Professional Pest Controller Magazine Issue 101

30 November 2020

Post-crisis planning - President's viewpoint


If you’ve ever been at the epicentre of a crisis, you’ll probably have observed how people react differently under pressure.

Imagine a busy city centre where a child has fallen off their bike and suffered a broken wrist.

Some of the crowd freeze when they see the protruding bone. Some default to what they were doing and continue to walk to work (blocking out the noise of the wailing child in the road). For some, the pressure is too much, and they start making poor decisions. Without looking, they walk out into the street to rescue the bicycle, narrowly avoiding oncoming traffic.

A few in the crowd take the moment they need to catch their breath. One goes to comfort the child. Another walks up the street a little to slow oncoming traffic. Another puts their first aid training into practice. A few hold back the gathering crowd. One calls the ambulance.

Back in March, when I last wrote a PPC foreword, it felt as if we were witnessing a sudden emergency. The Covid-19 lockdown was the crisis none of us expected. Am I safe? Can I work? Are we key workers?

We deserve a trade association that can respond to a crisis. You deserve an organisation that can reassure, advise, provide first aid and work towards a way forward. That should be a given.

But more than this, you deserve an organisation that learns from a crisis.

One witness of the crash goes back to the scene of the accident the next day. They find the massive pothole in the street that caused the child to come off their bike. They campaign for it to be fixed, so no other child breaks their wrist while riding a bike on that street again.

The campaign for key worker status and the swift guidance issued by BPCA was our response to an emergency. I’ll always be proud of how BPCA responded to the crisis – and by the looks of the second part of our Covid-19 impact survey, other members agree.

Now BPCA must look ahead and find the pothole. Why wasn’t pest management on the list of key workers in the UK? Why did it take so long for the confirmation to come? How do we spot and fix the next pothole before someone breaks their wrist (or worse) again?

On page 36, you’ll read the draft BPCA strategy for the coming years. Front and centre you’ll see that we’ve put representing members to influencers at the top of our agenda. We want everyone to know just how essential our work is. The committees, Board, Staff team and a focus group of members have all contributed to the strategy. BPCA is run by and for its members. We want to incorporate as many of your points of view as possible.

You’ll also see that we’ve announced the new virtual event PestExtra will replace PestEx in 2021. I share your disappointment that we won’t get to see each other in person next March. However, it’s integral that our sector stays safe and healthy so we can continue to protect public health. Please join in with PestExtra, even if you are a bit uncertain of the technology – give it a try.

The BPCA team is on hand to help you participate, and tickets are free for all UK-based pest management companies (member and non-member).

Amidst the second wave of Covid-19, and with the Brexit transition period coming to a close, it feels as if our businesses might be lurching between one crisis and another. Remember,

BPCA has one hand out to offer support when you need it and an eye looking out for the potholes before they cause the next incident.

Thank you for your continued support. Stay safe and enjoy the festive period.


Philip Halpin
BPCA President

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