Cloudera’s September Volunteer Spotlight is Barry Laide, accounting manager for LATAM, based in Cork, Ireland.
Barry volunteers with Kerry Mountain Rescue to provide first aid and rescue in the uplands of southwestern Ireland. The organization was founded in 1966 following the deaths of two climbers on the mountains there, and since then has come to the assistance of numerous climbers and walkers in distress.
In his role as volunteer, Barry is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. While the time commitment can “turn his weekends upside down,” he is committed to and inspired by helping those in need.
Barry shared that this type of ongoing volunteering would not be possible without the support of Cloudera and his team. “Thankfully,” Barry said, “volunteering does not impact my work too often. But on the occasion that it has, my manager has been unbelievably supportive.”
As a longtime mountaineer himself, Barry decided in late 2021 to apply to become a member of this elite, 35-person team and to provide aid to those stranded or injured on the trails.
“On average we receive three to four calls per month with varying levels of seriousness. I find it highly rewarding, and yet, am acutely aware that at times it can be quite dangerous. However, the reward of helping those in need and the sense of team camaraderie outway the danger. It’s truly second to none.”
The mountains of Kerry, where Barry volunteers, may not appear high by international standards, but they should nevertheless not be underestimated. As the Kerry Mountain Rescue states in their mission, the landscape can be highly unforgiving and unpredictable even for experienced walkers.
Barry was inspired to join the group by his family, some of whom have also volunteered with the organization in the past. He is continuously in awe and motivated by the other volunteers—some of whom have been doing this for more than 25 years.
“Some of the other members of the group are my senior by 15 or more years, but are still committed to staying physically fit enough to volunteer. Sometimes I think they are superhuman, doing this for 25 years!”
Barry and the other volunteers work as a team to rescue those in need. When asked, “What is one new thing you learned while volunteering?” Barry shared, “I’ve learned so much, and every time I get called out I take on something new. It’s like working at Cloudera, something is always evolving, fast-paced, and challenging. But that’s the thrill and the reason I’m a proud member of both organizations.”