Safety Matters Newsletter                June 1, 2016 Edition
The opinions expressed in this newsletter are those of the author. They do not reflect in any way those of the Florida Fire Marshals and Inspectors Association unless specifically stated.
FFMIA logo
President's Update

The joint conference for the FFEIA and FAFLSE is June 21st - June 24th.  The theme is "Welcome to the New Era."  Conference attendees are encouraged to "Start with the End in Mind."

In addition to the conference training program, the State Fire Marshals Office (SFMO) will have three different rule hearing workshops, the Sprinkler Coalition will have its Kick-Off recognition and FFMIA will recognize a Fire and Life Safety Educator of the year and Arson Investigator of the year.  The SFMO rule hearings will be on; Assisted Living Facilities, Fire Inspector Curriculum and Informal Interpretations of the Florida Fire Prevention Code.

Thank you to all that participated in the ICC voting on residential sprinklers.  This is an important issue and we need to stay vigilant and be leaders in Walking the Talk.  Fire Marshals, I encourage/implore you to become members of ICC if you are not currently members.  As a member, you have the opportunity to shape code language as it is being developed both on Fire and Building Code changes.  You have the voice in your vote; the more you use it the more it will be heard.  

July 1st is the deadline to have all proposed changes to the "6th Edition" of the Florida Fire Prevention code submitted to the SFMO.  If there are items that have a statewide impact that needs to be updated, please submit them to Bureau Chief Sinco for consideration.  These items are evaluated by the Fire Code Advisory Council for implementation into the new code.

Get involved on the chat group and help keep Florida and our communities safe.

David Woodside
FFMIA logo
From the Executive Director's Desk

Do you have big plans for this summer? FFMIA does. While many of you are looking forward to summer time activities with vacations, summer camps, going to the beach, your FFMIA staff is hard at work making sure your membership needs are met. Educational opportunities are increasing, many are free. Please take advantage of these opportunities when they are in your area. The return on investment in your membership dues is only as strong as your participation allows. Check the seminars and training link on our FFMIA home page at for updated activities.

Have you ever planned an event, a party, a station open house? One of the fundamental requirements is to provide refreshments for your guests. Imagine planning a birthday party and only 20 people rsvp. The day of the party you discover 20 more people are coming so you have to scramble to assure you have plenty of provisions. The same holds true for conference planning. Many of you have asked that we publish conference agendas and registrations several months in advance to assure you have plenty of time to acquire necessary approvals to attend events. This has been done. When you register in a timely manner we are able to assure our food and beverage estimates at our hotel venues are properly provided. When you wait until the last minute, this puts a tremendous strain on your staff and the venue we are working with. If we guess too many we are held financially responsible. Too few and we may find ourselves in an embarrassing situation. Please help us meet the needs of all of our attendees by registering early.

In the March edition we mentioned the Annual Miami Training Seminar. This event has been a staple for many years in the Miami Dade area and is held every other year in conjunction with the American Fire Sprinkler Association, Florida Chapter. This year we held the event at the Dolphin Mall Cinebistro. The venue was first viewed by some of our presenters as unusual, but the response from the attendees was great. The theatre staff was very attentive to our needs. A projectionist was on site to allow presenters to display powerpoint presentations and video on the full cinema screens and of course over-sized theatre chairs made for a very comfortable experience for the attendees. We are not afraid to make a change and this was a good example of taking a leap of faith. Look forward to similar opportunities and this is something you may want to consider for local events in your area.

I hope each of you have a safe and relaxing summer and we look forward to seeing you at an FFMIA event soon.

  • Send requests for employment notices to
  • Watch for training opportunities throughout the year
  • Sign up for classes and training events through the seminars link of the FFMIA web site
  • FAFLSE/FFEIA Joint Conference June 21-14, 2016 Wyndham Lake Buena Vista
  • FFMIA Annual Conference November 7-10, 2016 Daytona Beach Hilton
  • Reach out to your regional directors and be involved with your association
  • Association office: (772) 349-1507

Jon W. Pasqualone
Executive Director

The countdown is here! The June conference is right around the corner! I hope you all will be joining us at the "Welcome to the New Era" public education, arson, and inspector's conference, June 21-24, 2016 at the Wyndham Hotel in Lake Buena Vista. The FAFLSE board is up for elections this year. The Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Public Relations positions are all available. If you are interested, please send an intent letter to our past Chair, Liz Monforti at .
Sharing some presentations with the arson group will be exciting and interesting this year. We hope that between the 3 tracks offered (public education, arson and inspections) you will choose just the right ones for you. The BBQ and auction brings everyone together for a relaxing and fun evening, so don't forget to join in on the fun by dressing up in the "Star Wars" theme and bring your auction item.
The awards dinner is extra special - a night for dressing up to honor the successes of a deserving person. I am looking forward to meeting you all.  
Barbara Weyel                
Awards Din ner and Fire Sprinkler Coalition Kickoff
T he Florida Fire Sprinkler Coalition will launch a kickoff at the Joint FAFLS E and FFEIA conference. Join us at the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista on June 23, 2016 at the annual awards banquet for a very special presentation. This evening will include recognition of our Fire and Life Safety E ducator of the Year and our Fire and Explosion Investigator of the Year along with a few surprise recognitions.
Dignitaries from throughout the fire service on a state, national and international level will be in attendance for the Fire Sprinkler Coalition Kickoff and we would like to launch this program to a wide audience. Please share this invitation with your chief officers, fire prevention staff, contractors, design professionals and everyone else in the fire community that is dedicated to life safety through built in fire protection. This is a great opportunity to share the message that fire sprinklers save lives to the citizenry of Florida.
Tickets for the awards banquet and Fire Sprinkler Coalition Kickoff event are $35. per person. This price is included in the registration fee for conference attendees. Advanced registration is required. Please register no later than June 15, 2016 at  and click on the link for the conference on the home page. No tickets will be available at the door. Please contact the FFMIA office at: (772) 349-1507 for additional details.

