Joining the Royal Navy in 1980, and leaving in 1991, Tom Morton has since built two successful technology companies using knowledge originally developed while working as a Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer.
His knowledge of electronic warfare and communications technology has been his key to a fantastic commercial career, which focuses on improving the safety of people who are vulnerable to or at risk of crime.
Expertise Built In The Navy
Scotsman Tom Morton spent 11 years in the Royal Navy working on electronic warfare and communications including the detection and interception of signals; electronic countermeasures; assessing risk and identifying the type and location of a threat.
Leaving in 1991 as Chief Weapons Engineering Artificer, Tom continued to use his expertise in the commercial sector.
He went on to work on a European Space Agency project, then moved into mobile communications technology.
In 1998, Tom started 'Safe Shores Monitoring', which provides mobile technology that supports the personal safety of lone workers and individuals who live in fear of crime.
By-passing the 999 service means the firm’s response team can respond much quicker to help people at risk.
Using this system, Tom founded his second technology company, 'Communicare247', in 2017.
Originally set up in the attic at his Dunoon home, Tom started the company to provide innovative digital monitoring services for health and social care, helping people to stay safe in their homes and in communities. He said:
“In the old days, I used to find things, detect where they were coming from, understand what that threat level was, and then give that information to the command.
"They would decide that, okay, we're going to deal with that.
“In civilian life, I do the same thing. I detect signals, in terms of information from individuals who are at risk. Those individuals might be working in social work or in an environmental enforcement field … they're putting themselves at risk.”
Military Standard Technology
It's much more than a panic button. Tom’s technology tells his response team when people are in distress. The users indicate they’re at risk via their mobile device, and the team can respond according to the information about the threat level and location. Tom explains:
“The system is pretty much a military-resilient, thought-through process with lots of technology wrapped around the individual user.
"The user feels comforted and safe in their day-to-day activities. We’re also applying this to individuals who are perhaps living at home with a chronic illness.”
Navy Is The Undercurrent Of His Success
As the founder of two thriving companies, Tom has no qualms in employing other veterans.
He appreciates that military skill and values have helped build his companies: teamwork, the drive to get the job done, a focus on the end-goal, and the ability to be open about challenges.
Another military influence, Tom says, is his approach to measuring his success. He said:
“I measure success mainly by little milestones of achievement.”
“I look at the way we've got to where we've got to, and I can look back and see catastrophes, bad decisions.
"I can see how we’ve overcome them and how we move on from them. That's all military training.”
Also, Tom has a higher than average level of resilience found on civvy street. He survived a bomb attack while serving on HMS Antrim in 1982 during the Falklands War. A bomb hit the vessel but failed to explode; Tom and his colleagues worked for 16 hours to deal with the threat and return the ship and crew to safety. Tom said:
“My perception of what's a crisis is slightly different to others.
"So maybe I'll have a different viewpoint because of my experience. I measure on whether or not this is really life-threatening; nobody died so is it urgent?”
His commitment to giving back to society by giving people better health and social care is clear. With no intention of “selling up”, Tom’s entirely focused on delivering his vision.
The Armed Forces certainly made the man who’s now helping to revolutionise health and social care in the UK. Tom finishes by declaring:
“I've survived a bomb. I've had a bit of life experience. And now I'm running a business where I'm able to do a little bit extra. The Navy gave me that.”
This story is part of Life After Service, a week-long campaign where BFBS will be running positive stories about ex-service people across all its media channels.