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26 Nov 2019

Fear is a reaction, courage is a decision


Great things never come from comfort zones

Adrian Biddulph

Adrian Biddulph, Managed Services Delivery Lead by day and emergency on call firefighter.  Adrian has been with Claremont for six and half years and as well as delivering Managed Services for Claremont’s clients, he’s also a specialist on the Oracle E-Business suite of products. Adrian divides his time between spending time with customers at their site and working from home.

In 2017, Adrian attended a local village planning meeting and ended up chatting to one of the local residents who happened to be the Deputy Chief Fire Officer who convinced him he could keep his day job and still help his community.

The follow up to the conversation led Adrian to 6 months of intensive evening training resulting in him becoming a fully-fledged firefighter.

Claremont’s CEO Mark Vivian was the person Adrian turned to after having this conversation and between them they worked out the flexibility that would allow Adrian to work at Claremont, but also train and fight fires for his community.

Technology is as much a part of the firefighting community as it is Adrian’s job at Claremont. The fighters use a mobile app, that allows firefighters to log on and off. Adrian carries a device that alerts him when there is an emergency and when he has marked himself on call. Because of the flexibility that Claremont offers him, this could be during a workday, so if Adrian is not at a client or working on something urgent, he goes out and assists with the emergency and then comes back to his work, working late if needed. Likewise, if Adrian is busy with a client emergency, he simply signs off duty on the fire fighters app.

At Claremont, Adrian leads a team of around 16 employees and finds similarities both between his work at Claremont and for the Wheathampstead fire station with unique language used in each field such as “Just run a QP”, “rollback”, “Make pumps 4”, “SQL”, “PDA”, “BA”, “Alpha Entry Control”, “RTC” and whole raft of overt three letter acronyms.

Rescue Service

Adrian says, “there is much more to the job than meets the eye. Fire fighters not only respond to fires (only 20% of their time is spent fighting fires), but also respond to road traffic collisions, flooding, assisting the ambulance services, animal rescues, water based incidents and fire prevention education in the community such as school visits.”

Adrian equates this back to his work at Claremont commenting “you have no idea what the next client request will be. Payroll, Recruitment, Compensation Workbench, Self Service, Workflow, Technical, Functional, Legislative, Recruitment, Time and Labour… If it’s part of the Oracle suite, we need to cover it.”

He continued, “both jobs involve dropping everything to help someone. At Claremont, the response time and SLAs offered to our customers are not quite as stringent as the 4-minute turnout time I have as a fire fighter.” This is the time Adrian has from his alerter going off, to being on the fire engine and good to go. Adrian went on to say, “but, fundamentally, if a Claremont client has a major issue, we drop everything, we help them, and we keep helping them until the issue is resolved.”

Adrian shares a passion for both aspects of his busy life, “being part of the team is a fundamental piece of both jobs, the fire station has a watch, a team of firefighters who eat, sleep, train and work together. Their lives depend upon each other, they have varying levels of experience, specialist areas of expertise; but are all pulling in the same direction; all trust each other and know that they can rely on their colleagues.

Fire Engine & Team

Some of these traits are also similar in the Oracle Support Teams. Everyone in the team has a solid grounding in Oracle HCM and Payroll, but we have a CWB specialist, a tech specialist,  and a legislation specialist. We watch out for each other, we teach each other, we help each other, we support each other. We work together closely every day to try and help our clients.”

As a Fire fighter, Adrian spends a significant amount of time supporting community fire safety events, visiting local schools to talk to the children, attending village fetes and also performing home fire safety checks. Here he ensures that residents have smoke alarms installed on each floor of the house, that they’re tested frequently (#testittuesday), and that as well as having an escape plan and talking to their children about fire safety, that they also consider when they use their home appliances.

Equally within Claremont we spend our time doing proactive activities with our clients, it’s much easier to prevent an issue rather than try and fix an issue under pressure. Patch analysis, TYE preparation.

When asked Adrian says he isn’t a thrill seeker or adrenalin junky, he says he is an organised, level headed, caring guy who stays calm under pressure. He uses all of these attributes both when working and firefighting.

When asked what sticks with him about his firefighting call outs, Adrian highlighted a recent call where a deer got its head stuck in a fence. Working with the RSPCA, they wrestled the deer to the ground, cut it free and as it was unharmed watched it run off into the field. He said it gave him a great sense of satisfaction. Likewise Adrian gets a great sense of satisfaction when he assists Claremont’s clients with a problem or a project is rolled out successfully.

What’s next for Adrian… he will carry on leading his team at Claremont and is currently doing his Emergency Response Driving Course so that he can drive the fire engine on emergency calls.

Injured Deer

 If you want to find out more about the Wheathampstead Fire Station and what they do. You can visit the Wheathampstead Fire Station Facebook page 

If you want to work with an Oracle partner that cares as much about its clients as it does about our employees and community, then contact us. You can email us at or phone us on +44 (0) 1483 549314.