February 2016 Meeting

Come join us at our February chapter meeting! If you would like to attend please RSVP with Ron Greenman (rongreenman@gmail.com). Tim Johnson of Northwest Policy Group will be speaking. Can’t wait to see you all there!

Claim Jumpers – Tukwila at 6:30pm

Winter 2011 Newsletter

Members present:

 

Bill McKay Advanced Fire

Chuck Bamford Bamford & Assoc.

Randy Knighton Knight Fire

Mark Hoyt Lubrizol

Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet

Steve Ike Talco Pump

John Klein Ferguson

Shelly Brown Ferguson

Tracy Kapusciarz Ferguson

Chuck Paradis Sprinx

Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire

Ken Sirak Victaulic

Dan Radloff Red Hawk Fire

Bill Cunnigham Plumbco

Jamie Vos Security Solutions

Bryce Beham Security Solutions

Ron Greenman Bates Technical College

 

Randy was caught in traffic so Ashton opened the meeting with self-introductions.

 

Bill McKay commented that he’s run into an interpretation where all workers, including fabricators, on State jobs are supposed to be paid prevailing wage. There was an extended discussion about prevailing wage. Bill is still pursuing the issue with the state where money from prevailing wage public jobs is being used as target money to subsidize private work.

 

Steel prices are going up again. 48% seems to be the likely amount.

 

Kevin showed everyone a sample of Viking Supplynet’s new line of grooved products. They come with pre-lubed gaskets listed for both wet and dry and are rated for 250 psi applications.

 

At some point Randy arrived and took over as chair. His first comments were about the still dismal state of the economy and the construction outlook. Bill mentioned he has seen a slight uptake in multi-family as had Ashton although he commented e’s seeing it more on the plumbing side of his business than the fire. Bill said the stuff he’s seeing is high-rise with studio units.

 

Ashton said the he was aware of 3000 planned HUD units in Seattle.

 

The discussion then turned to interest rates and the difficulty of getting money at any price.

 

Randy talked about Weyerhauser I-Joists and their particular and restricted requirements regarding sprinklers. He warned everyone to go to the Weyerhauser website and look at the Sprinkler Installers’ Guide to I-Joists. I did and I’ll verify that you need to be careful about what you do.

 

The meeting then turned into a collection of war stories until dinner was served.

 

The rat was all social time. So until next time:

 

6:30 PM on May 10 at the 13 Coins in SeaTac–

 

Over and out!

 

Summer 2010 Newsletter

Attendees:
Bryce Benham Security Solutions
Chris Russell Security Solutions
Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet
Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire & Plumbing
Randy Knighton Knight Fire
Roger White Knight Fire
Bill McKay Advanced Fire
Jim Stewart Advanced Fire
Mike Balsey Advanced Fire
Chuck Bamford Bamford, Inc.
Steve Ike Talco
Steve Muncy AFSA
Chuck Duffy WSFM
Ron Greenman Bates Technical College
Randy opened the meeting at 6:30.
Randy reported that insurance rates are rising.
He reported that fuel prices are also rising.
Bill commented that the number of private money jobs was still very low.
Ashton, on the other hand, says the plumbing side of his business is seeing private money for multi-family is up and that the contractors are typically using subs they are familiar and comfortable with. How this will translate to sprinklers remains to be seen.
Bill then talked about how he has set up his own in-company recovery (target money) funding with the cooperation of his fitters.
Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, discussed the card check issue and said that it looks dead as legislation although it may return as regulation. Steve went on to comment:
“The good news is that the economy has hit bottom.”
“The bad is that there‘s not much upturn.”
California is seeing a little upward movement in the residential market.
Not too many companies have failed. (Bill interjected that he thinks this is because companies are still working on the increased revenues from the preceding good years.)
AFSA is going to see a big deficit this year but was strategically placed with good reserves to weather it.
Webinaires are going to continue to be free to members until further notice.
AFSA has been partnering with NFSA and the Union in splitting the costs getting pro-sprinkler legislation passed.
The Convention is looking to be a big success. As of the meeting on 10 August there were only three vendor booths left.
Steve finished up talking about the high response to the AFSA scholarships. Both the traditional high school one and the newer “Second Chance” scholarship for students in higher educational institutes.
For more details on all of the above check out the AFSA website: http://www.firesprinkler.org
And I just wanted to remind you AHJs that you are welcome at our meetings and that we have a special flat rate of $25.00 for  any AHJs in attendance.
The following article link is a very positive statement from a fire marshal about the effectiveness of sprinklers:
Although unable to attend Chuck Paradis from Sprinx had some questions for Chuck Duffy, the new Washington State Fire Marshal. I stood in for Chuck P. SFM Duffy briefly answered the questions at the meeting  and then asked that I send him an email and he would answer them in more detail. I sent the following:
1. Fitter testing was scheduled to commence on August 1, 2010. What is
the current status of testing? What about existing temporary
certifications if testing is delayed?

