AFSA37 Showcases Importance of Young Talent in Fire and Life Safety Industry

Fire Sprinkler Conference Showcases Importance of Young Talent in Fire and Life Safety Industry


Fire Protection Services LLC enhanced its commitment to providing the best and most thorough fire-safety equipment inspections and service in the state of Georgia, with recent attendance at the American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) 37th annual Convention, Exhibition and Apprentice Competition. While continuing education benefits, networking opportunities, and product development exhibits proved beneficial to the Fire Protection Services attendees, the apprentice competition reinforced the idea of talented personnel being the linchpin of success in the fire and life safety business.


Fire Protection Services’ chief executive officer, Christian Dodder, along with Mark Eckard, director of technical operations, took in all the highlights of AFSA37, which was held in Washington, DC, Sept. 30-Oct. 3. AFSA is a non-profit international association committed to education, training, and technical support in relation to all aspects of effective fire sprinkler installation and its utilization as a key tool in protecting property and lives. AFSA37 included more than 40 seminars and workshops devoted to fire sprinkler design, installation, service, testing, inspection, service, water delivery, National Fire Protection standards and codes, and more. The conference exhibition featured more than 140 manufacturers and suppliers who presented the latest in fire sprinkler system technology, and related systems.

AFSA Membership and Annual Conference Provides Key Benefits


Mark Eckard called the company’s attendance at the meeting a success, and proud that Fire Protection Services LLC is an AFSA member. Eckard said the benefits of AFSA membership range “from the wonderful continuing education programs from knowledgeable fire protection officials, networking with other fire sprinkler contractors from around the US and abroad, and to sharing the ‘fish tales’ and ‘war stories’ we have lived in this profession we call the fire protection industry.” He added that in his opinion, “the primary focus of the annual convention is to gain and share knowledge and best practices with other contractors in the industry.” An industry, Mark says, that is notable for its high level of dedication, with AFSA members committed “to being the best at what we do while also providing a high level of customer service.”


The conference exhibition was also noteworthy, with exhibits set up by the industry’s manufacturers, suppliers and vendors providing food for thought on how Fire Protection Services can enhance its servicing of fire sprinkler systems. “It’s exciting to see new product development in a business that, in its basics, has remained relatively unchanged since its inception in the late 1800s,” said Mark.


Apprentice Competition Highlights Importance of Mentoring Talent        


Mark, who started in the industry as a fire sprinkler fitter’s green helper and apprentice 30 years ago, said the apprentice competition was the highlight of the conference, and a highlight that stresses the importance of mentoring good talent in the industry. “I truly enjoy seeing talented young men and women coming into this business and developing their skills as a sprinkler fitter,” he said. “One of the most valuable things I took away from this year’s conference is the importance of developing the next generation of fire protection professionals.” Noting that most U.S. high schools emphasize college rather than skilled trades, Mark said, “our industry appears to be facing a future shortage of skilled sprinkler fitters with the ability and willingness to learn and advance in the fire protection industry. I believe it is important for us as an industry to work closely with our educational institutions both primary and secondary, to become more visible so that graduating students know that there is a great career path in this business.”

Fire Protection Services Seeks Motivated Employees


If you’re interested in exploring career paths in this exciting business, Fire Protection Services is always ready to discuss opportunities with highly motivated young people who already have some level of experience in the industry. In addition to any experience, potential employees need to be personable, customer oriented, thorough in their work, and always ready to expand their knowledge base.

As a full-service fire and life safety system inspection, testing, and maintenance business, Fire Protection Services’ technicians are licensed and certified to inspect, test and maintain:

  • Fire Sprinklers
  • Fire Alarm Panels
  • Portable Fire Extinguishers
  • Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems
  • Hydrants and Backflow Prevention Equipment
  • Fire Pumps


If you have any experience with any of these elements of fire and life safety services, or would like to learn more about Fire Protection Services LLC’s full range of fire protection services, contact our office today online, or by calling 770-637-1042 or 478-324-8626.