News & Media

DALLAS, TX - The Board of Directors of the Dallas-based American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) has announced the unanimous selection of Robert G. (Bob) Caputo, CFPS, as the association's President. Established in 1981, AFSA and its federation of 31 chapters serve as North America's largest fire sprinkler industry organization. Caputo's tenure will begin on November 1, 2020.
 
"The Board members and I are very excited and extremely pleased to welcome Bob to the AFSA team," says AFSA Chair of the Board Ted Wills, president of Anchor Fire Protection Co. in Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania. "We felt it was important to have an industry veteran at the helm. The future of AFSA is bright, and this is just the beginning."

This appointment follows an extensive search for an effective leader for the fire sprinkler industry's largest trade association. Caputo has been an important part of this industry for over 41 years and is a long-time member of AFSA and promoter of merit shop contracting. He is the former owner of Consolidated Fire Protection in the San Diego area and has held fire sprinkler contractor's licenses in 23 states. Most recently, he was the vice president for training and technical support for Fire & Life Safety America, based in Richmond, Virginia.

As President, Caputo will be responsible for providing guidance and support to the Board while leading AFSA's experienced team of engineers and other professionals who are dedicated to serving the membership comprised of contractors, designers, manufacturers, suppliers, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs). He will also represent the association, interacting with key stakeholders, including regulatory and other public agencies, and increase the visibility of the value of the fire sprinkler industry and those companies that operate merit shops throughout North America and globally. Caputo also will oversee the association's efforts to provide educational advancement, promotion, and utilization of automatic fire sprinkler systems in the U.S. and around the world.
 
Caputo expressed excitement for the opportunity to lead AFSA's excellent team in support of the fire sprinkler industry and noted the recent building of the association's engineering and technical services team, led by John August Denhardt, P.E., FSFPE. "I want to be in touch with our members and their needs and continue to expand AFSA's training and education opportunities. My focus will be on fulfilling the AFSA mission, team building, and 'knock-your-socks-off' services to the membership."
 
Caputo is a well-known industry expert, presenting on hydraulic calculations, fire pumps, plan review, and NFPA standards for AFSA and NFPA. He chairs and serves as a member on several NFPA committees, including chairing the NFPA 16 Technical Committee (Foam & Water Sprinkler Systems), NFPA 24, and NFPA 291. He has contributed to the NFPA 13 (2013 and 2016 editions) and NFPA 25 (2014 edition) Handbooks, and developed AFSA programs, including its Project Management Tools and ITM Inspector Development programs. Additionally, Caputo has chaired two chapters of AFSA - Arizona and Southern California.
 
"I am absolutely thrilled with the announcement of Bob Caputo as the new President of the American Fire Sprinkler Association," says AFSA At-Large Director and Search Committee Chair Wayne Weisz, president of Cen-Cal Fire Systems, Inc., Lodi, California. "Even though we had a very strong pool of candidates, Bob's in-depth knowledge of our association as well as the fire sprinkler industry made him the unanimous choice. I am very excited to see what the future holds for our association under Bob's leadership."
Caputo serves as a member of the Oklahoma State University School of Fire Protection Engineering Advisory Board. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Fire Protection Contractor magazine's "Industry person of the Year," San Diego County Fire Chief's Association's "Fire Prevention Officer of the Year," and AFSA's highest honor, the Henry S. Parmelee Award. Caputo attended Chapman College, Orange, California, and the University of Albuquerque, New Mexico. He is a U.S. Navy veteran and former volunteer fire fighter.
 
"I am looking forward to being part of a team that services such an important industry," comments Caputo. "We are the biggest and best association in the fire sprinkler industry. What fire sprinkler professionals do is important - it matters - and AFSA will be there every step of the way to train and support its members."
DALLAS - The American Fire Sprinkler Association is pleased to announce that Jamil Shamoon, owner of Symons Fire Protection in San Diego, California, been elected by his peers as recipient of AFSA's 2020 Young Professional of the Year award for his efforts and dedication to education and expanding the fire sprinkler industry and the association. The award highlights the efforts of a young and talented fire protection professional, who is under 40 and demonstrates exemplary technical, professional and inclusive leadership skills not only in their own businesses, but also at a national level.
 
By investing his sweat equity and never being one to say "no" to an opportunity, Shamoon has built a successful contracting company with over 90 employees serving Southern California. When asked about how he made such a remarkable career progression from helper to owner in just 20 years, Shamoon said with his trademark humility: "I never said 'no' to anything. I was always the first one to volunteer, but not selfishly. I never asked, 'What am I going to get out of this?' I just wanted to help get the job done right and gain as much experience as I could in the meantime."
 
