AFSA’s Manager of ITM Technical Training John Johnson (standing) led the August 2020 ITM program sessions at General Air Products.

ITM Class Graduates

Sixth Class Finishes Program with Two Weeks’ Training at General Air Products

The American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Development Program has hit high marks with employers and students alike and is celebrating its sixth graduating class.

“We’re delighted to finally resume training and see outstanding test results for Level I and Level II certification. These students have not let five months of postponed classes deter them from their program studies,” says AFSA Director of Education Services Leslie Clounts.

Recently resumed classes posted some impressive numbers, with the Level I class passing all of their NICET Inspection & Testing exams and the Level II class passing 95 percent of the exams on their first attempt. Since the program’s inception in 2016, the passing averages for students continues to impress: 94 percent of AFSA students pass their Level I exam, and 98 percent pass the Level II Inspection & Testing exams. All told, AFSA averages a 91-percent pass rate for Level I and Level II exams versus the national average 66-percent rate. 

Led by accomplished AFSA staff and industry experts, students excel both inside and outside the classroom. The program’s small class size allows instruction to be tailored to individual interests, strengths, and needs.

 AFSA’s ITM classes have received positive reviews from both supervisors and students, with one supervisor stating: “Thank you, AFSA. The training was a great compliment and reinforcement to the messages we teach regarding profession conduct, knowledge, integrity, and documentation.”

ITM students toured the General Air Products’ facility with Ray Fremont  (far left).

Program Details

AFSA is proud to be the first to offer an industry-wide ITM Inspector Development Program, which aims to develop “green” or beginner technicians into NICET Level II-equivalent inspectors. With the ever-growing need for a well-trained, well-rounded workforce in mind, AFSA’s ITM program goes far beyond just providing technical training.

“Being new to the ITM Inspector Development Program, I was impressed by the very comprehensive training curriculum,” says AFSA Manager of ITM Technical Training John Johnson, CFPS. “Participants receive training on topics such as installation requirements, inspection and testing standards, personal safety, and best practices in the field.”

It features a blend of learning tools, environments, and styles that combine to make a highly immersive and comprehensive training package for future inspectors, including on-demand lessons; live webinars; instruction and discussion; on-the-job training (OJT) guidance; instructor support; and two in-person live sessions that include mock field inspections, lab instruction, classroom training, role play, class tours, and NICET I & II exam prep.

“Although the program is a blend of live and online training, student interaction has been excellent, and the camaraderie amongst everyone allows attendees to be comfortable and ask questions or share personal experiences,” states Johnson. 

With so much content being delivered in a variety of ways, students will have an opportunity to truly immerse themselves in all aspects of inspection, testing, and maintenance. “The program is great for anyone who knows nothing about the trade to be able to get all the information they need to go out and be a great inspector. I am very happy to be a part of this!” comments one ITM student.

Mike Anderson with The Hose Monster Company traveled to Exton to guest lecture. 

In addition to the lessons, AFSA is with you every step of the way, starting with candidate selection. AFSA provides the tools to not only help you pick your trainee but to offer unrivaled support of them along the way. AFSA also provides hands-on tools such as the Contractor Manager Guide, train-the-trainer information, and more that help you establish support for your candidate.

While technical learning is essential to the program, it also includes additional hands-on training methods such as role play to further prepare your inspector for situations they may encounter on the job and how to conduct themselves professionally. As one current student notes: “It has helped with my understanding of what I am actually looking at when testing wet and dry systems. I am actually able to connect my standard to my walk-through during the day.”

Register Now

In just 20 months, your inspection team can “hit the ground running” as you start this service within your company or expand your team. As one student comments: “I absolutely recommend this course to anyone looking to advance their knowledge of the fire protection industry.” Another notes: “Helpful in the ‘why’ aspect. [I] always knew ‘what,’ but ‘why’ is important for passing on to others in the field and also to customers.”

Registration is now open for the Fall 2020 class, which will virtually launch October 26, 2020, and be conducted online for the first six months. Class size is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Find more details and register online at firesprinkler.org/itm or call Clounts at (214) 349-5965 ext. 130.

SIDEBAR:

Training on the Road: General Air Products Hosts Education Programs

The American Fire Sprinkler Association’s (AFSA) Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Program and Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School are in session and on the road! AFSA member AFSA General Air Products graciously offered its training facility in Exton, Pennsylvania, for both training programs in the fall of 2020.

The sixth class of the ITM program met at the site in August for their final two weeks of training and testing with safety measures in place. Guest lecturers included Jim McHugh with AGF Manufacturing; Ray Fremont, marketing director with General Air Products, who also gave the students a tour of the facility; Mike Anderson with The Hose Monster Company, who brought equipment for the students to practice on and also donated equipment to AFSA for future classes. AFSA is grateful for the support of its members!

Join AFSA October 5-16 at General Air Products for its Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning School. This is an excellent opportunity for those in the Northeast to attend without travel costs. The schools are instructed by AFSA’s technical services staff, including Vice President of Engineering & Technical Services John August Denhardt, P.E., FSFPE; Technical Programs Specialist Tom Noble, CET, CFPS; Manager of ITM Technical Training John J. Johnson, CFPS; and/or Coordinator of Technical Services Kevin Hall, P.E., MSFPE. 

AFSA takes the current health situation seriously. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of our students, members, and staff. AFSA follows the recommendations of the CDC and safety measures will be taken for in-person training.

AFSA is also holding a school in Dallas at its training center November 9-20. Registration is now open for both schools. For more details and to register, visit firesprinkler.org/design.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: D’Arcy Montalvo is public relations manager and Sprinkler Age editor for the American Fire Sprinkler Association.


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