Winter 2009 Newsletter

Members Present:

Ken Sirac Victaulic
Steve Hobart Simplex/Grinnell
Roger White Knight Fire
Randy Knighton Knight Fire
Bill McKay Advanced Fire
Michael Fitz MDE
Dave Suchy Wolfe Fire
Ashton Wolfe Wolfe Fire
Kevin Kane Viking Supplynet
Joe Faulkner Sprinx
Mark Hoyt Lubrizol
Ron Greenman Bates Technical College

The meeting started at 6:30 PM as scheduled.

Bill went over the minutes from last meeting. Bill and Ashton then discussed the ongoing Jurisdiction Database. This will be a centralized location where our members can go to get the latest info about jurisdictions in our area. The idea will be similar to Wikipedia where members can upgrade info like permit fee increases, new local ordinances, etc. as they are encountered. By doing this we can help each other avoid surprises.

Bill then reported that the State Fire Marshal was starting to mail out the new installer/trainee cards. He then introduced our new officers, Randy Knighton, Chair, Ashton Wolfe, Vice Chair, and Kevin Kane, Secretary/Teasurer and turned the meeting over to Randy. Following a round of applause for Bill Randy took the chair.

A report on the recent Fire Marshal’s Forum was given. Topics at the Forum included licensing, pumps underground and residential issues.

The installer/trainee issue came up again and everyone was reminded to get the applications for their people into the State Fire Marshal’s office before the end of March.

The “Employee Free Choice Act” was the next topic and the consensus was that everyone needed to get educated on this issue. Information can be found of the AFSA website.

Another consensus topic was that in these recessionary times it was more important than ever to keep up with collections. Cash flow is what keeps the wheels of your company turning. Bill also brought up that as painful as it might be to lay employees off if it’s necessary to keep your company healthy than it will be better to do so.

The members present then voted to support the Washington Residential Fire Sprinkler Coalition with a donation of $1250.00 augmented by an application for a matching grant from the AFSA National organization. (The grant was approved and the money is in our possession.) The Coalition’s goal is to monitor and stop any attempts by the NAHB/BIA to excise the new residential sprinkler requirements from the 2009 IRC when it’s adopted by the State. The money supplied by us and the local NFSA chapter will be used to defray any expenses incurred in this effort.

There was a reminder that it’s important to get information regarding chemical compatibility with plastic pipe to owners and GCs. Forewarning them that some construction chemicals can damage plastic pipe will hopefully forestall later problems and lower your liability if plastic does come in contact with incompatible products.

The meeting was then adjourned.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday, May 12th.

Fall 2008 Newsletter

Call to order at 6:30 by Bill McKay.

The first order of business was membership. As anyone getting this newsletter already knows the active members of the Pacific NW Chapter of the AFSA have assessed themselves an annual dues of $250.00. You should have all received a notification and invoice for your 2009 dues by now. Remember that you need to be a member of the AFSA national organization to be a member of this chapter. Remember that you are responsible for dues to both organizations. Remember that the dues amount is per company and not per individual. Remember that the dues for this chapter must be made out to AFSA/PacNW Chapter and mailed to me (the address is on your invoice) with the invoice by the last working day of 2008. The membership at the fall meeting, held on 11 November, voted a $50.00 late fee to anyone submitting their membership dues after 1 January 2009so that deadline has some meaning. This of course does not apply to new members but only to current members that are late. Remember that this is the last newsletter you will receive if you are not a member in good standing for 2009. Remember that AHJs can receive the newsletter just by asking but if you don’t ask…. Current members in good standing for 2009 are:

Advanced Fire

Commercial Fire

Fire Protection Systems

Inland Empire Fire

Inland Fire

Knight Fire



Sprinx Fire

Wolfe Heat and Fire

AHJs are:

Diane Hansen–Seattle FD

Chuck Koval–GSA

Bob Lovett–Redmond FD

Brian Nixon– US Navy NAVFAC and too many other letters to list

Anybody else  out there–you have a little more than a month.

Next we’re having elections. We have openings for Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary/Trreasurer.  Each position will serve for two years. Current candidates are as follows:

Chair–Randy Knighton

Vice Chair–Ashton Wolfe

Sec/Treas–Jim Stewart, Mike Frazione & Kevin Kane

Nominations are open until the end of the year so if you’d like to run or nominate someone you have about 30 days to let me know. Sometime in January I’ll send out a special balloting mailing to the members.

Bill says the L&I wage survey will be coming soon-maybe January or February. We’ll keep you informed.

There should also be a statement soon from the AG relating to the use of union dues from prevailing wage jobs for subsidizing non-public work.

The “co-op” insurance program is nearing completion.