Shamoon believes his practical field knowledge paired with his education better prepared him to take on all the responsibilities that came with being vice president, then president, of a fire sprinkler company. A big proponent of investing in his people, he is always looking for ways to give his employees the opportunity to hone their skills.
 
Shamoon has also served the fire sprinkler industry in several volunteer leadership positions, such as chair of the American Fire Sprinkler Association's (AFSA) San Diego Chapter. His company has also donated and installed residential sprinkler systems in homes for wounded Veterans. Through his local International Code Council (ICC) chapter, he has trained Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) and building department officials on codes and inspections. Shamoon is also a board member of the San Diego County's Specialty Contractors Council (SCC) for the Building Industry (BIA), and was named the "Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) Trade Contractor of the Year" in 2015 by the San Diego County BIA.
 
In his free time, Shamoon and his wife of 22 years are active in their church, leading small groups for young families and couples when they are not with their four children-Elias, 18; Alexia, 14; Adelin, 9; and Aleah, 4.
 
The Young Professional of the Year award honors the contributions of promising fire protection specialists and serves to reaffirm the growing importance of fire sprinkler knowledge among the next generation of industry leaders. The award also seeks to promote the emergence of young, talented professionals and inspire companies to invest even more in the development and excellence of the profession. Due to COVID-19, alternative plans were made to present the award to Shamoon. The award is typically presented during the general session at the annual AFSA Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition, which was postponed this year due to the global pandemic. The award presentation and acceptance was broadcast at AFSA's first-ever virtual General Session. To view the recorded session visit www.firesprinkler.org/VirtualGS.
DALLAS - Maryland State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci has long been a vocal advocate of residential fire sprinkler legislation in Maryland. Throughout his career in the Maryland fire service, he has excelled in educating about the importance of fire sprinklers from the perspective of the fire service as a life-saving tool that is not only beneficial, but necessary. For all his contributions to the fire protection industry, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is proud to honor Geraci with its 2020 Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award.
 
Geraci has served in the fire service in Maryland since 1973, with eyes set on being a fire investigator. Throughout his fire service career, leading up to his current position as the Maryland State Fire Marshal, his training for positions he's held has aided in Geraci's knowledge of sprinkler systems, sprinkler system testing, and other aspects of fire protection systems. 
 
Maryland is currently one of two states in the United States that require residential fire sprinklers in new homes. Geraci was instrumental in getting this initial legislation passed in 2012 and defense of it in 2015, but he hasn't stopped there. Geraci still sees room for improvement in the existing legislation, and works to advocate for additional legislation to help with the enforcement side of the initial mandate. "We needed an enforcement arm to [the legislation]," says Geraci. The result of this call for a more defined system of enforcement and who should be doing the enforcing of the existing laws is the recent passing of Maryland House Bill 823 and Senate Bill 746 that will take effect on October 1, 2020.

These laws will require the state fire marshal to enforce any requirements relating to the installation of automatic sprinkler systems in new one- and two-family dwellings. "Residential sprinklers are in place here in Maryland; they aren't going anywhere. We're saving lives and they're clearly making a difference," reinforces Geraci.

With the new legislation in place, Geraci's office, now more than ever before, will be involved with fire sprinklers through enforcing and ensuring that each new home is outfitted with the life-saving technology of residential fire sprinklers. His list of contributions to the fire protection industry, while already lengthy, will only continue to grow as the new legislation takes effect.

AFSA created the Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award to honor individuals not directly involved in the fire sprinkler industry whose efforts have significantly advanced the fire protection industry and automatic fire sprinklers. Nominees are recommended by AFSA's Legislative Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.

Due to COVID-19, alternative plans were made to present the award to Geraci. The award is typically presented during the general session at the annual AFSA Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition, which was postponed this year due to the global pandemic. The award presentation and acceptance can be viewed by watching AFSA's first-ever virtual general session at www.firesprinkler.org/VirtualGS.
The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is proud to announce a new online learning platform offering 24/7 access to CEUs and/or CPDs from AFSA educational events, including live webinars. AFSA On-Demand offers fire sprinkler contractors and other professionals access to the best in specialty education anytime. Featuring the most sought-after thought leaders in fire protection, AFSA On-Demand offers a superior learning experience in a unique and user-friendly format. Members benefit from access to AFSA's extensive library of content as well as the ability to earn CEU and CPD credit online.
 