2. There’s language in the WAC that requires Level 3 CoCs to be
present as supervisors on job sites. You answered this question
somewhat differently than Anjela (I had previously talked to Anjela St. John about this issue) although I believe you meant the same
thing. In her response she used the term “ignored” in reference to
enforcement of the WAC while your more detailed answer stated that the
”language was poor” and that your office would be “looking into
changing that language with input from the TAG” and that “enforcement
would be in abeyance until that work was completed.”
3. At the TAG the Union offered to move and man the sprinkler trailer
for venues where your office lacked sufficient manpower. You had
answered that, “there were lots of issues regarding liability and
appropriateness regarding State activities and private sector input.”
If you could would you phrase that better for me so I don’t publish my
interpretation that may not be what you meant.
This was the response:
1. The Journeyman and Residential Fitter test, Level U Test and Level 1 Test are available to be taken, they will need to schedule the exam with Mr. Humberto Rodriquez. Test scores from previously taken test are no longer valid and will require the candidate to retest.
2. The language in the WAC that requires Level 3 COC’s to be present as supervisors on job sites comes from WAC 212-80-043 which is titled: Qualifications for preparation of layout drawings, installations, inspections, testing, or maintenance.
“Only licensed fire protection sprinkler system contractors shall execute contracts for the design, installation, inspection, testing, or maintenance of fire protection sprinkler systems or any part of such a system in the state of Washington.”
Under the exemptions parts (6, 7, 8 and 9) it list the different type of Certificate Holder with the same clause “achieved State Level ___ certification shall supervise and/or certify…” the work to be done by the different type of COC.   The intent of this language was to require the sprinkler contractor to have a COC on staff and not one that is out of state doing the design work and not having the ability to readily available if there was a question about the installation or if a change to the installation would be needed.
The intent was never to have the COC at every job site supervising the work.  This language will be rewritten during the next update of the Fire Sprinkler WACS to reflect the intent of what the fire sprinkler was looking for.  Webster’s II Dictionary defines “supervise” as “to look over”, “to direct and watch over the work performance of” and “to direct and watch over the work and performance of others”.   We are going to look at this from the position of the COC provides a drawing for the installer to work from and upon completion of the installation receives confirmation that the work was approved by the local AHJ. Thus the COC did provide direction and has watched over the work performance.
3. The issue regarding the use of the sprinkler trailer at venues where the SFMO lacks sufficient manpower is being researched for options that will permit outside use, while still complying with our labor agreements and limiting our liability. We hope to have some options to consider on this issue by the first of the year, if it is possible.
Everyone ate well and the meeting was concluded unusually early. Next meeting will be November 9.
Hope to see you all in Providence in October.