The mission statement for our chapter has been voted on and reads: Members helping members improve.

The “Permit Book” is being compiled by Ashton and he will be getting in touch with folks for help.

Discussion of the scholarship initiative was tabled until the winter meeting.

Discussion of the baseball tournament was tabled until the winter meeting.

If you haven’t heard the 2009 IRC will have a requirement that all single family dwellings, duplexes and townhouses will be required to have sprinklers beginning in January of 2011. Now the war to make sure it’s adopted in our NW states begins. Already the NAHB/BIA has its proxy agents fighting against it. See the attached letter from WABO to the ICC.

Everybody that went agreed that the AFSA convention was a smashing success.

Lots more about CPVC. Keep up with dos and don’ts. There’s apparently a new problem with a certain type of CPVC made in Canada. There’s also a potential problem with the chemicals used to mitigate against MIC attacking the CPVC in steel/plastic systems.

There’s a lot of confusion regarding the new installer/trainee certification at the State level. The one sure thing though is that you need to get your installers and trainees registered by the first of the year. If you’re unsure of what you need to do contact the State Fire Marshal’s office. Don’t procrastinate on this one.

Bill reported that the new NICET testing protocol will be starting the first of the year.

Lloyd Ivy was our guest and as usual he gave us insight into AFSA membership. There are nationwide 826 AFSA contractor members and 207 associate members. He also mentioned that AFSA was working on more streamlined communication strategies that should make exchanging information between AFSA and contractors quicker. Finally Lloyd announced he’d be retiring at the end of the year. I’ll certainly miss his annual visits. He’s been a great asset to AFSA and our chapter.

And last but not least Randy Siegmund announced his retirement from Kennedy. I can’t remember when I didn’t know Randy. I’ll be missing him to.

Members present:

Ashton Wolfe WHF

Bill Mckay Advanced

Jim Stewart Advanced

Mike Balsey Advanced

Roger White Knight

Randy Knighton Knight

Herb Canon Knight

Bill Cunnungham Plumbco

Dennis Skinner FPS

Mike Fragione FPS

Kevin Kane Viking Supply Net

Randy Siegmund Kennedy Valve

Jim Akers Kennedy Valve

Chuck Bamford Bamford Inc.

Steve Hobart Simplex/Grinnell

Herb Schairbaum Bluewater

Chris Johnson Bluewater

Chris Russell Security Solutions

Ken Sirak Victaulic

Lloyd Ivy AFSA

Ron Greenman Bates Technical College

Happy Thanksgiving–See you all next year.

Spring Newsletter

The discussion started about the installers licensing bill and the requirements for 8000 hours of experience for installers working to NFPA 13 and 4000 hours for installers on 13R jobs. According to attorney Judd Lees interpretation of the bill he thinks that installers that currently have enough hours in their respective areas will issued a temporary certificate and that if they apply for a permanent one within 90 days after the first year no written test will be required.

Bill has submitted an application for a matching grant to AFSA to help cover legal fees associated with getting the installers licensing bill administered in a way that works for us.

The next item was a revisiting of the chapter dues. The group once again agreed that this is a good idea for us. Many have already paid and I intend to be sending out a second billing in the next few days. I have been swamped and am a little behind.

There was a review of AFSA Chapter requirements and all we lack at the moment is a mission statement.

The good news on the insurance front is that costs are dropping. In fact Travelers is actively courting companies with over twenty employees, been in business at least three years and have demonstrated a low loss rate.

Pex systems were discussed and the general consensus is that there will be more of these in the future.

Permit fees are very high in Bellingham, King County, Seattle and Issaquah so check if bidding in any city or county you haven’t worked in.

Randy Siegmund with Kennedy Valves showed their new valve which is one third lighter and can be fixed in the field by removing the stem and not the whole valve body and tamper switch. As an aside Randy will soon be, or maybe has by now, retired. Thanks for all you’ve done for the industry and congratulations.

Barry with Ferguson reported 10% to 12% increases in May for pipe and expects up to 25% to 30% in June and again in August. Make sure you have a increase clause in your contract or at least buy pipe as soon as you get the job.

Business in the Northwest still is strong but….

Our next meeting is scheduled for August 12 and our guest will be Steve Muncy, President of AFSA. See you there.

And finally, thanks to Bill McKay for taking notes. This meeting fell on my wife’s birthday and I couldn’t convince her that a great meal at 13 Coins was a good idea.

