NFSA Visits Northern Minnesota Members

(L to R) NFSA Minnesota State Coordinator Joel Hewitt; Virginia Fire Marshal Chris Clark ; Virginia Fire Chief Allen Lewis; Summit Fire Protection Project Manager Ken Schlais; and NFSA Regional Manager Tim Butler in the historic Virginia Fire Station in Virginia, MN.


On May 9th, NFSA staff visited some of our members in northern Minnesota. Joel Hewitt and Tim Butler visited Randy Nikunen at the Absolute Fire Protection shop in Saginaw, and Craig Johnson at the A. G. O’Brien Plumbing and Heating shop in Hermantown. Both NFSA members are regional champions for fire sprinklers and life and property protection. The visits helped NFSA staff better understand the local sprinkler industry and the challenges facing some of our smaller contractor shops. Randy and Craig were generous with their time and in sharing their perspectives on their important work in some of the more rural areas of northern Minnesota.

Joel and Tim also held a joint visit with leadership of the Virginia Fire Department and Ken Schlais from Summit Fire Protection’s Duluth branch. The purpose of this joint meeting was to discuss arrangements for a side-by-side demonstration and award ceremony during upcoming National Night Out activities in August. The award ceremony will recognize the efforts of Summit employees who were responsible for a property and life-saving sprinkler activation that took place in Virginia, MN in January.

Virginia Fire Chief Allen Lewis and Fire Marshal Chris Clark are members of NFSA, having joined through the Association’s AHJ Promotional Program.