Ron,
Attendees:
Bryce Benham Security Solutions Chris Russell Security Solutions Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire & Plumbing Randy Knighton Knight Fire Roger White Knight Fire Bill McKay Advanced Fire Jim Stewart Advanced Fire Mike Balsey Advanced Fire Chuck Bamford Bamford, Inc. Steve Ike Talco Steve Muncy AFSA Chuck Duffy WSFM Ron Greenman Bates Technical College
Randy opened the meeting at 6:30.
Randy reported that insurance rates are rising.He reported that fuel prices are also rising.Bill commented that the number of private money jobs was still very low.Ashton, on the other hand, says the plumbing side of his business is seeing private money for multi-family is up and that the contractors are typically using subs they are familiar and comfortable with. How this will translate to sprinklers remains to be seen.Bill then talked about how he has set up his own in-company recovery (target money) funding with the cooperation of his fitters.
Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, discussed the card check issue and said that it looks dead as legislation although it may return as regulation. Steve went on to comment:“The good news is that the economy has hit bottom.”“The bad is that there‘s not much upturn.”California is seeing a little upward movement in the residential market.Not too many companies have failed. (Bill interjected that he thinks this is because companies are still working on the increased revenues from the preceding good years.)AFSA is going to see a big deficit this year but was strategically placed with good reserves to weather it.Webinaires are going to continue to be free to members until further notice.AFSA has been partnering with NFSA and the Union in splitting the costs getting pro-sprinkler legislation passed.The Convention is looking to be a big success. As of the meeting on 10 August there were only three vendor booths left.Steve finished up talking about the high response to the AFSA scholarships. Both the traditional high school one and the newer “Second Chance” scholarship for students in higher educational institutes.
For more details on all of the above check out the AFSA website: http://www.firesprinkler.org
And I just wanted to remind you AHJs that you are welcome at our meetings and that we have a special flat rate of $25.00 for  any AHJs in attendance.

The following article link is a very positive statement from a fire marshal about the effectiveness of sprinklers:
http://www.c-dh.net/articles/2010/08/10/affiliate/advertisernews/news/12fire.txt
Although unable to attend Chuck Paradis from Sprinx had some questions for Chuck Duffy, the new Washington State Fire Marshal. I stood in for Chuck P. SFM Duffy briefly answered the questions at the meeting  and then asked that I send him an email and he would answer them in more detail. I sent the following:
1. Fitter testing was scheduled to commence on August 1, 2010. What is
the current status of testing? What about existing temporary
certifications if testing is delayed?

2. There’s language in the WAC that requires Level 3 CoCs to be
present as supervisors on job sites. You answered this question
somewhat differently than Anjela (I had previously talked to Anjela St. John about this issue) although I believe you meant the same
thing. In her response she used the term “ignored” in reference to
enforcement of the WAC while your more detailed answer stated that the
”language was poor” and that your office would be “looking into
changing that language with input from the TAG” and that “enforcement
would be in abeyance until that work was completed.”
3. At the TAG the Union offered to move and man the sprinkler trailer
for venues where your office lacked sufficient manpower. You had
answered that, “there were lots of issues regarding liability and
appropriateness regarding State activities and private sector input.”
If you could would you phrase that better for me so I don’t publish my
interpretation that may not be what you meant.
This was the response:
1. The Journeyman and Residential Fitter test, Level U Test and Level 1 Test are available to be taken, they will need to schedule the exam with Mr. Humberto Rodriquez. Test scores from previously taken test are no longer valid and will require the candidate to retest.
2. The language in the WAC that requires Level 3 COC’s to be present as supervisors on job sites comes from WAC 212-80-043 which is titled: Qualifications for preparation of layout drawings, installations, inspections, testing, or maintenance.
“Only licensed fire protection sprinkler system contractors shall execute contracts for the design, installation, inspection, testing, or maintenance of fire protection sprinkler systems or any part of such a system in the state of Washington.”
Under the exemptions parts (6, 7, 8 and 9) it list the different type of Certificate Holder with the same clause “achieved State Level ___ certification shall supervise and/or certify…” the work to be done by the different type of COC.   The intent of this language was to require the sprinkler contractor to have a COC on staff and not one that is out of state doing the design work and not having the ability to readily available if there was a question about the installation or if a change to the installation would be needed.
The intent was never to have the COC at every job site supervising the work.  This language will be rewritten during the next update of the Fire Sprinkler WACS to reflect the intent of what the fire sprinkler was looking for.  Webster’s II Dictionary defines “supervise” as “to look over”, “to direct and watch over the work performance of” and “to direct and watch over the work and performance of others”.   We are going to look at this from the position of the COC provides a drawing for the installer to work from and upon completion of the installation receives confirmation that the work was approved by the local AHJ. Thus the COC did provide direction and has watched over the work performance.
3. The issue regarding the use of the sprinkler trailer at venues where the SFMO lacks sufficient manpower is being researched for options that will permit outside use, while still complying with our labor agreements and limiting our liability. We hope to have some options to consider on this issue by the first of the year, if it is possible.
Everyone ate well and the meeting was concluded unusually early. Next meeting will be November 9.
Hope to see you all in Providence in October.

