Retired State Fire Marshal Receives Fire Sprinklers Save Lives Award
On Tuesday, April 5, Charles E. Altizer (Ed), P.E., C.B.O., C.F.O., retired state fire marshal of the State of Virginia, received the “Fire Sprinklers Save Lives Award” from the Virginia Chapter of the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA). He was honored with the presentation of the award at the chapter’s April meeting in Richmond.
Altizer began his service with the State Fire Marshal’s Office in 1974. During his career, as an inspector, field engineer, assistant state fire marshal and state fire marshal, he worked for many years at the state, local and national levels with federal, state and local government agencies, builders, architects, engineers, state trade organizations and associations, and national model code organizations to help ensure Virginia’s codes building and fire codes provide safety to the citizens of the Commonwealth.
Altizer is a 1970 civil engineering graduate of Virginia Tech and is a registered professional engineer. He also holds certifications in several other areas in the building and fire protection fields including certified fire inspector, certified fire official, certified building official, and is certified by the federal government as a life safety code surveyor.
He is past president of the International Fire Marshals Association and chairman of the National Association of State Fire Marshals Model Codes Committee.
He served for 20 years on the Virginia Fire Services Board and has served on several other national and state committees responsible for developing the building and fire codes, which are used as the basis for Virginia’s Building and Fire Codes. Altizer has received several awards including the National Association of State Fire Marshals’ Olin L. Greene Outstanding Fire Prevention Service Award along with other members of the organizations code committee and was the first fire marshal to receive the Virginia Building and Code Officials Association Meritorious Service Award.
George Wagner, executive director of the Virginia Chapter, presented the award and cited Altizer’s work on behalf of the fire sprinkler industry. He noted, “Ed has for many years been an outspoken proponent of saving lives through the increased use of fire sprinklers. He was instrumental in getting fire sprinklers installed in numerous buildings at Virginia Tech along with other locations, and he has been shown strong leadership and support in the effort to protect people in their homes through stronger residential fire protection requirements.
“As Ed has told me in the past: ‘Most people know how I feel about sprinklers. It is all about saving lives, injuries, and lastly property in that order, and for the exact same reason I support smoke detectors, and other fire protection systems and devices. I just believe that the discussion should start with sprinklers and go from there when it comes to safety of citizens and first responders. I learned that early in my career from a great leader and all that I have seen in 42 years certainly says he was correct.’
“Clearly, Ed Altizer is exactly the kind of person AFSA had in mind when this award was created.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: AFSA created the Fire Sprinklers Save Lives award in 1988 to recognize individuals outside the fire sprinkler industry who help dispel negative myths about fire sprinklers by generating public awareness of the truth about this life-saving technology. A deserving recipient of this award, Ed Altzier joins a distinguished list of fire marshals, building officials, television personalities, and others who have embraced fire sprinkler technology and become advocates of its use in life safety. AFSA’s Public Education & Awareness Committee accepts and recommends nominees for this award and they are approved by the AFSA Board of Directors. To nominate someone from your area, simply send a letter to AFSA, Fire Sprinkler Public Education & Awareness Committee, 12750 Merit Drive, Suite 350, Dallas, TX 75251, or email email@example.com with the subject line, “Fire Sprinklers Save Lives Award.”