AFSA On-Demand Courses are carefully developed to offer the ultimate in convenience and flexibility-as well as AFSA's proven track record for effective training. These skill-building courses are sold individually with CEUs and/or CPDs, and members have one-year from the date of purchase to complete the course.
 
Launched in April, the platform is already populated with eight unique courses with plans to release more content! Online now are:
To provide the best possible experience, AFSA's Learning Management System (LMS) is designed to get people engaged with user-friendly content- anytime, anywhere, on any device. Learners can take training personalized to their needs on mobile and tablet devices, offline and on-the-go, anywhere around the world.
 
"AFSA is committed to quality, excellence, professionalism, and lifelong learning," said AFSA Director of Education Services Leslie Clounts. "AFSA On-Demand exemplifies this by offering access to a complete library of educational offerings online, delivered by leaders in the field."
 
AFSA On-Demand is available and accessible anytime, anywhere, via PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Users can navigate content by type, event and topic; and use the sort-and-search functions to quickly find educational offerings. Additional key benefits include:
  • Mobile-friendly: Sleek, modern design
  • Flexible training: Refresh skills, learn new techniques and use the presentations to train teams.
  • My Dashboard: Track session progress and receive CEU or CPD verification letters all from one convenient area.
  • Expanding course offerings: Watch for new content to become available soon.
  • Session previews: Comprehensive session previews with speakers' bios are now available to help members select the best sessions for their learning needs.
So, if you need to CEUs or CPDs right now, you can. No need to wait until the next time AFSA has a session scheduled. Visit  firesprinkler.org/ondemand.
 
Travel to the Sunshine State and join the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) for the largest annual fire sprinkler exhibition in North America-AFSA39: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition-September 13-16, 2019, at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, Florida. This year's event offers something for everyone-fire sprinkler contractors, designers, inspectors, apprentices, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs).
 
AFSA39 will provide CEU/CPD credits through seminars offered over four days and within various tracks: Install/Design, Business Management, Supervisory Training, ITM, NextGen, and AHJs. This year AFSA is proud to once again offer the ever-popular "Train the Trainer" programming which is designed to provide all types of would-be-trainer's tools to help them create and deliver engaging, compelling training programs that will encourage trainees to not only want to learn but come back for more. AFSA is also proud to offer a day of programming tailored to the under-40 crowd hosted by the AFSA NextGen Initiative (NGI) that includes seminars, a leadership forum, and an evening reception.
 
The AFSA exhibition­-with unopposed exhibit hours-offers the latest products and services in the fire sprinkler industry and networking with industry peers. Other convention highlights include the Exhibition Grand Opening Reception, 27th National Apprentice Competition (NAC), NextGen Day, networking meals, and the exclusive NAC awards party at the Edison in Disney Springs.
 
Hear the latest from AFSA and AFSA39 by subscribing to, or "following," AFSA social media, and use our official hashtag #AFSA39!
  • Twitter: twitter.com/AFSA
  • Facebook: facebook.com/firesprinkler.org
  • Instagram: instagram.com/firesprinklerorg
  • YouTube: youtube.com/user/AmerFireSprinkAssn
  • Currently, AFSA39 is scheduled to proceed as planned, and AFSA looks forward to coming together as an industry for this annual event. Join AFSA for the tools you need to succeed! For more information on AFSA39, visit firesprinkler.org/AFSA39.
    The American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is pleased to announce a partnership with Homes For Our Troops (HFOT) as its exclusive fire sprinkler provider. In this role AFSA along with its local partners will both donate the sprinkler systems as well as the install services for HFOT homes.
     
    HFOT's mission is to build and donate specially adapted custom homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. Since its inception in 2004, HFOT has built 250 homes and currently has over 90 projects underway nationwide.
     
    "As we enter our 37th year, AFSA is proud to continue its work with charitable organizations who share our passion for and commitment to life safety," said AFSA Board of Director and Chair of the AFSA Public Education & Awareness Committee Jeff Phifer. "We are thrilled to be working together with Homes For Our Troops and our nationwide network of chapters in this joint effort to make the homes of our Veterans and their families safer."
     
    As the exclusive fire sprinkler provider for HFOT, AFSA and its local partners will team up to both donate and install the fire sprinkler systems. Systems will be installed in any home where required by law or in any home where the future homeowner requests fire sprinklers. This partnership will provide a robust safety addition to the already highly customized homes that HFOT provides to Veterans.
     
