President's Message Sept, 2009

Welcome to Bill Hoos' Fall 2009 letter

Dear FCIA Members,

As 2009 FCIA President, I have the honor of working with many
people dedicated to the good of the FCIA, the Firestopping Industry,
Fire and Life Safety.  It is truly humbling to see the action, watch the emails fly with passionately filled statements, all aimed at making us better at what we do, delivering better safety in buildings…to our families who occupy them.

As we launch the ‘fall term’ finishing  the 2009 FCIA year, I want to take time and recognize the good things that are going on at FCIA, and the people who have led the charge to make our industry better and safer for all. 

In addition to the FCIA Committee Chairs, we need to thank each and every committee member for their work.  Below is a summary and highlights from the leaders of FCIA committees.

  • Technical & Education Committees, co-chairs Mike Dominguez, Firestop Specialties, Inc., and Bob Hasting, Specialty Firestop Systems, Inc., are working together with the Apprenticeship Committee on new Firestop Apprentice Education Modules.  Plus, they are editing the FCIA MOP Glossary, Chapters 2, 3, and creating a new Inspector Company Quality Management Module.  And, the committee decided to distribute the FCIA MOP to influential fire marshals, architects, building officials, free of charge in order to build firestop  knowledge…so these influential people will support using Specialty Firestop Contractors.
  • Program Committee, led by Jodi Clem, PREVENT, Inc., assembled a great program in Boston with messages and education from Doug Erickson of ASHE, Bill Koffel (who was awarded Lifetime Membership Status), and the Photoluminescent Industry. The 10 Year Anniversary FCIA Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show in Key Biscayne promises more firestopping education and opportunities for business development in Compartmentation maintenance.
  • Legislative Committee was formed recently with Randy Bosscawen and Bill Weber, both of Multicon Fire Containment, leading the way. The committee has stopped legislation that would have required firestopping to be installed by pipe covering insulator installers, limiting who a company could employ.
  • Standards Committee, led by Randy Bosscawen and Mike Dominguez, was able to ballot over 60 items in ASTM E2174 and ASTM E2393, with almost all passing.  ASTM issued 2009 versions of the standards that are part of the FCIA 2009/2010 ICC Code Proposals. The committee organized a great meeting of 40+ attendees discussing movement, labeling, chemical and other exposure of firestopping in field conditions, to feed information into the UL Standards Technical Panel Process. Look for a new task group at ASTM on Healthcare Firestopping Surveys. The committee was also represented by Consultant Ron George at the ASME A112.20.2 hearings in July.
  • Code Committee, Chairs Gary Hamilton, Hamilton Benchmark, Inc. and Bob LeClair, A.F. Underhill, Inc., submitted several code change proposals for ICC’s 2009 / 2010 Code Development process with concepts ranging from requiring submissions of firestop detailed drawings to the building official before construction, adding the ASTM E2174 & ASTM E2393 Inspection Standards for Firestopping to FM Approved and UL Qualified Firestop Contractors, and much more. The committee is also active on NFPA’s Fire Protection Features Committee. The committee has also been presenting at IAPMO’s Board of Directors, ANSI Board of Standards Review, and wherever else we can eliminate the requirement that to install firestopping the person must have 4 years experience in piping installation.
  • Apprenticeship Committee - At the helm are Bob Hasting, Specialty Firestop Systems, Inc., and Don Donnelly, Thomas J. Donnelly, Inc.  The committee has submitted a request for a new North American Industry Classification (NIACS) Code for Firestopping at the US Department of Commerce They have also assembled a vast number of education segment modules for the FCIA Firestop Containment Worker Apprenticeship Education Program, and are working vigorously to finish the project.
  • Marketing Committee, Chairs Don Murphy, PPMI Firestop, Inc. and Mike Wellons, Firestop Carolinas, Inc., displayed at CSI’s CONSTRUCT2009, the American Society of Healthcare Engineers (ASHE) Show in Anaheim, CA, the Metro Chiefs Conference, Calgary, ONT, FDIC Show in Indianapolis for fire fighter education, while speaking at the Association of Walls and Ceilings Industries (AWCI), Construction Specifications Canada, (CSC), and has submitted articles to various trade magazines. They’re planning to exhibit at ICC as well.
  • Accreditation Committee, co-chaired by Aedan Gleeson, Gleeson Powers, Inc. and Tom Hottenroth, Firestop Solutions, Inc., has met with FM & UL about improving promotion of the FM 4991 and UL Qualified Firestop Contractor programs, and were successful adding the ability for Special Inspection Agency personnel to take the Firestop Industry DRI Exam, to qualify the inspection agency to become accredited through International Accreditation Services AC 291.
  • The newly formed Advisory Committee of Scott Rankin, Pyro-Stop, LLC, Aedan Gleeson, Gleeson Powers, Inc., Don Murphy, PPMI Firestop and Bob LeClair, AF Underhill, Inc., have begun to liaison with other organizations including the Alliance for Fire and Smoke Containment and Control, the International Firestop Council and others.
  • Life Safety Digest Magazine Committee, led by Scott Rankin and Don Murphy,  has brought 3 Life Safety Digest Issues to the marketplace, all promoting Firestopping and Effective Compartmentation, and the need for the Specialty Firestop Contractor, Manufacturer, Consultant, and Distributor, Manufacturer’s Rep…all FCIA Members, of course.
  • Membership Committee, with Jodi Clem, FCIA Staff Angie Sims, and Bill Hoos working together, has taken all FCIA accomplishments, and packaged them for presentation to prospective members. Whether it’s emails, personal phone calls, faxes  or mailings, FCIA’s Membership Committee has reached out and touched people….and grown our group to over 255 members. The committee has helped FCIA’s retention of existing members stay close to 90%, while growing at an 18% rate annually.   Attend the FCIA 10 Year Anniversary Firestop Industry Conference & Trade Show to see where our numbers wind up after the completion of the New Membership Drive.
  • FCIA’s newly formed Finance Committee with Leader Scott Rankin, has worked with Treasurer Randy Perry, Adler Firestopping, Inc., to assure financial responsibility.

By no means are the committees the only people doing work at FCIA. Your Board of Directors met at Key Biscayne to review all that’s going on at FCIA. Our board packets have grown 2-1/2 times to over 220 pages in length summarizing what’s going on in great detail. Whether it’s a code change at ICC, IAPMO, a standards proposal at ASTM, UL, ASME, ASSE, or a trade show at ASHE, CSI, CSC, FDIC, your FCIA Board, Committees and Staff have been involved, leading, speaking, or participating.

Thank you to all, for all you do. Even if you feel you’ve done just a little bit, that’s ok. It’s through the cumulative efforts of all, doing a little bit, that keeps FCIA flying forward on your behalf.

I look forward to seeing you at our 10 Year Anniversary in Key Biscayne.

Best Regards

Bill Hoos, 2009 President
Firestop Contractors International Association

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