Jon Pasqualone
Executive Director

Single Family Sprinkler Systems
By Dave Raborn, Fire Marshal City of Cape Coral

Several years ago Inspector Raborn was a member of Lee County Fire Marshals Association. The Association was working to get a single family residential sprinkler ordinance adopted in Lee County Florida. At that time the attempt did not succeed. Since then, Inspector Raborn became Fire Marshal Raborn and found a way to address one of the issues that causes concerns while approaching this subject. Water and the Utilities Department. Here is his adventure, and recent success with the Utility Department, in his words.

A thought came to me just after the mandatory residential fire sprinkler ordinance was rejected; if all the ducks, so to speak, were in a row how did this get shot down? And shot down by our own people? The answer came when the water purveyor stepped up and said "NO!". I did a little research on this to search for an answer to why he said that. The more I dug, the more I could see the issue. I tried to go above his head and almost lost mine, so I needed a new strategy. How does a resident do this voluntarily?
First, I took all of the water purveyor's concerns and put those on a prioritized list. I then did a lot of research, and then went back over what I found and looked for errors that may come up. I knew, since I was told I needed to back down from this by a Chief that I needed to have a plan in place. I also needed the right time to push this and then it happened, the water purveyor asked me to a meeting regarding another subject that he needed help on, and I took this opportunity to open up the can! I started talking about how can we make this happen for our citizens? Since the other issue was about life safety, so was this issue. I explained to him I have options, but he was still resistant. I asked more questions and went back and fixed those issues as well. His concerns were: 1.people would steal water if unmetered, 2. he did not want stagnate water going into the domestic line, 3.if they didn't pay their bill, and he had to shut off the water and 4.the hydraulic flow calculations for 5/8-inch meters.        
I had great progress over several months of meetings. My first task was proving that a single domestic water line feeding a home with a 1-inch line to a 5/8-inch water meter and then having a ¾-inch line to the home will support a 13D residential fire sprinkler flowing 2 heads. A hold harmless would cover one of his concerns, which had to be recorded at the county. A check valve would handle the issue of stagnate water going into the domestic line. A stipulation that was agreed upon was that the system needed to be connected inside the home. Another issue was the hydraulic calculations. Utilizing research from Utiskul and Wu's, along with the next edition of the code, allowed for 18 GPM friction loss for 5/8-inch meters flowing 26 GPM. In addition, the meter manufacturer was contacted. They stated that the meter will flow higher demands, but it would damage the meter. This was the piece I needed. The last issue was that the designer would need to show, during plan review, that the demand met the flow calculations for 2 heads. The water purvayor agreed.
It has been a little over two years and we have our first system going in after they register their hold harmless agreement. It was well worth the wait.
Article submitted by:

Shar Hingson
Deputy Fire Marshal
Greater Naples Fire Rescue District
Smoke Alarm Saves Life of Elderly Palm Harbor Resident

A smoke alarm alerted a Palm Harbor homeowner early in the morning on April 18, 2016 as his mobile home in the West Winds Mobile Home Park began to go up in flames. Mr. Adams who lives alone was in the shower when he heard his smoke alarm going off. "I had taken my hearing aids out and didn't have my glasses on but I heard the alarm" said Adams. His home was filled with smoke and he immediately evacuated to safety.
Crews arrived to find heavy smoke conditions and active fire around the A/C unit. Quick suppression efforts confined the fire to the living room and exterior wall near the A/C unit. Fire Investigators said it appears to have started near the A/C unit and traveled under the mobile home and up into the living room where the floor became spongy and gave way while firefighters were inside. Luckily no one was injured and firefighters confined the fire to the living room and hallway.
"If it wasn't for the smoke alarm alerting him, he may not have been able to safely and quickly get out of the home before the fire spread" said Palm Harbor Fire Department Public Information Officer, Elizabeth Monforti. "Fires in mobile homes spread very quickly and the heat and smoke become trapped inside the small space. Heavy smoke and low visibility are disorientating in such a confined space."
Working Smoke Alarms Save Lives! Follow these tips...
  • Smoke Alarms should be placed on every level of the home in hallways near sleeping areas.
  • If you sleep with your bedroom door closed then a smoke alarm should also be placed inside the bedroom.
  • Check your smoke alarms monthly by pressing the test button
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms during daylight savings or twice a year.
  • If you are prone to sleeping in a recliner or on the couch in the living room place a smoke alarm in that room too.
Article submitted by:

Elizabeth Monforti
  PIO,PEO,Fire Inspector
Palm Harbor Fire Rescue
The Changing Landscape!

