[/caption] In May, the U.S. Fire Administration and National Fire Academy (NFA) held the 24th annual Graduate Symposium for the Executive Fire Office Program at the NFA in Emmittsburg, Maryland. This year’s theme for the approximately 180 NFA alumni in attendance was “Sprinklering America: We Can, We Should, and We Must,” providing an emphasis on “renewing efforts regarding the installation of residential fire sprinklers along with the maintenance of early warning detection devices and systems.” Among the many presenters at the event was newly appointed U.S. Fire Administrator Ernie Mitchell. Having previously served as an officer for the International Association of Fire Chiefs and an advocate of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation‘s “Everyone Goes Home” program, Chief Mitchell spoke about his support for residential fire sprinklers, emphasizing the protection they provide for both homeowners and firefighters. [caption id="attachment_2111" align="alignright" width="346" caption="Approximately 180 National Fire Academy alumni and additional media were in attendance for the first-ever side-by-side demonstration on the grounds."][/caption] Tom Lia, executive director of the Northern Illinois Fire Sprinkler Advisory Board, was offered the opportunity to conduct the first-ever side-by-side fire sprinkler demonstration on NFA grounds for the alumni and media. “It was truly an honor to be able to perform the side-by-side demonstration on such a national stage,” says Lia. “It’s dramatic demonstrations such as this one that can help our national fire service rally behind residential fire sprinklers and live up to this year’s symposium theme of ‘Sprinklering America: We Can, We Should, and We Must.’ It’s definitely a concept we’ll proudly stand behind in Illinois.”  ]]>