From the AFSA Chair of the Board: Partnership is one of the core values we have at FLSA/Summit, the company I work for, and I truly believe it’s an important part of our lives as well. Whether it’s in our personal life or professional life, we partner with others that make us all better. One of the organizations that AFSA partners with is the Congressional Fire Services Institute (CFSI). Its purpose is to educate the members of our Congress on the needs and challenges of the nation’s fire and emergency services so that they provide the support that our first responders need. I was honored to attend its 2022 National Fire and Emergency Services Dinner & Symposium in Washington D.C. this year (see photo above). AFSA has partnered with CFSI for many years, and I’ve attended this event for many years as well. We have two people sitting on their National Advisory Council—John Denhardt, our vice president of engineering & technical services, and me. This partnership is solely with the fire and emergency service personnel across this country. The systems we install save their lives every day, and it’s important for them to know about us and see us every year. They return the favor whenever we need to fight bad legislation or promote good legislation. For me, this gathering is seeing my firefighting brothers and sisters, whom I haven’t seen since last year’s event. Folks like Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci, the 2020 recipient of our Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year Award; Ron Siarnicki, director of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and past fire chief of Prince Georges County, Maryland; and Chuck Walker, whom I first started running fire calls with in 1978. Our AFSA table was filled with plenty of supporters from AFSA.
Another association we partner with is the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). We support its cause by volunteering our technical resources on 53 technical code-writing committees, with 120 seats on those committees covering 42 codes and standards. NFPA is given a free booth at our annual convention and exhibition while they return the favor to us at its annual conference and expo. This year, NFPA will held its conference June 6-9 in Boston! It will be awesome to meet in person for the first time in three years with this tremendous group of professionals dedicated to protecting people across the globe!
Other industry associations we partner with include but are not limited to the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC), the Canadian Fire Sprinkler Association (CFSA), the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA), the Fire Protection Research Foundation, and other trade associations. The British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association (BAFSA) has just reached out to AFSA President Bob Caputo to start discussions on the possibility of forming an AFSA chapter in London, England! We’ll keep you posted on that progress.
We can sit here and focus on all the differences these various associations have, but the main, common theme is that we are all here to save lives from the ravages of fire. Each association specializes in something different, and together, we have all the bases covered. Whether it’s prevention, suppression, code development, research, or training—it takes all of these and more to protect our society like it deserves to be protected. Let’s continue to partner with these associations for the common good. Take care, continue to save lives, and God Bless.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: At-Large Director and Chair Jack A. Medovich, P.E., is president & CEO and founding partner of Fire & Life Safety America, formerly known as East Coast Fire Protection Inc., in Richmond, Virginia. A 1983 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Fire Protection Engineering, Medovich served three years as fire marshal of Fairfax County, Virginia, before joining the fire sprinkler industry 35 years ago. He has been active in AFSA since 1991, is past chair of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter, and served as the chair of the Virginia Chapter and a member of its board of directors for many years. He represents AFSA on the Correlating Committee of NFPA 13, 13R, 13D, 24, and 291. In the past, he has served as a member of the following NFPA committees: NFPA 14, 20, 25, 101 and 750.