We are approaching that time of year where we begin to see major changes in our landscape. Wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters have a significant impact on our environment and influence on our livelihoods. This is especially true when we are impacted directly like the Treasure Coast was in 2004-05. Fortunately we have not seen any large scale disasters like these in many years and I pray we keep it that way for many more. However, the landscape changes I am referring to here is in the area of leadership and service to our profession. This is the time of year when great leaders announce they are tired and ready to move along life's travels. Or they are simply going to go to work on honey-do-lists, or travel like they never have before. When this happens, years of empirical knowledge generally rolls out the door with them leaving us to wonder, what happened?
This time around it is the departure of two gentlemen who have had a major influence in the fire investigation arena and who I consider good friends. Steve Peavey announced his retirement from the City of Altamonte Springs several months ago and recently Lt. Colonel Mark Sauls announced his retirement from the Division of State Fire Marshal. Both of these gentlemen have left a trail of influence and leadership that cannot even begin to be measured in an article like this. The change in this virtual landscape lies in the commitment these men have made to our profession. It is hard to find that kind of dedication today and will be difficult to find in the future generations that will be leading us. If you know them, please reach out and say thank you. They are both kind and humble men who will likely thank you in return. Personally I say thank you to both of you and look forward to continuing our long friendship.
The landscape is changing. Are you ready to step up and assume that leadership role that will fill the void in that landscape?
Article submitted by:

Jon W. Pasqualone
Executive Director
Chuck and Juanita Receive Presidential Award

During the American Red Cross Appreciation Day which was held on May 21, 2016 at the Endless Summer Vineyard and Winery in Fort Pierce, Chuck and Juanita Akers were awarded the President's Volunteer Service Award.

Along with the award they received a letter from the President of the United States, Barack Obama thanking them for their service.

The American Red Cross also awarded Chuck with the Rookie of the Year award for his outstanding service and dedication for his first year of service to the organization. Chuck was recently promoted to the Disaster Action Team Captain and will lead the organization during disasters.
Chuck and Juanita have both been with the Okeechobee Red Cross for a little over one year now and they have now been assigned to the Government Liaison position at the Okeechobee Emergency Operations Center.
The American Red Cross are proud to have Volunteers such as Chuck and Juanita whose dedication is why they are very successful in their endeavors when it comes to helping people in need.
Article submitted by:

The American Red Cross
Fire Chief David Fraga Retires

After nearly 43 years with the Key West Fire Department and a decade at its helm, Fire Chief David Fraga has announced his retirement.

In a letter to City Manager Jim Scholl, Chief Fraga wrote, "On November 7, 2015, I completed my 42nd year of service with the fire department, and May will mark my 10th year as Chief. I have been blessed to have had the honor, privilege, and the opportunity to serve in that capacity for all those years."

Chief Fraga has dedicated his career to improving the fire department and says he is retiring with "a profound sense of accomplishment."
Under his leadership, the department expanded from two divisions -- fire suppression and prevention - to four: fire suppression, fire prevention, emergency management, and emergency medical services.

Over the past two years, Chief Fraga has seen to fruition three goals that will define his legacy. Fire Station #2, after years of delays, was completed in 2015, providing state-of-the-art service to the community and replacing the decrepit quarters in which our firefighter were previously housed. In April of 2015, the fire department integrated emergency medical services, moving ambulance service away from the private sector and into the public. This major shift will prove a lasting legacy that ensures fiscal accountability and outstanding service for the community.

Just this month, Chief Fraga was informed that his final goal for the department had been attained: the department received a Class 1 rating from the Insurance Services Office. This rating benefits the entire community, and is the highest rating a community can achieve. It provides all citizens of Key West the lowest fire insurance rates possible. The designation makes Key West one in just 178 communities nationwide rated a Class 1 Department.

Chief Fraga knew since childhood that he would serve this community with the fire department. Even as a boy, he hung out at the fire station and looked up to many of the men that served. Understanding that tie with youth and dedication, he focused his energy as Chief into breathing new life into the Key West High School Fire Academy. It has been successfully training local students in preparation for Firefighter I certification.

Chief Fraga began his career in 1973 as a firefighter, working his way up through the ranks: Captain, Fire Marshal, Division Chief, and in 2006, Fire Chief. He submitted his notice to the City on April 18th. Chief Fraga's retirement date is set for May 31, 2016. However, he will be completing earned leave time for the next several weeks.

Article Submitted By:

Chuck Akers
FFMIA Honorary Member
FFMIA Executive Director, Retired

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