Third Alarm Leadership

Tom Pandola, Founder

Following his years of service and leadership with the Los Angeles City Fire Department, Tom Pandola moved directly into business leadership positions. He found that the same principles he relied upon to lead others in navigating the dangers and challenges of firefighting and rescue situations also produced successes in his everyday business situations.

Pandola spent more than two decades solving problems associated with fires, floods, riots, earthquakes, and more. His leadership assignments included the Commander of Air Operations, and the Hazardous Materials Task Force Commander. He took the same fire-tested principles that he learned on the front lines of firefighting with him to the business world. This gave him the opportunity to learn from other business leaders – CEOs, presidents, and general managers – sharing their biggest challenges, hopes and fears. He also heard from mid-level managers and entry level employees about how they were continuously stressed by a business environment that demanded more, better, faster, with fewer resources. He saw first-hand what was missing in today’s business environment, and how the principles that had served him so well in firefighting, could also deliver what these leaders and their workforces were all looking for.

Working as a Regional Director in the high-stakes business of emergency air medical transportation, he applied the same principles and experienced the same type of successful outcomes. Once again, his style of leadership was able to improve operational effectiveness through teamwork, empowered the workforce with the confidence to make good decisions, and ultimately transformed the culture into one that was dedicated to be the best.

Pandola co-founded Third Alarm Leadership, a company he founded with his co-author, Jim Bird. For the business professionals he consults with and coaches, as well the audiences he speaks to, his mission is “to inspire success” with these fire-tested and business- proven principles of leadership and culture. Tom Pandola is also the co-author of the new book Light a Fire under Your Business: How to Build a Class 1 Corporate Culture through Inspirational Leadership. Learn all about the book here.