Over the last 30 Years, Russ Porteous has worked with the ‘big guns’ fire protection industry, multinationals such as Wormald and Tyco, honing his skills in fire safety, building design, sales, communication, marketing and technology. While the ‘big guns’ could support the development of Russ’ technical skills and exposure to corporate process, Russ always gravitated to the idea of someday working for himself.
In 2001, Russ seized an opportunity to leave the corporate world, to start a new venture and bring together an amazing team of competent professionals to Firewize. Firewize is a fire protection consultancy, taking it up to the ‘big guns’ with a head office in Melbourne, Australia. Providing strategic fire protection services to commercial, government, residential, healthcare and other properties throughout Victoria, Firewize is recognised by its strong brand identity for reliability, innovation, and extensive industry experience.
Punching above their weight, Firewize (then called Maintenance Essentials) took up the challenge of helping property owners maximize the reliability of the fire and essential safety measures through world class systems.
To help achieve this, the team at Firewize are encouraged to engage utilise their experience to review and develop Australian Standards to the benefit of building owners and the entire fire protection industry. Investing back into the community also forms part of our culture with regular commitments to local schools, sporting clubs and other community groups.
In order to get the attention and interest of their prospective customers Firewize has been at the forefront of effective communications, implementing strategies to climb and maintain the top position of all of the major internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. This has ensured that Firewize is invited to participate in tenders and secure business opportunities, normally the domain of the ‘big guns’. Investments in technology the very early stages of their business are a signature of Firewize.
These investments, normally undertaken by companies ten times the size of Firewize have given them a market leading edge in a very competitive environment. Today, Firewize and its business systems operate exclusively in the cloud allowing the company to expand rapidly to the opportunities available.
The Firewize brand is widely recognised in the property industry for reliability and innovation. Brand awareness is supported by industry engagement where Russ is invited to participate in and contribute to industry and trade conferences as an entertaining specialist industry speaker.
Russ has also written hundreds of articles on Fire Safety, which are published nationally and internationally. Russ’ most popular series of articles titled “Principles of Fire Safety” which describe the operation of fire safety systems is amongst the most popular articles on Fires Safety ever published.
Russ spends a lot of time on the road reinforcing the Firewize brand and promoting fire safety in the community. When Russ has spare time, he spends it thinking about and developing strategies to position Firewize for the opportunities that lie 5 to 10 years ahead.
An avid reader who enjoys sharing a good coffee and a lively debate, Russ lives in Melbourne with his wife and three children.