Fall Newsletter


Steve Hobart, Simplex/Grinnell–
Kyle Evans, Simplex/Grinnell–
Mark Hoyt, Noveon–
Ashton Wolfe, Wolfe Fire–
Bill McKay, Advanced–
Lloyd Ivy, AFSA–
Mike Fitz, MDE–
Jamie Vos, Security Solutions/BL&S–
Kevin Kane. Viking Supply Net–
Randy Knighton, Knight Fire–
Herb Canon, Knight Fire–
Ron Greenman, Bates TC/AFSA

Bill opened the meeting by talking about the new requirements for inspectors performing IT&M. By the time you read this the deadline for grandfathering inspectors into the three-year temporary certificate program will have come and gone so to address the details of that would be mute. Suffice it to say that after December 14, 2005 the only way to obtain certification for IT&M will be possession of a NICET Level II or III in IT&M or NICET Level III in AS Layout. This can then, along with a fee, qualify the applicant for a State of Washington Certificate of Competency. Go to the State Fire Marshal’s website for details:

Once again there was lots of talk about the latest Union strategy to harm your company by bringing unfair labor suits against you. Sure would be nice if their goal was merely stuck to trying to organize instead of trying to wreck your business also. A good idea brought up was to put a Not Hiring Today or Not Taking Applications At This Time sign in your window. And of course there was the usual talk about prevailing wage issues.

Bill mentioned that Tyco was slowing down their GB replacement program. If I know Larry Glenn at all the search for those GBs won’t be slowing down in Washington as long as he has anything to say about it. Again, go to the State Fire Marshal’s website for details on this issue.

The issue over 3mm bulbs seems to have faded. Whether this means the problem has been corrected or just forgotten I can’t say.

According to all present business is up and getting better. I can say that the demand for my students has increased to the point that I can’t keep them in class long enough to finish. So the climate looks promising for the foreseeable future. And to just sweeten that comment the insurance industry appears to be loosening, particularly if you’re heavily engaged in plastic work, repair work and/or inspections.

Our jurisdictional database is well on it’s way to becoming a reality. The database format is complete and waiting input from a few of the members as to it’s utility. A matching grant has been applied for to produce it and keep it current. Soon I’ll be sending out a questionnaire to members and AHJs so that we can begin compiling the info we want. This will be an electronic version of the old big black binder. Hopefully it will be easier to keep current.

For those unawares the State Building Code Council has passed new legislation regarding nightclubs. All that meet the definition as stated in the new WAC will be required to be sprinklered. That is for new and existing establishments. That means retrofit kids. The laughter at the table revolved around getting paid from the all to common cheapskate restauranteur or nightclub owner.

On a less upbeat note the chapter is financially troubled compared to past times. We had a fair surplus of cash about five years ago but that has pretty much been spent, primarily on our local scholarship program, but also other less expensive endeavors. Our activities have been helped by matching grants from AFSA, new member rebates and active chapter rebates. Unfortunately this only postponed the inevitable decline of our surplus since we’ve had no source of new funds to replace those costs the chapter incurs that aren’t covered by those from AFSA. As a result we’ve been forced to cancel this year’s scholarship contest and substantially curtail next year’s. Most of our activities are fully or partially reimbursed but it’s that other part that isn’t reimbursed that creates the problem. Permanently curtailing our community and membership activities can resolve this problem but turns us into an amateur rather than professional organization. I’m sure all of you have belonged to organizations that never got anything real accomplished because they always were expecting a financial miracle to happen: Bill Gates would send an unsolicited bucket of money or the like. We can’t rely on Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland to fix up the old barn and put on a show to help the war effort. Now that I’ve said all that you’re probably all waiting for the how much. Well, I’m just looking for ideas now. One is to assess the chapter members an annual fee or, if you like, local dues in addition to your national dues. How much would depend on how much we want to do. Another would be to charge a subscription fee for access to the database mentioned above. Any other ideas? This is your organization. You have a reason for being a member. I’m anxious for your comments.

So much for sprinkler news. As a surprise Lloyd Ivy from AFSA showed up. When it was his turn to speak he stood and said, and IU quote, “No normal AFSA bulls**t!” He had come to honor Bill McKay with a roast and a homemade certificate in a cheap frame for his work on behalf of AFSA and the Pacific Northwest Chapter over the years. For those of you that don’t know Bill has been the inspiration and pretty much the sole driving force behind this chapter for it’s entire life. He has also been an important contributor to the growth of AFSA and particularly its educational programs since the organization broke away from NFSA to represent the then underrepresented merit shop contractors. For example Bill was chapter chair from 1986 to 1988 where the duties were then covered until 1992 between Rick Berger and Leon (sorry I forgot your last name Leon—I know Fra something but better to leave it blank than to misspell). Bill has been chair since 1992 and did all the work until 1999 when I took over the simple secretarial part. For those of you who may not know many of the benefits you reap from your AFSA membership, both locally and nationally, are direct results of work that Bill initiated or participated in over the years. So Lloyd did his best to embarrass Bill at the meeting and many of us helped. I hope this report helps to continue that embarrassment