Members present:

Bill Mckay Advanced Fire
Herb Canon Knight Fire
Randy Knighton Knight Fire
Roger White Knight Fire
Randy Siegmund Kennedy Valve
Chuck Paradis Sprinx
Kevin Kane Viking Supply Net
John Abel Crown Fire
Jim Kramp Crown Fire
Shelly Brown Ferguson Fire & Fab
Barry Felkner Ferguson Fire & Fab
Scott Haynes Bates Technical College

Fall Newsletter

So for once the newsletter is timely. Well the first thing that happened was the folks from infinity having to leave for an emergency call. Victims of the labor shortage And now we have fitter certification Just remember you were warned this was in the legislature at least a year ago right here in your AFSA/PacNW newsletter.

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Spring Newsletter

Present: Jamie Vos and Chris Russell from Security Solutions, Michael Fitz from MDE, Randy Knighton and Roger White from Knight Fire, Chuck Paradis and Joe Faulkner from Sprinx, Lynn Rydman from Washington Fire (new member, welcome Lynn), Herb Schairbaum from Bluewater Fire, Steve Hobart from Simplex/Grinnell, Bill McKay from Advanced Fire and Ron Greenman from Bates Technical College–Fire Protection Engineering Technology Program (insert unabashed commercial here).

The meeting was held on 8 May 2007 and started with Bill talking about Redmond getting their zero square foot sprinkler ordinance passed. To our understanding this led to Woodinville and Olympia protesting the refusal of their respective ordinances on the grounds that the Codes Council’s voting rules provided for a small special interest coalition to dominate the outcome without consideration for the best interests public. As I understand it the Attorney General agreed and overturned the Council’s decision so that now both municipalities have enhanced residential sprinkler ordinances. If anybody has a different take on this please let me know.

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Winter Newsletter

Members present: Herb Canon, Randy Knighton, Roger White, Herb Schairbaum, Chris Johnson, Bill Cunningham, Mark Hoyt, Mike Fitz & Ron Greenman.

Once again the winter meeting was small and so we had a very enjoyable social evening. One big topic was the move of AFSA’s Headquarters to a new location. The new info for those of you that haven’t gotten the word yet is:

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Fall Newsletter

Gay Johnson-King Co., Jamie Vos-Security Solutions, Chris Russell-Security Solutions, Randy Knighton-Knight, Roger White-Knight, Mark Hoyt-Noveon/Blazemaster, Ashton Wolfe-Wolfe, Herb Schairbaum-Bates TC Fire Protection Student, Ron Greenman-Bates Technical College

As you can see the turn-out for our Fall 2006 meeting was less than stellar and more than not became mostly a convivial night of old friends enjoying a fine meal and good conversation. Hence this newsletter will be brief.

There was some discussion about Union tactics and how to deal with them but the members present wanted to keep this information confidential and so voted to not have the minutes from that line of discussion published.

All discussion after this was casual. We talked about fire-stopping Blazemaster CPVC and how difficult it was to keep up with what was compatible and what was not. Mark gave us a few tips on how to keep up with listings for new products.

Someone, my apologies for not taking a proper note, informed the group that there was a bill pending in Congress that would require retrofitting sprinklers in all nursing homes getting federal funds.

Mark also brought up the fact that the Residential Fire Sprinkler Institute had a model ordinance and other aids for helping jurisdictions trying to pass a residential ordinance. Gay talked about the upcoming public meetings regarding the pending Woodinville ordinance as well as other jurisdictions she knew of that were considering like ordinances.

We talked a bit about WIRSBO sprinkler systems. As usual there was a mixed bag of opinions although glaring omission was that nobody thought it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Finally Joe Faulkner had told me that entire FDCs were being stolen all over Gig Harbor. He was wondering if this was occurring elsewhere. Once again Gay with her finger on the pulse of fire districts all over the area reported that this was not restricted to Gig Harbor. As we all know removing an FDC is not a casual activity and requires some pretty big, expensive tools so that such thievery has to be pretty well organized. I guess the price of non-ferrous scrap is way, way up.

Happy Holidays

Summer Newsletter

Members present:
Bill McKay-Advanced,
Steve Muncy-AFSA,
Kevin Kane-Viking SupplyNet,
Robert Lacy-WSRB,
John Abel-Crown Fire,
Christy Abel-Crown Fire,
Jamie Vos-Security Solutions, Steve Hobart-SimplexGrinnell,
Mike Fitz-MDE,
Ashton Wolfe-Wolfe Fire,
Todd Wolfe-Wolfe Fire,
Herb Schairbaum-Bates TC Fire Protection Student, Chris Johnson-Bates TC Fire Protection Student & Ron Greenman-Bates Technical College

And so it’s time for another newsletter. This one is for the Summer Meeting back in August and getting out just before the Fall Meeting is due to be announced. What more can I say than that I had a fun summer and that I wasn’t real excited about sitting down to write this. But duty calls and so here we go.

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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.

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