Spring 2010 Newsletter

Members present:

Bryce Benham Security Solutions

Chris Russell Security Solutions

Jeff Harrison Globe Sprinkler

Kevin Kane Viking SupplyNet

Chris Lindstrom Tegris Industries

Scott Siderman Tegris Industries

Robert Lacy Rating Bureau

Jose Butriago Rating Bureau

Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire & Plumbing

Randy Knighton Knight Fire

Bill McKay Advanced Fire

Jim Stewart Advanced Fire

Mike Balsey Advanced Fire

Chuck Bamford Bamford, Inc.

Shelly Brown Ferguson

John Klein Ferguson

Mark Mannex FM Global

Ron Greenman Bates Technical College

We started a little late because the turn-out was large. This is the second meeting in a row that we’ve occupied both sides of curtain partitioned meeting room at 13 Coins. And this in bad times. Shows that the attending members recognize the value of their membership and networking opportunities it provides. More than once over the years and broom more than one party I’ve heard that exchanging ideas  has been a bigger boon to healthy competition and increased success than any amount of fearful secrecy.

Randy and Bill related a couple of disturbing stories, one involving a death, were related about how some employees were dealing with hard times, stress over what the future might bring, and temporary layoffs. Their advice was to be especially observant and sensitive to employee behaviors and comments. Also, to have a plan as to what you would do to help distraught employees get over emotional hardship. One of the strengths of merit shops is the family aspect of the work environment. Don’t forget that this applies to those employees you’ve had to let go despite your efforts to keep them employed, and perhaps even more to them. Randy and I will be attending the AFSA Leadership Conference in late May and certainly will be bringing this issue up.

All the contractors present agreed that one of the most important things you can do is have your liens in place. Not needing to execute a lien is what we all want but if you haven’t made your initial filings you may find yourself unable to execute a lien when you most need to. There was also a suggestion that you use the big guns of your materials suppliers to help when you run into that GC that’s reluctant to pay his bill.

The folks from Tegris gave a presentation on a new way of doing inspection paperwork and inspection reporting. Considering they have only been at the marketing phase of their new idea since the beginning of the year they have a pretty impressive list of interested and sold parties. If you’re the curious sort like me and think you might like to learn a little more you can get in touch with Scott Siderman at <scott.siderman@tegrisinc.com>.

Finally Mark Mannex from FM Global gave us a presentation about FM Global’s new approach to storage protection. There’s a few pages of text and two tables and all storage is covered. They’re also in the process of re-visiting their general sprinkle requirements with an intention of simplification. Too bad if you missed this but you can get the information, although not presented with the same showmanship Mark displayed, at the FM Global website. If you’re still unaware note that all FM Global data sheets are now available to anyone at the website. You need to register to get access but as Mark pointed out, it’s so you can be notified when changes occur, FM won’t be bugging you trying to get you to insure your house or car with them. On that little joke the meeting was adjourned.

