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 http://www.nafed.org/?page=renewal
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 http://www.nafed.org/
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 www.gafsed.org . 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,