Training for Apprentices, ITM Technicians, and More

AFSA Programs Meet Your Education Needs

When it comes to your company’s training and education needs, the American Fire Sprinkler Association (AFSA) is your one-stop shop! From in-person seminars to on-demand learning, correspondence courses to live webinars, AFSA has you covered. Here are some of the programs offered year-round and ones specifically scheduled for the coming months.

Apprentices

AFSA has your apprentices covered with its fire sprinkler fitter apprentice training series written from a contractor’s point of view. This program has been developed through the combined efforts of technical experts and AFSA contractor members. Each level of the series includes photographs, drawings, and tables to provide the latest graphic and written instruction on proper installation techniques and use of tools. 

The four levels are divided into modules. Each module includes a series of lessons that cover a particular topic within the scope of that module. Convenient online testing is included to assess learner knowledge on a periodic basis. For more information, visit www.firesprinkler.org/education.

In addition to correspondence courses, AFSA offers monthly webinars for sprinkler fitters in its “Fitter Zone” series. These live webinars are scheduled for Saturday mornings whenever possible, so your employees aren’t pulled from the job site, and many offer CAL-FIRE-approved CEUs. Register your fitter employees now with AFSA and set up their account to receive upcoming webinar information and ease registration or sign up to receive notification of upcoming Fitter Zone events by visiting www.firesprinkler.org/zone. Currently scheduled fitter-focused webinars include:

Air Supplies for Dry and Preaction Systems on June 12,
Hanging for Fitters on July 10,
Seismic Protection for Fitters on August 14,
Water Flow Testing on September 11,
Flushing Requirements for Fitters on October 16,
Backflow Prevention/Forward Flow Testing on November 13, and
Firestopping on December 11.

Foremen

AFSA’s correspondence course, The Leadership Ladder, teaches the newly promoted fire sprinkler foreman to manage projects from beginning to end.

This 24-lesson course, written by industry veteran Michael L. Brown and reviewed by contractor members of AFSA, guides the new foreman through supervision of a fire sprinkler installation project and the other employees working that job. It also includes more than 40 pages of sample forms necessary to help manage a project, such as Change Order, Request For Information, and Employee Injury Report. The course includes online testing.

Designers

This year, AFSA is offerings its popular Beginning Fire Sprinkler System Planning Schools in every season—and possibly in your local area! This class is designed for trainees and entry-level technicians with at least six months of experience as well as those with experience in the sprinkler trade looking to make the transition to design. The school teaches the essential fundamentals of fire sprinkler system layout. For 2021, the curriculum has been updated to the 2019 edition of NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems

 Students learn by actually planning and drawing sprinkler systems while studying and applying NFPA 13. Instruction consists of 60 percent study of the NFPA 13 standard and 40 percent preparation of fire sprinkler system layout, shop drawings, and hydraulic calculations. The remaining 2021 schools are on the road to:

Exton, Pennsylvania July 19-30;
Baton Rouge, Louisiana August 16-27;
Exton, Pennsylvania September 27 – October 8; and
Sacramento, California November 8-19.

ITM Technicians 

With AFSA’s Inspection, Testing, and Maintenance (ITM) Inspector Development Program, your inspection team can “hit the ground running” as you start this service within your company or expand your team. Remember that enrolling an inspector can place you ahead of the competition and help prepare you for whatever lies ahead for the economy. In 20 months, your inspection team can be stronger than ever!

Since the program’s inception in 2016, the passing averages for students continue to impress: 93 percent of AFSA students pass their Level I exam, and 91 percent pass the Level II Inspection & Testing exams. All told, AFSA averages a 92-percent pass rate for Level I and Level II exams versus the national average 65-percent rate. The program is led by AFSA’s Manager of ITM Technical Training John T. Johnson, CFPS, who has worked in both the fire protection and fire suppression industries for over 30 years.

AFSA has set up a new installment plan for this course for members, divided into four payments. The enrollment fee of $1,250 is due at sign-up. Then three equal payments of $1,000 each are due every six months.

Registration is now open for the Fall 2021 class, which will virtually launch on October 26. Plus, the first six months of the program are conducted online. Class size is limited, so early registration is encouraged! To find more details and register online, visit www.firesprinkler.org/itm.

Webinars for the Entire Team

AFSA presents a variety of live webinars to cover all your education needs. A benefit of this type of training is the ability to learn in your office or at home. How about getting a group together in the conference room to watch the webinar together? AFSA’s Sprinkler Challenges are a great tool for group learning and a little friendly competition! In this monthly webinar series modeled after a popular game show, AFSA’s technical experts will highlight commonly misunderstood or improperly interpreted sections of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. True/false questions will be presented that will make the attendee think and respond. The correct answer will be displayed with a discussion on explaining why the answer is correct. Handouts will be made available after each webinar. The remaining challenges for 2021 are:

NFPA 25, 2020 Edition on June 3;
NFPA 20, 2019 Edition on July 1;
NFPA 20, 2019 Edition on August 5;
NFPA 13, 2019 Edition on September 2;
NFPA 13, 2019 Edition on October 7;
NFPA 14, 2019 Edition on November 4; and
NFPA 13, 2019 Edition on December 2.

For more details and to register for live webinars, visit www.firesprinkler.org/webinars.

AFSA is also pleased to offer on-demand recorded webinars for learning at your convenience. AFSA members save on all courses covering NFPA standards, fire pumps, and ITM. Visit www.firesprinkler.org/ondemand.

Invest in Your Workforce

It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling “too busy to train,” but AFSA encourages you to shake off that mindset. As business in the fire sprinkler industry picks up, more contractor companies are finding themselves with a wealth of projects to tackle, but these projects require a fully trained team. An investment in your workforce is an investment in your business overall and can save you money at the bottom line.

Not an AFSA member and want to take advantage of the free and discounted training offered to AFSA members? You’re in luck! Currently, AFSA is offering a six-month trial membership for contractors and a 12-month trial membership for municipal Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs). Now is the perfect time to see what AFSA can do for you and your team!

Already an AFSA member? Help spread the word about all the excellent training and education you receive as a member, and you benefit as well! Current members who recruit a new contractor member will receive a $100 gift card, and the new member receives a free recorded webinar.  For complete details, rules, and regulations, click here.


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