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AFSA Updates Fitter Training Series

Customize Training to Your Business’ Needs

The American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Fire Sprinkler Fitter Apprenticeship Training Series has steadfastly remained the tried-and-true answer for fire protection contractors throughout the country seeking to raise the bar for their fitters’ training. For over 30 years, this four-level series has kept pace with applicable codes, standards, safety practices, new building applications, and industry trends.

A recent update to AFSA’s training series includes the new 5th Edition Core Curriculum by the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER). The Core Curriculum comprises the first half of AFSA’s Level I and includes a highly illustrated design, technical hints and tips from industry experts, review questions, and more.

Starting with the basics, such as safety, tools, and construction math, the four-level series leads your new sprinkler fitter through steel, CPVC, copper and other pipe applications; then installation elements of wet, dry, preaction, and deluge systems. Additional content includes shop drawings, standpipes, water supplies, fire pumps, and even touches upon system layout, ITM, and special extinguishing systems. The fourth and final level concludes by introducing foreman skills to your advanced sprinkler fitter.

Each module in the Trainee Guide includes learning objectives, trade terms, “Did You Know?” supplements to spur additional thought, applicable NFPA references, tables, and figures, and review questions. (See the excerpt from the Trainee Guide.)

For trainers wanting to optimize the fitters’ learning experience, Annotated Instructor Guides (AIG) are also available for each of the four levels. The AIG includes teaching tips, performance testing, and classroom prompts to define a term, stress a point, or ask a question, while also showing the instructor the same text that students see in the Trainee Guide for ease in keeping everyone on pace, page by page.

These illustrated and comprehensive texts are authored and published jointly by AFSA and NCCER, with a team of subject matter experts and experienced fire sprinkler industry veterans at the helm. AFSA has also developed test assessments for your fitter training program, available online or on paper. Upon successfully passing all tests in each level, a completion certificate citing earned CEUs is issued to your student by AFSA, with a final series certificate issued upon completion of all four levels.

Perhaps you have a newly hired fitter with training experience and you are unsure where he or she fits in your company’s training program. AFSA offers placement exams for Levels I and II – a multiple-choice test taken online to assess your new hire’s field knowledge base. Armed with the test results, you can be confident in determining your new hire’s placement in your program.

The beauty of this series is the ability to customize to your business’ training needs. Written by sprinkler contractors for sprinkler contractors, it is designed to fully integrate into fire sprinkler contracting firms throughout the country. Many companies have found success in registering their own apprenticeship training programs utilizing the AFSA curriculum. Wage concessions on federally or state-funded jobs is a substantial incentive for a registered apprenticeship program.

Presently based upon the 2013 edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems, the series’ next extensive update will correspond to the 2019 edition. To learn more about this fitter training and how it can work for you, contact AFSA’s Director of Education Services Leslie Clounts at 214-349-5965 ext. 130 or visit firesprinkler.org/fittertraining.

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