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Fire Prevention Month At Optimus Steel


To educate everyone on the dangers of fires within homes and business across the country, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) recognizes October as Fire Prevention Month. Nation wide initiative has been made to bring safety measures and practices to the forefront. The NFPA released several helpful tips and guides for both home and business practices to help keep everyone we care about safe.

The motto of the NFPA Fire Prevention month is “Look. Listen. Learn. Be aware. A fire can happen anywhere.”

In 1922, when the National Fire Protection Association named the second week in October Fire Prevention Week in commemoration of the Great Chicago Fire in 1871. Today, we celebrate Fire Prevention Week and Month by raising awareness and educating families, students and communities across the United States. Fire departments go around to schools and communities to talk to kids and teach them about fire safety and what to do to keep your home safe and what to do in case of a fire.

At Optimus Steel, we wanted to keep Fire Prevention Month at the top of our minds both in the mill and in the homes of all our employees. Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Ed Goettl commented on the steps that Optimus Steel has taken this month to ensure safety was at the forefront of discussions.

“Our safety walks this month included the following:

· Evacuation routes and emergency response equipment including fire extinguishers and eye wash.

· Housekeeping is a leading cause of fires, so this was be a big focus. The mill looks great!

· Discuss emergency action plans with all our employees.

· Drills for local emergency responses”


Creating an emergency plan within the mill and at home is a preventative factor that can play a huge role in the loss that occurs when a fire or natural disasters happens. According to the NFPA, less than 50% of homes have an escape plan in the event of a fire or carbon monoxide. In addition to that another alarming statistic that the NFPA has reported is that in 2016 there were 352,00 home fires and of 60% of the deaths that occurred in the home fires happened where there were no smoke detectors.


“We want it to raise awareness, so employees create evacuation plans for their homes, make sure their smoke detectors have fresh batteries, and get their children to know what actions to take should something unfortunate occur. We want all employees safe at work and at home.” Said Goettl.

We hope our focus on Fire Prevention Month helped our employees both within the mill and at home to be better prepared for all types of fire, carbine dioxide, or natural disasters that can happen. Please try to discuss and plan for emergencies in your home. Nothing is more devastating than the loss of a loved one in a fire. Remember EDITH (Exit Drills In The Home) for anyone with children. If you think you are good, go set off your smoke alarm at 10 pm tonight and see what your children do.

The Importance of Community Involvement and Employee Participation

At Optimus Steel, we take pride in participating in various events that strengthen our internal culture and give back to the local community. Our team will be taking part in a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society called Relay for Life. Across more than 20 countries, Relay for Life will facilitate more than 5,000 events to support the continued fight against many types of cancer. The events are held at campus universities, across local communities, and via virtual fundraising platforms bridging the cap with supporters and survivors. The funds raised are used to improve cancer survival, decrease the incidence of cancer, and improve the quality of life for cancer patients and those who care for them.


A survivor’s lap at a Relay for Life event in Texas

In October of 1985, the American Cancer society and the pharmaceutical division of Imperial Chemical Industries (the creator of many cancer fighting drugs) partnered to establish October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Annually, there is a campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer risks, the value of screening, and early detection. The campaign helps to highlight treatment options available to women and men who are diagnosed with one of the many forms of breast cancer.


White House Illuminated pink in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month 2017

Breast cancer touches the life of 1 in 8 women in the US, and we want to continue to take part in spreading the critical information on detection and prevention. We do also want to show support to those that are actively fighting, and to recognize, support, and celebrate the survivors.

We want to share an amazing personal story of fighting this disease from one of our Optimus Steel team members. Karen McBride Toohey found out in 2003, after self- detection of a lump, that she had cancer. She was devastated by the fact that something was going on in her body that she had no control over. She sought out a second opinion and headed to MD Anderson Treatment Center in Houston, Texas. Karen described her treatment and time there as phenomenal.


Karen has a family history of breast cancer and had lost an aunt to the disease. Gripped with the devastating truth, Karen proceeded with treatment and faced the fear of losing her hair. She knew she had to make the best of a pretty painful situation. She glammed up with large earrings, cute caps, and changing hair color to keep her spirits high and push herself to keep fighting.

Karen expresses how fortunate she was to have her mother and the rest of her family as a support system with her through this journey. She knows her faith in God carried her through the experience. She strongly encourages everyone to understand the importance for men and women to get checked out and receive annual exams. Karen is a warrior and is currently a fifteen-and-a-half-year survivor!

This month we celebrate Karen McBride Toohey. We are thankful for her courage and willingness to give back by pushing others to care for themselves and be diligent in regular self-checks. Karen thank you for encouraging us all in ways you may not even realize.

#OurMillOurCompany

Our Mission

When building and creating any company you must create and execute a mission. To drive that mission forward you must have committed and engaged teammates who not only have the necessary skills but also have a passion to achieve the mission every day.

“We know that always striving for perfection is a challenging goal. However, we believe that in that journey we will always be improving, delivering on our promises today and looking for ways to get better tomorrow.” Said Optimus Steel’s CEO Jim Kerkvliet.

Optimus Steel declares its mission is to outperform the steel industry in safety, value, quality, and innovation. This will be done in compliance with the values of Honesty, Responsibility, Excellence, Passion, and Teamwork, committed to fulfilling applicable regulations and laws for safety, quality, and the environment.

The values of Optimus Steel are on display by the employees and the leadership team. The leadership team has committed to providing the necessary resources to promote health, safety, high quality products, and environmental sustainability.

Embodying the core values is essential to joining the Optimus Steel team:

Honesty – Communicating and promoting safety with integrity. Acting ethically and challenging behaviors that go against the core values of the company.

Responsibility – Committing ourselves to our business in a way where everyone will benefit. Assuming the consequences of our actions. Understanding your duties and doing the best possible.

Excellence – Focusing on the continued improvement of the company, using our intuition, creativity, and perseverance. Overcome obstacles to meet goals. Proposing creative ideas or solutions to problems, challenges, and opportunities.

Passion – Giving our maximum effort for our company and taking pride in being a part of Optimus Steel. Persevere in the face of daily challenges and always searching for solutions.

Teamwork – Collaborating effectively and constructively with others for the achievement of common goals. Sharing the processes from other areas. Supporting and motivating coworkers to be better and more effective every day. Service before self.

Our Mill, Our Company!

Optimus Steel employees are responsible for building the culture of accountability where safety and well-being of our team is paramount, our products meet 100% of accepted requirements, and the environment is protected. All these responsibilities are carried out with the commitment of continuous improvement, giving our maximum effort and taking pride being part of the Optimus Steel team.