Our next meeting will be at the 13 Coins in SeaTac, on Tuesday, 10 August 2010, at 6:30 PM. Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, will be pour guest.

Winter 2010 Meeting

Shelly Brown, Ferguson

Kevin Kane, Viking SupplyNet

Randy Knighton & Roger White, Knight Fire

Mike Balsey, Advanced Fire

Chuck Bamford, Bamford & Assoc.

Bill Cunningham, Plumbco

Ken Sirac, Victaulic

Steve Ike, Talco

Troy Whitbank, Tyco

Mark Hoyt, Lubrizol

Jeff Livaudais, AFSA

Jose Butriago, WSRB

Ron Greenman, Bates TC

Randy opened the meeting at the appointed time. His first comments were about a sprinkler save in Chehalis. The sprinklers were mentioned by the Fire Marshal and he was quoted in the paper. Not particularly news to any of you but there were the obligatory comments about the dismal economy.

There have been three increase in pipe prices since January totaling a rise of 33%. Plastic pipe has also gone up. Other materials have also risen or are projected to soon. Ferguson has an announcement page on their website where they post pending price increase letters from manufacturers as soon as they get them. Randy suggested using these letters as part of your request for change orders for price increases.

Randy posed a question: Why doesn’t the State suspend prevailing wage during the current economic climate?

Jeff Livaudais, National Membership Director from AFSA spoke next about AFSA’s Economic Relief Incentive. Webinairs will continue to be free for AFSA members forth rest of 2010. You will also receive a 10% rebate on your dues that can be applied to any AFSA materials including convention registration. The next convention will be in Providence, Rhode Island. Check with UPS if you’re involved in shipping any freight. They are offering up to 70% off to AFSA members. If you looking at your dues being too big a hit or a single month remember you can spread the cost out by making payments. Talk to Jeff at: jlivaudais@firesprinkler.org

Also available from AFSA is training on how to deal with the union.

Our other speaker was Steve Ike from Talco Fire, the pump guys down in North Oregon. He talked about Talco products and services.

The next meeting of the AFSA/PacNW Chapter will be Tuesday, May 11, 6:30 PM at the 13 Coins in SeaTac. Our speakers will be Mark Mannex from FM Global talking about FM’s new approach to storage, and Scott Siderman from Tegris who will be talking about their NFPA 25 reporting system.

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

Summer 2009 Newsletter

Members Present:

Shelly Brown-Ferguson, Kevin Kane-Viking SupplyNet, Randy Knighton-Knight Fire, Bill McKay-Advanced Fire, Ashton Wolfe-Wolfe Heating & Fire, Chris Russell, Security Solutions NW, Steve Wilson-Vanport Fire, Joe Wilson-Vanport Fire, Chuck Bamford-Bamford & Assoc., Mike Balsey-Advanced Fire, Steve Muncy-AFSA, Mark Hoyt-Lubrizol, Richard Mack-Riverside Fire Authority, Chuck Duffy-State Fire Marshal’s Office, Roger White-Knight Fire, Ron Greenman-Bates Technical College

Randy opened the meeting at the appointed time although we all thought he was going to be late. Fooled us. The first topic of discussion as might be imagined was the state of the economy. At the moment Washington is doing better than other parts of the country but we’re starting to slip. This isn’t unusual since we always tend to be behind the curve of the economic ups and downs. Noticed by everyone is the high number of generals bidding every job. Bill mentioned that Federal recovery money is starting to become available in the construction sector. Joe Wilson reported that the only thing going on in the Portland area was a few apartment complexes. Several members noted seeing an increasing amount of out of state GCs bidding in Washington.

I had brought several administrative issues to the table. I suggested a separate Executive Board meeting each year apart from the general membership meetings to discuss strategies and issues that might be taken to the membership at large. Since the dinner meetings are mostly information exchanges there isn’t a lot of time for any real new business. The idea was approved. These will be open meetings and the entire membership will be notified of date, time and location. All members are welcome, but remember that these meetings may be irregular and ad hoc in nature so notification might be on short notice and they are for the purpose of better conducting the business of the chapter.

