Border States Electric’s Hinkley Leads Incident Command for Salvation Army

FARGO, N.D., August 20, 2013 — Dave Hinkley, business continuity manager at Border States Electric (BSE), volunteered as the incident commander for the Salvation Army’s flood fight efforts in Fargo, N.D., throughout March and April.


Hinkley has been working with business continuity, business resiliency and incident command processes with BSE for more than eight years. He has been active with the Salvation Army for several years.


“Most people automatically assume disaster recovery is about IT,” Hinkley said. “Our business continuity program at BSE began in IT, but then we asked the question, ‘What good is IT without people?’ We’d be all dressed up with no place to go.”


The government requires a growing number of BSE’s customers to support an incident command structure through business continuity plans. With BSE’s understanding of the National Response Framework/National Incident Management Structure, it serves customers that fall into different critical infrastructure segments: communications, emergency management, energy and public works.


After Hinkley worked with multiple teams to develop a full-fledged business continuity program for BSE — complete with IT disaster recovery, emergency preparedness and business continuity plans — he began thinking about how he could use his skills to help the community.


“Business continuity started for BSE because we needed to protect our people as employee-owners. It’s mission-critical, absolutely,” said Hinkley. “But I had worked with the Salvation Army during floods for a long time beginning as a canteen driver and serving food in the canteens.”


Hinkley joined the formal emergency disaster services team with the Salvation Army in 2011. In early 2012, when the last team lead resigned, the team looked to Hinkley to step up to the challenge.


“The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster services team in Fargo is unique because the leadership team members are all volunteers,” said Hinkley. “I volunteer because it all goes back to the BSE culture of giving back.”


One of BSE’s core values involves sharing resources to enhance the quality of life in the communities where it operates. With the knowledge Hinkley gained from working with BSE, he was able to use his skills to help the Salvation Army during its flood efforts.


At the end of April, Hinkley led roughly 50 volunteers in an incident command structure. With the volunteers’ help, the Salvation Army accomplished its goals to do the most good for the Fargo-Moorhead community by providing food, sandbagging and other flood-related assistance.


“I think my interest in business continuity for the Salvation Army is an offshoot of the BSE culture,” Hinkley said. “We want to take care of ourselves. We want to be the best. But more than that, we care. We care enough to send our people in to help.”

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