Spring Newsletter

So here we are once again with me apologizing for how long it’s taken to get this newsletter out. I’ll plead busy and throw myself on the mercy of you guys. The last meeting was held way back at the beginning of May. The members present were Bill McKay, our illustrious president, from Advanced Fire, Dennis Skinner from FPS, Chuck Paradis and Pete Delgado from Sprinx, Kevin Kane from Viking Supply Net, Randy Knighton, Herb Canon and Roger White from Knight Fire, Mike Balsey and Jim Stewart also from Advanced, Ashton Wolfe and Joe Stewart from Wolfe Heating and Fire, Jamie Vos and Chris Russell from Bellingham Lock and Safe/Security Solutions, my student Herb Schairbaum, of course me and our special guest Lloyd Ivy from AFSA. Larry Glenn was our guest speaker.

The first item we discussed was the long awaited AHJ Database. Well, we’re still working on it. I’m trying to come up with some electronic method of collecting the information so I can easily put it onto the web but I’m finding that coming up with database software that all you guys have and can use is impossible. Seems that even Excel won’t work for all. So I guess what we’ll do is have a fill-in the form on Word that can be just a paper form for those without Word and the data will be manually entered into a database by me after the fact. We should be getting this ready to go soon.

The contractor members present also once again discussed assessing themselves and our other contractor members an annual fee to cover some of our operating expenses and charitable works like the scholarship contest. The agreed upon amount was $150.00 per member company. I’ll be sending out bills soon.

Happy news. The folks that are in charge of soliciting the wage survey have realized that you guys were short changed on the last go around. With this in mind they have agreed to revisit sprinkler fitter wages on the next survey and will be sure that open shop contractors are included.

On a related topic Bill reported that the Attorney General would be looking into the union practice of using monies assessed from their members from prevailing wage jobs to add to their target money funds.

The union is once again looking to get fitter certification instituted in Washington. This has rarely gone far and so we don’t expect it to do much this time but do keep your eyes and ears open.

Bill also talked a bit about insurance. As you’ve probably all noticed it has loosened up a little. As you have probably also noticed the economy has improved. These two phenomena seem to go hand in hand. But beware. The insurance folks have learned a thing or two. Make sure you have a good, retrievable paper trail of everything you do. Make sure that trail is complete and documents that you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do.
Finally we discussed having an afternoon meeting at Bates so you could see how that program is put together. I decided that since the next scheduled meeting was for August there were two good reasons to keep that particular meeting at 13 Coins. The first is that school is closed in August and the second is that Steve Muncy will be our guest and coming to Tacoma would surely be a bit of a hardship. That said Russ Leavitt will be coming to the area to provide a seminar on changes to NFPA 25 and I thought that we could hold it at Bates and kill multiple birds. This will be a special meeting and hopefully in early Fall depending on Russ’ schedule. More on this at the August meeting.

After dinner Larry Glenn gave us an update on the Tyco Voluntary Replacement Program for their troublesome sprinkler heads. He passed on that Tyco has no intention of calling it off until interest lags. There had been a distinct drop in claims the last couple of years but due to increased efforts on the part of Larry and his cohorts down at the State Fire Marshal’s office information about the VRP has been disseminated to the public. Deputies have been going to sprinklered buildings and when GBs are encountered helping owners fill out the complicated claims forms. Due to these efforts the statistical interest in the VRP is up overall and Tyco is recommitted to keeping the program open.

To finish up the meeting Lloyd talked to us about the upcoming AFSA convention. He noted that this year would be AFSA’s 25th anniversary. AFSA members will be getting information in the mail. Those reading this that aren’t members—Join would be my advice.

The AFSA is making additions to the website. According to Lloyd the most recent Buyers Guide is already available and soon the Members List will be posted. You can get to the AFSA website at or you can go to our website and click on the link. See you all in August. Watch for the meeting announcement coming to an email near you.