I brought up our current treasury (I don’t want to publish this information but if you’re a member and are interested you may call me and I’ll be happy to let you know) and noted we have returned from the abyss. I suggested that we might want to reconsider our dues structure. The members present unanimously voted to keep the current structure in place. The idea here is that we may now be able to get back into scholarships or the baseball tournament or what have you. Speaking of which, if you have an activity you’d like to see happen let me know and I’ll take it to the Executive Board meeting.

I brought up we were required by AFSA to have a membership chairman to meet our obligations as a chapter. I also suggested that the job fall on the immediate past president/chairman. Everybody liked that except Bill who made a big phony commotion and then graciously accepted.

We voted positively on accepting the “New Incentives for Chapter Staffing” and the responsibilities that that will incur. Since most of the latter falls on me, and I’ve been doing most of these things already, it’s pretty much a wash.

Prior to the meeting the Executive Committee (Randy, Ashton & Kevin) agreed to make the meeting fee for AHJs a flat $25.00. This should make it easier for AHJs to attend since they will know the cost ahead of time. The rest of us are still on a sliding scale.

The members attending voted to sponsor my trip to the AFSA Convention in San Diego this coming October. The last one I attended was in 2000 when I took on the Executive Director job for the Chapter. Thanks to all the PacNW Chaopter members.

The wage surveys are not out yet. If any of you get one please let me know so I can notify the other members. This is important and as fitter licensing in Washington kicks in it may end up being of great benefit to open shops. There was a long discussion about licensing. There may be a silver lining.

The Washington Sprinkler Coalition (Ashton is our rep) participated in a couple of side by side burns in a quadraplex slated for demolition. The demonstration was a huge success, turning the opinion of at least one elected city official completely around from a flat “they just cost too much even if they’re free” attitude to a “we gotta have these” change of heart. The main participants included South Kitsap Fire, Bremerton Fire, the Kitsap County Fire Marshal’s Office, Bremerton Housing Authority and Sprinx Fire. A film crew from Bates Technical College recorded the event and a short DVD is in post production. What I’ve seen so far is pretty good. It will be ready by our next meeting and I’ll try to have 25 or so copies to distribute to the members.

Steve Muncy, President of AFSA, was up next and he talked about the national economy, the state of AFSA,  and the state of the industry. 2008 was very good for AFSA, as were previous years. 2009 is not so good but because of judicious policies during the good times the health of AFSA as an organization is good. The industry itself, due to projects already funded, is behind the economic situation of the rest of the country by about six to eight months. California, Florida, Nevada and Michigan are hurting badly.

The homebuilders are doing their damnedest to make sure residential sprinklers do not become mandatory. To that end they are mounting an effort to overthrow the last ICC floor vote at this years ICC convention in Baltimore. Something new from ICC though. You now only need be a member, not an official also, to vote. If you can get to Baltimore and are an ICC member do so and vote. If you can get to Baltimore and aren’t an ICC member then join, go, and vote. If you can imagine North Dakota and Texas have adopted laws that make it illegal for a local jurisdiction to require residential sprinklers even if the state adopts the 2009 IRC with the residential provisions intact. I believe these are both home rule states!

AFSA has some pretty spectacular deals running as well as a lot of information you need. Go to their website at http://www.firesprinkler.org or to ours, http://www.afsanw.org, and click on the AFSA link.

I urge you to not let your AFSA membership lapse. It’s in hard times when solidarity of purpose and the ability to share ideas are most important and beneficial. While you’re cost cutting and streamlining consider AFSA membership as necessary to your business as insurance, fleet maintenance and fuel. You want the best prices and value but you you know you need to them all.

So everybody was well fed and the meeting broke up. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the AFSA Pacific Northwest Chapter will be held at the 13 Coins in SeaTac at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, 10 November 2009.