    Approximately 4,000 Americans die and 20,000 are injured in fires each year. The risk of death or injury from fire is even greater for people with physical, mental or sensory disabilities. Through this partnership, AFSA hopes to protect these Veterans in their homes, where roughly 80 percent of all fire deaths occur, and decrease their risk of dying in a home fire by 81 percent by installing fire sprinklers.
     
    "HFOT relies on contributions from donors, supporters, and corporate partners for the building of each Veteran's home," said HFOT Executive Director Bill Ivey. "We are proud to partner with AFSA in an area that will truly make a positive impact in the lives of our Veterans and their families, and reduce our costs so we can build more homes to help our Veterans rebuild their lives."
     
    HFOT is a privately funded 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that builds and donates specially adapted custom homes nationwide for severely injured post - 9/11 Veterans, to enable them to rebuild their lives. Most of these Veterans have sustained injuries including multiple limb amputations, partial or full paralysis, and/or severe traumatic brain injury (TBI). These homes restore some of the freedom and independence to veterans who sacrificed while defending our country, and enable them to focus on family, recovery, and rebuilding their lives. For more information on how you can get involved, visitfiresprinkler.org or hfotusa.org.



    AFSA’s Annual Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition
    is the world’s largest industry event. It is a one-stop shop for CEUs, latest product innovations, and networking with others.

    With an annual attendance of more than 1,500 industry leaders and 150 exhibitors, attendees collect an abundance of knowledge, experience and business connections at each event.

    If you’re passionate about fire and life safety and are interested in delivering a dynamic and engaging presentation at the 2018 AFSA37: Annual Convention, Exhibition, & Apprentice Competition in Washington, DC,  we want to hear from you! 

    Examples of past topic areas include:

    • Business Management
    • Design Topics
    • Field Supervisor Training
    • Industry Best Practices
    • Low Voltage
    • NFPA Standards Updates
    • Next Generation | Retirement Planning
    • Specialized Training

    Join us September 30 - October 3, 2018 in Washington D.C. and share your knowledge, experiences, and expertise!

    Submit your proposal by December 15, 2017.

    Deputy Fire Marshal Dedicated to Saving Lives

    DALLAS - Randy Miller has always had a vested interest in saving lives. From his beginnings as a paramedic with Buck Medical Services in Portland, Oregon, all the way to his current fifteen-year career as Deputy Fire Marshal in the Camas-Washougal Fire Marshal's Office in Camas, Washington, Miller has demonstrated time and again his enthusiasm for fire and life safety. While he has had many impressive accomplishments in his long career, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is proud to honor him as Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year for his consistent efforts to ensure that fire sprinklers are installed in Camas homes. 
     
    For 10 years, Miller was consistently able to get a very high percentage of new homes in his city built with fire sprinklers. Even without an ordinance, 98 percent of homes in Camas and Washougal were being built with fire sprinklers, because Miller offered builders compromises: builders could have steeper slopes or longer dead end roads or less hydrants, but they had to sprinkler the entire subdivision. And then in 2016, Miller was instrumental in getting a sprinkler ordinance passed unanimously through city council, and now all residential structures in Camas-Washougal are now required to be built with fire sprinklers.  
     
    AFSA created the Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award to honor individuals not directly involved in the fire sprinkler industry whose efforts have significantly advanced the fire protection industry and automatic fire sprinklers. Nominees are recommended by AFSA's Legislative Committee and approved by the Board of Directors.
     
    AFSA's Legislative Committee Chair Ted Wills, Jr. was instrumental in selecting Miller for this award, and has only glowing words for him. "We are very pleased to be awarding the AFSA Sprinkler Advocate of the Year award to Mr. Randy Miller deputy fire marshal for the city of Camas, Washington," says Wills. "Randy's support of sprinklers has been relentless even in the face of opposition from builders and the real estate groups. His persistence is an example I would hope other fire officials would emulate as we push towards a fully sprinklered America."

    Miller will be presented with the 2017 award on September 25, during the general session at the AFSA36: Convention, Exhibition & Apprentice Competition at the Bellagio Las Vegas.
     
    AFSA was founded in 1981, and with over 1,000 company members, it is the largest fire sprinkler organization of its kind in the nation. Providing members with education, leadership, and networking opportunities, AFSA seeks to provide its members with the tools necessary to improve and grow their businesses. Visit firesprinkler.org
    AFSA Strives to Improve the Standards

    The American Fire Sprinkler Association is pleased to announce that Jason Williams, C.E.T., manager of ITM technical training, and Tom Noble, C.E.T., technical programs specialist, have been appointed to several 2017 National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) technical committees.

