Giving at Now: How colleagues are empowering each other to keep giving back

  • Life at Now
  • Alex Mittell
  • Culture
  • 2020
March 19, 2020

Firefighting is in my bones: My uncle was a volunteer firefighter in the town where I grew up in England, and my father-in-law was a fire chief in the English city of Lancaster. I carry on this family tradition as a volunteer firefighter in my own community—Amherst, New Hampshire. 

For the last three years, I’ve been firefighting while also growing my career at ServiceNow across roles on the DevOps and Solutions Consulting teams. In my current role as a partner solution architect, I provide technical support around various integrations and help our partners make sure they are following best practices. Throughout the intensive firefighter training, my managers and colleagues have provided incredible support so that I can juggle both of these parts of my life.

Firefighting is definitely different from my day job but I enjoy helping people and I’m happy that I get to do that in many ways. I want the firefighting work I do in my community to inspire my children to feel passionate about contributing to the world, just like my family inspired me.

When I began the volunteer firefighter program, I wasn’t sure if I would have enough time and energy because the training requirements are physically draining with a demanding schedule. I completed 350 hours for the initial training over several months. The training was a combination of work in and out of the classroom. It covered everything from ropes and knots to water rescue, radio communication and chain of command, to the complexities of wildland fires. Can you imagine learning all of that while still making sure that ServiceNow is delivering powerful products to our customers? I couldn’t have balanced the two without the support of my manager.

While training as a firefighter, my role at ServiceNow involved a lot of travel to meet with customers—something I loved doing—so my manager, Justin Bogli, worked with me to make sure that I could stay local to my community on nights when I needed to attend firefighter training. One weekend was dedicated to hose blocks—carrying giant hoses full of water to put out simulated fires, learning to climb up the buildings and into windows to learn different angles of attack. That was one of the most physically demanding weekends. 

My teammates were also very understanding and willing to help me cover work commitments when needed. There was one day when I needed to drive 300 miles to a team meeting in New York City, and I needed to be back in time for my training that evening. My teammate, Jerome Bomengo, offered to stay and handle the customer meetings for the team so I could make the long journey back to New Hampshire. I walked in the door one-minute before training began.  I always made sure I could return the favor when possible, it formed a great sense of kinship among us. 

Now that I’m certified, I work on-call as a volunteer firefighter, and my pager goes off whenever there is an incident. I respond to situations like car accidents and medical calls or brush fires and building fires. Our fire crew also hosts community outreach events to engage with residents and raise money for local causes—many of which my ServiceNow teammates have generously supported with donations.

Recently, they helped raise over $2,000 for the New Hampshire 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, an event that honors firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11. The money raised will go to programs led by the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, including providing support to the families of fallen firefighters.

Some of the firefighters who rushed into the World Trade Center towers that day climbed dozens of stories with full gear—an incredible feat of physical endurance. In the Memorial Stair Climb, I climbed the equivalent of 110 stories to honor the heroism of the 9/11 firefighters. I thought I would be fit enough to handle it but I had aching calves for about three days afterward. It made me all the more appreciative of the superhuman effort of the 9/11 first responders.

I’m aiming to spend at least 10 years as a volunteer firefighter and I’m grateful that I have such an awesome team of managers and colleagues at ServiceNow who have supported me in giving back to my community. By empowering my volunteerism over the past few years, I know that they have my back. And they know that if there’s ever anything I can do for them, I’ll gladly be there to contribute however I can.

 

Work with people who care. Explore careers with us.

 

© 2020 ServiceNow, Inc. All rights reserved. ServiceNow, the ServiceNow logo, Now, and other ServiceNow marks are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of ServiceNow, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated.

Topics

  • Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe): business man looking at phone while standing on bridge overlooking a city
    IT Management
    How the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) truly supports business
    The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) delivery model can help IT leaders manage the transition from a stability-focused to a continuously evolving infrastructure.
  • The role of the manager: a manager and employee in conversation on a couch
    Employee Experience
    4 ways Manager Hub simplifies the role of the manager
    As the connective tissue between an organization and its employees, the role of the manager is more complex, and more important, than ever before. Learn more.
  • How delivery giant Yamato uses data science: uniformed Yamato delivery worker
    Customer Stories
    Delivery giant Yamato uses data science to drive growth
    Maintaining operational excellence while dealing with a surge in orders is a key pillar of Yamato’s digitization strategy—one that relies on data science.

Trends & Research

  • Total experience companies outperform: prism refraction with an arrow pointing to the right
    Employee Experience
    Survey says: Total experience-focused companies outperform
  • Customer service: smiling businessman on phone walking outdoors
    Customer Experience
    Survey: 3 tips to deliver world-class customer service
  • Enterprise SRE (site reliability engineering): where service reliability and business agility meet
    Application Development
    Service quality and the rising need for enterprise SRE

Year