From the President:

I really hate taking tests, don't you? I never liked taking them in school. If I can find a way to avoid a test I will do it to get around the hassles and pressures involved. I also hate to have to spend extra money on penalties for being late on a bill or in our case this year, missing the deadline for the 3 year recertification through NAFED/ICC. Most people that know me can testify that I am not a procrastinator. It has been my observation in the many years of service to our association that most will wait till the last minute or longer before doing what should have been done months earlier and then go into tailspins to have someone else fix it.  

For most of us who were in the State’s original testing group, this will be the year of the required 3-year recertification per NFPA 10. Not only do we need to get our eight hours of continuing education in each field we are permitted by the great state of Georgia but we must also satisfy NAFED/ICC requirements. My certification expires May 31, 2017, so I had to send my application for renewal no later than 60 days prior to the expiration of the current certification. I have had my Certification Certificates for several weeks. See this means I can't wait till June or October to get my training like usual but I must get it in March to beat that deadline. If you are not sure when your expiration date is, look in your files...everyone has them somewhere to see when that last NAFED/ICC certificate was issued or go to to get the information you need. Remember, it is YOUR permit and YOUR responsibility to keep it current or you will have to retake the ICC Certification test. 

If you are late for some unavoidable reason and your certification has expired, you can reapply for a renewal and pay the late fees as required.  

We get the calls from our members almost weekly for help in getting the required certifications because someone didn't keep up with it or they lost the paperwork or changed companies, etc. We are here to help you but remember you have to help yourself also.

Now on a more positive note, I think 2017 will be one of the best years we have seen in a long time. We have come a long way with the George M. Lanier Fire Lab at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth. Your association, GAFSED, has been involved with this project since inception many years ago. With long hours of volunteer work from mostly our board member companies, we have been able to accomplish installing several fire suppression systems, portables and recharging equipment. More is needed. To date, almost $250,000.00 has been donated to the lab from our many manufactures and active member companies. Fire suppression systems, portable fire extinguishers, sprinkler equipment and some alarm systems are installed or will be. Much more is needed and more work days will be ahead of us to complete this joint endeavor. Thank you to all who have donated, worked hard and sacrificed time and money on this project.

This facility is already being used to train students and will be a great way to train our own technicians with hands on training in their fields in the near future. Our state fire marshal, Dwayne Garriss, plans to formally dedicate this facility in June at the annual Fire Symposium. Make plans to attend now.

Our next event for training is the Annual GAFSED Conference and Trade show starting March 23-25 at the Macon Marriott. Information for this is included in this mailing and on our website . Please plan to attend and meet with your vendors/suppliers/manufacturers at their tables and your fellow GAFSED members. Register early because time is of essence. 

We also need more participation in our association. We are looking for some fresh people to fill spots on our committees. This is a way of you getting involved with YOUR association without having to do a lot. It will take some of your time but believe me, it is well worth it. 

We have four new board members this year. One of them is a former board member, Vicki Whitmire of Peach State Fire. She was involved in GAFSED in the early days and brings a lot of experience back to the table. Kay King, is with Pye Barker Fire and Safety and has a lot of experience in many fields to add to our group. Kevin Biando, Pro Star Fire is well known in our industry also. Al Switzer, is an old friend but don't hold that against him. He is with United Fire and was trained under our own board member and Army Engineer, Geoff Zimbleman! Welcome future leaders of our great association!!

We are blessed to have some of the greatest minds in this industry leading our association. We are told quite often that we are the best state association in the country, a leader among our peers and that all others look to us as a model for their associations. I know that Florida and California and many others have great associations but I think our uniqueness is that we are all volunteers with no formal training in managing organizations but we have the zeal and desire to make GAFSED the best!

Thank you for your continued support over the years. Without you, we could not continue to be the best.

