Fall 2009 Newslettr

Randy opened the meeting a little past six with a review of the AFSA Convention in san Diego. He spoke about the value of the courses as well as the trade show and the all around good time and camaraderie. Bill seconded al Randy had to say with both recommending that anyone who hasn’t gone doesn’t know the value of what they’ve been missing. Chuck agreed and all were extremely enthusiastic. It’s been ten years since I’ve had an opportunity to go and I must admit I’d forgotten just how valuable I found it back then and I think it was even better this time. Thanks to the membership for helping to make it possible for me to go.
Of course the economy was a topic of conversation. the consensus: It’s bad. Bill said his business is down 50%. Most of the contractors agreed that they were spending about 30% more time chasing jobs to land 50% less than last year. The wage surveys are supposed to be out in Eastern Washington. Keep your eyes open. Don’t let this opportunity to influence prevailing wage go by.
The Burn Trailer is complete. Knight Fire gave the State a very attractive bid to install the fire protection systems and ran into some pretty high cost overruns, mostly due to the SFM’s office not having a really good idea of what they wanted in the end. The members present voted to apply for a matching grant to reimburse Knight for these overruns (Bill Cunningham making the motion, and Rick Sigmen seconding, after a bit of confusion regarding Robert’s Rules, with the members present voting unanimously to support the effort.) I’m happy to report that the grant was approved and that Knight has already received our portion of the matching funds. I suspect that by the time your reading this the chapter will have received the balance from AFSA and the check to Knight will be in the mail. Look for an article in Sprinkler Age about our efforts.
Back in mid summer the Bremerton Housing Authority, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office and the Washington Sprinkler Coalition staged a side by side demonstration burn in a real four-plex. Member company Sprinx Fire donated the sprinkler systems in the two units equipped with sprinklers. The burn went off as planned and without a hitch dramatically demonstrating the value of sprinklers to all the attendees including several municipal officials. In fact one city council member from a local community who was adamantly opposed to sprinklers before the demonstration did a 180 degreer and commented to me as she was leaving, “We have to have these in ….” The Washington Fire Sprinkler Coalition used some of the money you provided them through a matching grant to promote sprinklers to cover the costs of filming the event. To that end a student film crew, led by a professional producer, filmed and edited a short film that is wrought with all the emotional pathos that fire loss instills and the value of sprinklers in mitigating that loss. I’ll have a few copies for the next meeting and I’ll be having my first attempt at posting something to You Tube. If successful (I’ll get a kid to help) I’ll post a link on our website and also send out a notice to members in good standing.
Which brings us to chapter dues. Dues be do. If you’re currently a chapter member you’ve received your bill for 2010 and happily a couple of you have already ponied
up. Dues are, as last year, $250.00 for 2010 as approved by the members at the August meeting. As usual AHJs are exempt from dues but I do ask that AHJs that wish to be on this mailing list let me know. It just helps for managing the database.
Bill talked about almost having the new jurisdictional/permit book together. He says there’s lots of new stuff.
There was a discussion about having at least one annual Contractors Only meeting. Since most of you getting this email ay contractors what do you think? I’ll try to get that same kid to help me set up one of those voting email things.
There was the usual discussions about CYA when doing inspections. Lots of good war stories about disasters from not doing proper CYA and how to CYA were exchanged. Just another good reason to come to the meetings. But even in these hard times, or in spite of them, the room was packed and I think in the future I’m going to have to insist on RSVPs. The poor waiter was run ragged.
David Asplund from RASCO showed an FM fire test film about Control Mode Special Application (CMSA) sprinklers and gave a talk about FMs proposed changes to how they’ll be dealing with storage facilities. I’ve been fortunate to have been kept informed of FM’s concern with storage since the large drop sprinklers did not perform as expected in the new test facility and how looking for the answer to that anomaly has led to a whole new approach for thinking about storage. David brought us up to date with what the likely future will like at when dealing with FM properties, and I’d suspect that NFPA will follow suit.
Jeff Livaudais, the new membership guru from AFSA joined us and told us how things looked from the AFSA point of view. And things look promising from there. Of course there’s some tough times still ahead but the more flexible merit shop will come out on top. Currently there are a lot of benefits for members having to do with reduced costs for various AFSA services as well as those that come free as a benefit of membership.
The meeting was adjourned around 9 PM. Members present:
Shelly Brown. Kevin Kane, Randy Knighton, Roger White, Bill McKay, Ashton Wolfe, Jeff ? (w/Ashton), Joe Faulkner, Bill Cook, Rick Sigmen, Chuck Bamford, Mike Fitz, Bill Cunningham, Dianna Nausley, Patti White, Jeff Livaudais, David Asplund, Jose Butriago & Ron Greenman