AFSA National Apprentice Competition

2016 Apprentice Competition Champions

Front Row (LtoR): Apprentice Competition Chairman Don Kaufman, Kaufman Fire Protection, Albuquerque, New Mexico; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Logan Moser, Mutual Sprinklers, Tyler, Texas; Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Back Row (LtoR): Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; Joseph Mientkiewicz, SimplexGrinnell, Rochester, New York; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Jonathan Offord, Commonwealth Fire Protection, Leola, Pennsylvania.

Front Row (LtoR): Apprentice Competition Judge Don Kaufman, Kaufman Fire Protection, Albuquerque, New Mexico; John Cowger, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, South Dakota; Logan Moser, Mutual Sprinklers, Tyler, Texas; Donald Stone, Western Fire Protection, Inc., Poway, California. Back Row (LtoR): Thomas Adams, J.G. Tate Fire Protection Systems, Poway, California; Joseph Mientkiewicz, SimplexGrinnell, Rochester, New York; Gregory Schneider, Superior Fire Protection, Tulsa, Oklahoma; Jonathan Offord, Commonwealth Fire Protection, Leola, Pennsylvania.

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. For more information, visit firesprinkler.org.
Entry FormContest DetailsPrizesGuidelines

Competition Entry Form – Deadline:  March 24, 2017

Entry Form Opens Soon


Contest Details

AFSA sponsors an Annual National Apprentice Competition. Seven finalists, apprentices representing member companies from across the country, compete to become the winner of this national competition. These contestants take a practical test in the Exhibit Hall during the AFSA Exhibition each year, as they cut, thread and install a steel & CPVC piping system with sprinkler heads and perform a pressure test. You will have the opportunity to see this competition from beginning to end.

The seven finalists receive an expense-paid trip to compete, plus a free convention registration for each finalist’s employer. AFSA’s 2017 winner will receive a cash award and set of  tools! Don’t miss this most exciting event!

March 24, 2017 – Entry Form Deadline

Entry forms must be submitted no later than March 24, 2017.

June 10, 2017 – Phase I National Competition

A written exam will be provided by AFSA and will be administered at a predetermined location. Held at your local library or fire department, the phase I National Competition will consist of a two hour multiple choice exam.

September 27, 2017 – Phase II National Competition

Held at AFSA’s Annual Convention in Las Vegas, NV, the National Competition will consist of a three-hour exam, as well as the requirement to cut, thread and install a steel and CPVC piping system with sprinkler heads and perform a pressure test. Participants will be graded on accuracy, craftsmanship and safety.

Each “Top 7” Finalist will win:

  • Full registration to AFSA’s 36th Annual Convention & Exhibition
  • A 2nd full registration to AFSA’s Convention for their Employer
  • An expense-paid trip to Las Vegas, NV
  • Accommodations at the La Vegas premier hotel, Bellagio
  • Set of brand new hand tools
  • $1,000+ Cash prize

1st Place Winner:

  • $5,000 Cash Prize

2nd Place Winner:

  • $3,000 Cash Prize

3rd Place Winner:

  • $2,000 Cash Prize

Competition Guidelines

  1. Apprentice’s employer must be a member of AFSA, in good standing.
  2. Apprentice must be actively participating in the AFSA Apprenticeship Courses or enrolled in NCCER/AFSA Fire Sprinkler Fitting Training Series. If an apprentice intends to complete this course work prior to September 27, 2017, he/she is not eligible to compete in AFSA’s National Apprenticeship Competition.
  3. NEW!  Apprentice must be at least 21 years old to participate.
  4. Apprentice must have at least one year of field experience with a MINIMUM of 6 months combined HANDS ON experience in cutting, threading and installing steel pipe AND CPVC pipe.
  5. Prior to September 27, 2017, the apprentice cannot have worked in the sprinkler trade hanging pipe for more than five years.
  6. If an apprentice has won first, second, or third place in AFSA’s National Apprenticeship Competition, he/she is not eligible to compete.
  7. Apprentices must live within the 48 contiguous states of the United States of America (USA).
  8. An employer can enter as many employees as are eligible from his/her company.
  9. If an apprentice resigns employment from original sponsoring company after June 10, 2017, he/she is not eligible to compete.
  10. The apprentices scoring in the top 7 of the National Competition (Phase I) will qualify to compete in Las Vegas, NV, at the National Competition (Phase II) during AFSA’s Annual Convention provided no more than three (3) apprentices compete from the same membership region. In this case, the top three (3) scoring apprentices from a region will compete.
  11. If more than one apprentice from the same company scores in the top 7 of the National Competition (Phase I), then a maximum of two apprentices from that company will be qualified to compete in the National Competition (Phase II) provided the apprentices are in different regions. In this case, the two qualifying apprentices will be identified by having the top scores in their region.
  12. No production filming or tripod set-up will be permitted during the national competition.


Apprentice Competition
Short Trailer about the Competition (1:09 min)
Informational Video for Contestants (3:23 min)