NFSA Director of Field Operations Gary West Visits Minnesota Chapter Meeting

The Minnesota Chapter meeting is typically a small, informal, and friendly gathering with great labor/management cooperation and cordiality among the various organizations attending.

On September 4th, NFSA Director of Field Operations, Gary West, attended the Minnesota Chapter meeting as a guest presenter. With 15 members present, the gathering was of typical size, and some of the common agenda items were covered: Legislative updates by Ray Bohn, a report from Jon Nisja of the State Fire Marshal’s Division, and Chapter/Regional updates by NFSA Staff. A recap of the Governor’s Fire Prevention Day at the State Fair was provided, and Kevin Olsen (Viking Automatic Sprinkler) provided an update on concerns with Compliance Engine’s third-party reporting processes. Members also discussed the need for legislative action to ensure that inspection revenues earmarked for the State Fire Marshal actually go to inspection staff operations and not to the state’s general fund.

Director West provided the group with an overview of the Field Operations Department – the 20 staff members assigned to various regions and states around the country – the “boots on the ground” for NFSA operations and direct member support. He also discussed national legislative efforts including tax incentives and high-rise retrofit legislation.

Gary also discussed the need to grow participation in chapter activities (in all areas of the country), especially by AHJ members and contractors that specialize in residential installations. He discussed some ideas for energizing chapter meetings and recognizing sprinkler saves and membership longevity.
He stressed the national outreach efforts centered around NFSA’s new TV commercial and website ( If you have not checked out this new website, please do so soon! It offers a wonderful step-by-step assessment for homeowners and some specific actions they can take to choose fire sprinklers. Share the link on social media and tell your family, friends, and coworkers about it.

Gary West

Gary was impressed by the participation of the Minnesota members present – all were engaged, asking questions, and participating in the discussion. He is on a mission to visit all 19 chapters across the country, and he has visited 17 of them so far. That’s a great testament to his leadership and willingness to engage with our members, since he’s only been on NFSA’s senior staff for a little over a year! He is passionate, extremely dedicated to our members, and really enjoyed the Chapter meeting in Minnesota.

For more information on the Minnesota Chapter, please visit our NFSA web link: