Welcome to MCFP meet the experts where ORR Protections, VP of engineering, Lee Kaiser interviews, industry insiders on all things Mission-critical fire protection.
Lee Kaiser (00:19):
With Tim O'Brian today, account manager based out of Chicago, Illinois covers Illinois into Iowa and up into Wisconsin. So thanks a lot for joining us today. I do some interviews for our protection systems. A tell me, Tim, how did you get into the fire protection business?
Tim O'Brian (00:37):
Well, I've been in the business for about 20 years. Um, and, um, back then I was in the automobile industry. Um, and the hours within that industry were quite extensive. Um, I had two young children at home and wanted to spend more time with my family and my children, um, and, uh, decided to, um, make a change. Um, I knew that sales was my background. Um, I always thought that it was going to be in the automobile industry, but I realized sales is quite general. Um, and, um, I sent out a couple of resumes and in one of the companies I interviewed with was in the fire industry and that's where it began.
Lee Kaiser (01:19):
Integrator somebody that, uh, sells fire alarm systems.
Tim O'Brian (01:22):
It was a locally owned business, uh, just out of the city of Chicago. Um, and, um, um, they were a distributorship for major brands. Um, and our main focus was the city of Chicago Metro area.
Lee Kaiser (01:37):
So how'd you find your way coming to ORR?
Tim O'Brian (01:38):
Back then, when I was working for that company, another, uh, gentlemen that I was working with at the same time, um, I knew of him over the past 20 years. Um, I switched from a couple of other, uh, companies and, um, at this point I reached out to him and, um, before I knew it, I was, uh, a member of the ORR family.
Lee Kaiser (02:00):
Hey, we're glad you're here.
Tim O'Brian (02:01):
I'm thrilled to be here.
Lee Kaiser (02:03):
So, you know, with your background, can you think of any favorite fire alarm projects or things that you've done as far as projects?
Tim O'Brian (02:11):
One of my favorite projects is a, the United center in Chicago. Um, it is, uh, the home of the Chicago bulls and Blackhawks. Um, I've been "Da Bulls", I've been, uh, working with them for, uh, the past 20 years. Um, it's a great customer. Um, we, uh, take care of their FM 200 systems, uh, clean agent suppression, um, their kitchen systems, their fire extinguishers, um, a variety of, of, of things there at the stadium. Um, and we're in talks now about working with their fire alarm systems and sprinkler systems.
Lee Kaiser (02:46):
Oh, that's great. So are you a big sports fan?
Tim O'Brian (02:48):
I'm a Hawks fan.
Lee Kaiser (02:50):
I so hockey like the hockey,
Tim O'Brian (02:51):
Lee Kaiser (02:52):
well that Chicago is a good time to like hockey.
Lee Kaiser (02:54):
It's a great sports city.
Lee Kaiser (02:55):
Can you think of any dream projects that you haven't done that you'd like to do yet in your career?
Tim O'Brian (03:00):
I was always involved in the fire alarm end of the business. Um, the hotel industry was one of my largest niches. Um, it wasn't until I started to see those dream jobs until I came to, ORR, um, where there are projects that, um, I never possibly could imagined, um, that I'm really very excited about getting involved with.
Lee Kaiser (03:24):
What is it about ORR that gives you access to do some of those dream jobs?
Tim O'Brian (03:27):
The size of, ORR not based on the number of employees, but the extents extent that we reach across the country. Um, it opens up so many doors for simple little jobs, to jobs I could never possibly imagine that are out there. Just, just waiting for a professional to walk in, to look at.
Lee Kaiser (03:54):
With regards to fire, certain fire protection technologies. Are there any technology that you really feel that you're an expert in?
Tim O'Brian (04:01):
My main focus was, as I mentioned in the hotel industry, um, fire alarm systems detection, um, I never was really fully involved in suppression. Um, probably have enough knowledge in that to make me dangerous, but, uh, but, um, it, it has given me a, um, tremendous amount of excitement in working with, ORR in learning that other half of it.
Lee Kaiser (04:26):
Well, hotels are always one of the most intensive fire alarm occupancies. And so it's good that, you know, fire alarm from that perspective,
Tim O'Brian (04:33):
it was pretty interesting.
Lee Kaiser (04:34):
Yeah. So Tim, last question, are there any industries or applications for fire protection that you feel that you have more knowledge than others in?
Tim O'Brian (04:44):
You know, it's all very general. My, my greatest knowledge was, um, or is in the, um, the fire alarm end of the business ever since I started with, ORR I've been given numerous opportunities to learn a whole lot more. I'm very excited about getting involved in the, um, power generation, half of, uh, ORR, um, especially with all the resources and the help and the people here at, ORR to help me move, um, quickly into that, that sector.
Lee Kaiser (05:19):
Oh, good. Well, and you know, Tim O'Brien, uh, account manager , Chicago, Illinois, thanks so much for spending some time and letting us know your story. Thanks a lot.
Tim O'Brian (05:27):
My pleasure, Lee.
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