[/caption] On June 3, the Illinois Fire Inspectors Association (IFIA) and the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board (NIFSAB) hosted their ninth residential fire sprinkler summit in the last 10 years. This year’s summit was made possible by joining efforts with a FEMA grant-funded class and program from the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) titled, “A Guide to Implementing a Residential Sprinkler Requirement,” and presented by Lane Wintermute, Field Director for the Residential Fire Safety Institute (RFSI). [caption id="attachment_986" align="alignright" width="305" caption="Maria Figueroa, NFPA Regional Fire Prevention Director, spoke about the NFPA Fire Sprinkler Initiative during the event and also displayed the "Faces of Fire" campaign in the exhibits area."] [/caption] The summit also featured speakers from various local and national fire industry organizations including Cecil Bilbo, National Fire Academy; Maria Figueroa, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); Alden Spencer, Tyco; Paul Valentine, Nexus Engineering; and Tom Lia, NIFSAB. Speakers explained the specifications of true NFPA 13D fire sprinkler systems and detailed the 13D code itself. They also spoke of the importance of utilizing educational resources and information about residential fire sprinklers from existing organizations [caption id="attachment_988" align="alignright" width="305" caption=" Wilmette is recognized by the IFIA for passing a residential fire sprinkler ordinance in 2010. (Pictured left to right: IFIA co-Director Robert Morris; Addison Fire Chief Don Markowski; Wilmette Fire Chief James Dominik; Wilmette Deputy Chief Mike McGreal; and IFIA President Rick Marek.)"][/caption] such as the NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative, the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, and others. Additionally, NIFSAB heralded the efforts of local municipalities and fire protection districts by recognizing those that recently passed residential fire sprinkler requirements in the last three years.

Among the 175 attendees and participants, approximately 62 fire departments/districts, 18 municipal building departments, nine fire-related associations, eight fire protection consultants, nine fire sprinkler contractor companies, and eight supplier-vendor companies were represented. [caption id="attachment_998" align="alignright" width="305" caption="Past IFIA presidents honor current IFIA President George Michehl."][/caption] According to Tom Lia, executive director of NIFSAB, notable individuals attending the event included Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis, Illinois Fire Chiefs Association (IFCA) Executive Director Robert Buhs, and Fire Chief Don Markowski on the hosting Addison Fire Protection District. Members of the IFIA Executive Board also attended: Executive Director George Michehl, new co-Directors Robert Morris and Mike Schmitt, President Rick Marek, Secretary Joey Jeraminas, and Treasurer Greg Daily. [caption id="attachment_1082" align="alignright" width="305" caption="Illinois State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis presents at the summit."][/caption]

“For all those involved, we are honored and appreciative to NASFM President Jim Narva for designating Illinois as one of the 10 recipients of the FEMA grant,” states Lia. “The fire sprinkler summit would not have been possible without the grant-funded program. Additionally, the joint effort with NASFM allowed for more educational benefits than we have ever offered before at any of our summits.”

[caption id="attachment_991" align="aligncenter" width="576" caption="Fire service officials view one of the fire sprinkler demonstration trailers at the summit. (Pictured left to right: retired Long Grove Fire Chief Dave Grupp; Countryside Fire Marshal Mike McNally; Countryside Firemedic/Inspector George Tejcek; Countryside Lieutenant/Inspector Ron Cielek; Paul Valentine, senior engineer for Nexus Engineering; and Tom Lia, executive director for NIFSAB."][/caption]