At your service,

Merrill Franklin
Find a member
GASFED Events and Training
GAFSED is now an I.C.C Preferred Education Provider
GAFSED is now an I.C.C Preferred Education Provider
The Randy Carlisle Annual Golf Tournament 

MACON, GA 31216


Thanks to these associate members and organizations for their support to GAFSED

Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundatio
Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation

GAFSED Presents Plaque of Appreciation to Sherrie Clark

Daniel Laughlin and Cliff Bennett attended Sherrie Clark’s retirement ceremony to express our thanks for her tireless work she has done for the fire safety industry.
Sherrie Clark
In sincere appreciation for your hard work and dedication to our industry, companies, and the people of GAFSED
You have made our industry and the state of Georgia a better place to live and work.

September 1, 2015

The Plaque Reads…

Sherrie Clark  In sincere appreciation for your hard work and dedication to our industry.
Left to Right: Daniel Laughlin, Sherrie Clark, Cliff Bennett
GAFSED Donates to the Georgia firefighters burn foundation
Left to Right: Cliff Bennett, Scott Lewis, Coy Clark, Frank Middleton, Emile Delegram, Johnny Crawley, Merrill Franklin, Geoff Zimbleman, Dwayne Garriss

Presentation of check from GAFSED to the Southeastern Firefighters Burn Foundation in Augusta

Cindy Howell is again the Administrative Manager for GAFSED. As most members know, Cindy works at Swift Fire Protection and has been an active part of GAFSED for many years. Please contact her should you have questions or need assistance for membership or training at 706-283-8459 or e-mail 
In March of this year in beautiful Savannah GAFSED awarded it’s second annual Randy Carlisle Memorial College Scholarship to Miss Anna Jones of Macon Georgia. This 1,000.00 scholarship is going to help Anna earn her degree at Mercer University. Anna’s father and mother, Jim and Barbara Jones were present on Friday night to receive this award for her. I’m sure Randy would have been proud of this association for not only playing a key role in the leadership of our industry, but also acknowledging the individuals that make GAFSED great.

For a third year now GAFSED has decided to partner with Randy’s legacy in offering an educational scholarship to the owners, employees, their children and grandchildren to be used to help further their education past high school. 2016 will bring an even larger first place award with two additional finalists receiving awards too. We at GAFSED are excited about this opportunity to “Give Back” to those who have made this association the leader in our industry that it is today.
L-R Jim Jones,Barbara Jones, Johnny Crawley GAFSED President
This scholarship will be awarded each year to a deserving high school senior or college student who has ties to GAFSED and to our industry here in Georgia.

Details on the GAFSED / Randy Carlisle Memorial Scholarship can be found by Clicking Here.

Special thanks to:
Scott Lewis
Daniel Laughlin
Arnold Harner: Scholarship Chairman

Merrill Franklin represented GAFSED at the groundbreaking of the George M. Lanier Fire Protection Laboratory Groundbreaking Ceremony. The groundbreaking ceremony of the George M. Lanier Fire Protection Laboratory was held on Monday, April 21, 2014. This facility will be 2,400 square feet of state-of-the-art firefighting training. Training programs, which will include fully functional fire protection equipment, will provide Georgia Fire Service students with the opportunity to view, touch, and operate real fire protection systems.


The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has completed 2013 revisions of the following Standards pertaining to our industry:
  • NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers 2013
  • NFPA 17 Standard for Pre Engineered Dry Chemical Systems 2013
  • NFPA17A Standard for Pre Engineered Wet Chemical Systems 2013
  • NFPA 96 Standard For Ventilation Control and Fire Protection of Commercial Cooking Operations. 2014
These Standards are available for purchase now in both traditional hard copy, and electronic versions at


The GAFSED Board chose Bobby Agee with the Amerex Corporation, as the 2013 Associate Member of the Year. Bobby was very active in GAFSED in 2013 often traveling from his home in Virginia to attend a GAFSED Quarterly Board meeting ‘s and lend support to our association. The Board thanks Bobby and Amerex for their involvement and support in making 2013 a Successful year.
L-R GAFSED President Daniel Laughlin, State Fire Marshal, GAFSED Honorary Member Dwayne Garriss, Amerex VP Southeast Sales Bobby Agee, Amerex VP Special Hazards GAFSED Honorary Member Craig Voelkert.

How to Use a Portable Fire Extinguisher Training Video

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