    Jason Williams has been appointed to serve on the technical committee for NFPA 25, Standard for the Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems. He has nearly 20 years of extensive hands-on industry experience. Williams manages all technical aspects of the AFSA Inspection, Testing and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Development program, serving as primary instructor for the live webinars and classes as well as maintaining existing program materials.

    Tom Noble has been appointed to five technical committees: NFPA 13D, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Manufactured Homes; NFPA 13R, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems in Low-Rise Residential Occupancies; NFPA 22, Standard for Water Tanks for Private Fire Protection; NFPA 24, Standard for the Installation of Private Fire Service Mains and Their Appurtenances; and NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® Residential Occupancies.

    Noble has 22 years’ experience in the fire protection industry. He is tasked with preparing any and all material for the AFSA Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School, as well as co-teaching the school. Noble also writes informal interpretations on technical questions.

    Technical committee members are volunteers who give of their time and expertise to serve. Some of their activities include participating in the work of the committee, contributing to the development of the assigned standard(s) that are revised every three to five years, and providing input on the committee standard(s) and on the ideas provided by others.

    In addition to these new appointments, AFSA Senior Vice President, Engineering & Technical Services Roland J. Huggins, P.E., serves on: NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems Correlating Committee on Automatic Sprinkler Systems; NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems Sprinkler Systems Discharge Criteria; NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® Industrial, Storage, and Miscellaneous Occupancies; NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code® Industrial, Storage, and Miscellaneous Occupancies; and NFPA 5000 Building Construction and Safety Code® Correlating Committee on Building Code.

    AFSA’s Senior Manager of Fire Protection Engineering Tom Wellen, P.E., currently serves on the following NFPA committees: NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems Hanging and Bracing of Water-Based Fire Protection Systems; NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems Sprinkler System Installation Criteria; NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems; NFPA 20, Standard for the Installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection; NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® Assembly Occupancies; NFPA 170, Standard for Fire Safety and Emergency Symbols; and NFPA 5000, Building Construction and Safety Code® Assembly Occupancies.

    AFSA participates on 28 NFPA technical committees with the help of 32 member representatives and four AFSA staff members,”comments Huggins. “We invest so much effort for two reasons. One is to better understand the intent of the standards so we can provide accurate informal interpretations. The other reason is to attempt to improve the requirements driving our industry.
    Anyone interested in getting more involved with the development of NFPA codes and standards is very much encouraged to do so! Visit nfpa.org or contact Huggins at (214) 349-5965 or rhuggins@firesprinkler.org.

    About AFSA: Established in 1981, the American Fire Sprinkler Association is an international association representing fire sprinkler contractors. AFSA is dedicated to the educational and professional advancement of the automatic fire sprinkler industry. Visit firesprinkler.org.
    AFSA Offers a “Second Chance” with $5,000 in Scholarships

    Financial assistance can be one of the biggest challenges for students pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree. For individuals who have already graduated from high school or earned a GED, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) offers its Second Chance Scholarship contest to help! Those seeking to pursue a college undergraduate or graduate degree or trade school education – including returning military, parents returning to the workforce, etc. – are encouraged to enter. The 2017 Second Chance Contest is open through August 30 and offers five $1,000 scholarships.

    Applicants for AFSA’s Second Chance contest are required to read a passage about fire sprinklers – which describes their history, how they operate to save lives and property, and the types of careers that are available in the industry – and take an eight-question reading comprehension test. Students receive one entry for each correct answer, up to eight entries, into a random drawing for winners.

    AFSA is eager to help educate students about fire safety and help ease the burden of college expenses. Since 1996, the association has provided over a quarter of a million dollars in scholarships to help fulfill the educational dreams of students from across the nation. Through these scholarships, AFSA hopes to help students succeed and create greater awareness that fire sprinklers save lives and property to those who otherwise may not recognize the importance of fire safety. For details or to apply for AFSA’s Second Chance scholarship, visit afsascholarship.org/secondchance.

    About AFSA: Established in 1981, the American Fire Sprinkler Association is an international association representing fire sprinkler contractors. AFSA is dedicated to the educational and professional advancement of the automatic fire sprinkler industry. Visit firesprinkler.org.

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