I was born in New York City. My Dad worked for GE, so we moved quite a bit, living in NJ, Brussels, OH, CT, and then back to Chagrin Falls, (Cleveland area) where I got involved with the local fire department in high school which changed the course of my career. I went to WPI to become an aerospace engineer but saw a scholarship program for fire service personnel, applied, and was accepted which subsequently allowed me to combine my BS/MS studies to get a Masters Degree in fire protection engineering.
The majority of my career has been in fire protection engineering consulting. And in that role, one develops a very wide range of expertise and skills including working with clients to:
Achieve code compliance and consulting services employing International Code Council (ICC), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Factory Mutual (FM), and many other internationally recognized codes, standards, and regulations.
Design, install, and commission fire protection systems including:
Water-Based Fire Suppression Systems: Automatic Sprinkler (NFPA 13), Standpipes (NFPA 14), Water Spray Fixed Systems (NFPA 15), High & Low Expansion Foam (NFPA 11 & 16), and Water Mist (NFPA 750)
Fire Water Distribution: Fire Pumps (NFPA 20), Private Fire Service Mains (NFPA 24), and Fire Water Storage Tanks (NFPA 22)
Special Hazard Suppression Systems; Carbon Dioxide (NFPA 12) Wet and Dry Chemical (NFPA 17 & 17A), Clean Agents (NFPA 2001), and Combustible Metal systems
Explosion control and mitigation systems
Emergency Communication: Fire detection and alarm systems (NFPA 72),
Litigation support/expert witness services regarding fire protection/life safety system failures and related building and fire code compliance issues.
My goal(s) as Group Leader is to develop and market many of these same services to AcuTech’s existing customer base. It really is a natural fit. While many of our process safety consultants are dedicated to helping our clients identify and minimize risks, the other side of that coin is that they also need to develop, design, and implement policies, procedures, and physical systems in order to mitigate those very risks. And AcuTech wants to help our clients achieve that with the efficiency that only one-stop-shopping can provide.
As a fire protection person, with both fire service and technical consulting backgrounds, I tend to see the world from a more pessimistic perspective. That is to say, prevention has failed, “now what?”. Fire protection response, like many other safety response activities is a 3-legged stool. To be effective one needs to have a good understanding of what could occur, procedures and training on how to address the outcome(s), with all of the necessary equipment designed, inspected, tested and maintained ready to go! As a fire protection professional, while I may not be responsible for all aspects, I always work to be sure that our clients and the fire services (private and public) are aware that success in fire protection requires all 3 components. And if they don’t, the risk we all face.
Greater awareness of the regulations.
Large industrial customers tend to live in their own universes and have either largely self-governed their fire and life safety regulation, or have relied on their insurance carriers to provide similar advice and oversight. But doing so leaves many of them on very precarious grounds as they may be unaware of the laws they are obligated to comply with. And this generally manifests in two ways:
First, with only limited exception, these facilities are required to comply with the same building, fire, and property maintenance codes that apply to all other buildings within a community. Following accidents, particularly those that result in injuries, it is that failure to comply that puts them at the greatest risks, particularly where life safety is concerned, because the aforementioned insurance carriers they may have relied on do not review or even comment on such issues.
Second, because of limited external review, many large facilities “engineer” solutions to address their fire safety issues. And while this can lead to some very inventive solutions, these systems and procedures may be out of compliance not only with the RAGAGEPS, but not complying with the legally applicable standards to which they are obligated to comply.
Day to day, I am a fairly avid cyclist. I will ride a bike to and from just about anything. I own both a mountain and road bike and I never want to “catch air,” unless it is my breath.
I am also a baseball guy. I still play in adult leagues and have transitioned to the umpire side for the last 4 years where I will generally try to officiate a couple of games a week during the season.