Jonathan Offord, a fire sprinkler fitter apprentice with Commonwealth Fire Protection in Leola, Pennsylvania, took first place and a $5,000 cash prize at the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) 23rd Annual National Apprentice Competition. The contest was a featured event during AFSA’s 35th Annual Convention & Exhibition, A Grand Ole Opportunity: AFSA in Nashville, held September 14-17 in Nashville, Tennessee. More than 1,200 attendees watched as seven apprentices constructed and pressure-tested a miniature sprinkler system in the jam-packed exhibition hall.
The competition began June 11 with 140 apprentices sitting for a written examination proctored at testing sites throughout the United States. The top seven apprentices won expense-paid trips to compete in the national competition, held during AFSA’s Annual Convention & Exhibition. During the competition, participants took another, more thorough written examination and then installed a steel and CPVC sprinkler system. The systems are pressure-tested and participants were graded on accuracy, craftsmanship and safety.
Logan Moser with Mutual Sprinklers in Tyler, Texas won second place and a $3,000 cash prize and Joseph Mientkiewicz with SimplexGrinnell in Rochester, New York took third place and a $2,000 prize. Honorable mentions and $1,000 prizes were awarded to: Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Competition winners also received a commemorative plaque, cash prizes and tools.
Started in 1994 by the late Robert L. (Bob) McCullough, then chairman of the Education & Apprenticeship Committee, AFSA’s Annual National Apprentice Competition was created to promote apprentice training and give recognition to the apprentices who are actively enrolled in the AFSA Apprenticeship Program. Over 20 years later, the competition continues to bring fire sprinkler apprentices from AFSA local chapter and member training programs from all corners of United States together in the association’s foremost showcase of excellence in training among future industry leaders.