The COVID-19 pandemic has made the last 18 months challenging for everyone. Although MRS Training & Rescue were able to continue to operate throughout the pandemic, our training centre managers were unable to meet in person due to lockdown rules and restrictions.
But, after almost 2 years, we were able to invite all MRS Training & Rescue Operations Managers to our headquarters in Mansfield for a reunion.
As a company, we have been fortunate to buck the economic trend over the last 18 months and have remained fully operational helping to support our clients who work in business-critical industries. But whilst Zoom and Microsoft Teams have been very useful in ensuring monthly team meetings have continued throughout the pandemic, being able to all meet in person as a management team was a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and catch up.
Social distancing was maintained – and good ventilation and lateral flow tests helped to ensure that all those who met felt safe.
With training centres located across the UK, managers had travelled from Crossgates in Fife, Romsey in Southampton, Tonypandy in South Wales, Houghton-le-Spring in the Northeast, Knottingley in West Yorkshire, and Swadlincote in Derbyshire. Given some of the journey times, the meeting began at lunchtime and the first afternoon included updates on the company’s financial performance, as well as health and safety, marketing and IT updates.
John Mowbray, Operations Manager at Mansfield, then gave a tour of the site showing the improvements that have recently been made to the building including the creation of three new classrooms, removing the old ‘fire station’ doors, adding more office space and a historical timeline of the company.
A meal at a local hotel, where some of the managers were staying, then followed, and it was a great way to catch up informally.
The next morning was a chance to have some healthy debate about several business initiatives, to brainstorm ideas and to celebrate success.
It also enabled us to officially thank Mark Whittaker for his service to the company, as he retired in July last year. Mark worked for the company for 42 years, joining as a miner in 1978 and retiring as an Operations Manager for our training centre in Mansfield in 2020. Chairman, Dr Barrie Jones, presented him with an MRS Training & Rescue glass trophy and all shared stories and memories of times gone by.
Going forwards, it is likely future meetings will mix virtual with face to face to maintain a level of flexibility.