St. Louis Metro Area Regional Report


Several weeks ago the leaves on the trees were changing to their glorious fall colors and the cold air was moving our way. I felt obliged to do the annual fall ritual and disconnected my garden hose from the outside faucets around the house. As I was doing this, I recalled the many “fire alarm” calls that I responded to when I was a firefighter. The late night “water flow alarm” to a commercial building on a freezing cold winter night could change sleepy firemen into grumpy firemen and the property damage was often staggering. In many cases I could hear fire sprinklers referred to with inappropriate language —as if the building owner’s decision to shut off the heat in the warehouse had nothing to do with water freezing in the pipes! Freezing of water-based fire protection systems can be avoided. Many freeze impairments are related to displaced insulation or inadequate heat. Encouraging building managers to actively monitor their building temperatures and replace missing insulation will help reduce many of these frustrating and costly incidents.

Stay Safe and Stay Warm!

Paul Richard


Wally Miller and John LaVenture lead a burn demonstration with Rock Community Fire Protection District.

NFSA and the St. Louis Fire Sprinkler Alliance (NFSA) offer side-by-side burn demonstrations at community events, fire department community outreach programs and open houses. These displays demonstrate the dramatic difference between flashover of an unprotected room and the quick response and lifesaving effectiveness of a single fire sprinkler. The local fire department provides the water supply and an engine company to extinguish the fire, while NFSA and SLFSA do the rest!

Rock Community firefighters working to extinguish the fire on the non-sprinklered side.

A view of the non-protected side after firefighters remove the mattress and other smoldering combustibles.

The side protected by a single fire sprinkler. Note that not even the foam cups got hot enough to melt.














John LaVenture, Wally Miller, Gary West, Rich Boyer, and Paul Richard outside of Boyer offices.

Richard Boyer shows off new graphics designed and installed by his crew.

Gary West, NFSA Director of Field Operations, visited St. Louis in October and completed a tour of Boyer Fire Protection facilities. West is the former Tennessee State Fire Marshal and had served as Chief of the Gatlinburg Fire Department. During the tour, Rich Boyer proudly displayed the St. Louis NFSA side-by-side burn trailer and new graphics.






Support for our fire marshals, inspectors and other government officials is paramount to saving lives and protecting property from fire. As the “voice of the sprinkler industry” we’re committed to help our public safety professionals out on the front lines with the skills and the most current training available. At the 2019 Fire Marshals Association of Missouri conference, IP Specialists Wally Miller and John LaVenture provided a display table, while NFSA Coordinator Paul Richard provided a meal for all conference attendees and staff.







Chapter members listen as Paul Richard provides information about our proposal to the Gary Sinese Foundation regarding the installation of fire sprinklers in the homes of injured police officers Ryan O’Connor and Matt Crosby.

The quarterly St. Louis Metro Area Chapter meeting was held on October 24, 2019 with 19 members in attendance. At this meeting, Field Operations Director Gary West discussed national issues with the membership and Chapter Chairman Andy Bill of Ahern Fire Protection was elected to a second term. Chapter meetings are open to any NFSA member, whether a contractor, supplier, manufacturer, individual member or government official. Members gather at 11:00 am, the business meeting begins at 11:30 and a delicious lunch is served at 12:30. The next meeting will be Thursday January 16, 2020. Contact Paul Richard for more information.




The Chapter Burn Aid Golf Tournament Committee began planning for the 2020 tournament set for the third week of June with the 18th being the preferred date.  The 2019 tournament raised $17,000 for the Burns Recovered Support Group which provides the Midwest Children’s Burn Camp.  Anyone interested in helping with the tournament can contact Jason Kinker at Ferguson Fire & Fabrication. 




Has a new ordinance been adopted in your area?  NFSA tracks not only code updates, but changes and adoption of referenced standards, such as NFPA 13 and NFPA 25.  Please help us update our records when changes occur in your local area by filling out this simple form: 




NFSA Coordinator Paul Richard presenting the award to Ferguson Manager David Diamantini.

Ferguson Fire and Fabrication has been an active and proud NFSA member since the mid-1990’s. To recognize this achievement, St. Louis Metro Area Coordinator Paul Richard presented their 25-year membership award at their offices.  Ferguson is recognized as the nation’s largest independent distributor of fire protection supplies with 70 branches and 35 fabrication facilities throughout the country. 





Send Us Your Sprinkler Saves, 

be featured in Spotlight, 

NFSA Social Media and NFSM! 


Any follower of NFSA social media sites and Spotlight knows that we LOVE when members send us sprinkler saves! 


Sprinkler saves sent in by our members are used in a timely fashion (usually in minutes of receiving the save) on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. The save is then used as a feature in Spotlight on Fire Sprinklers. We make it a point to give credit to the person, company or fire department that sends in the save. Members sharing saves with members is one way to let industry employees know that the work they do on a daily basis is truly saving lives and property. 


Starting in the Jan/Feb 2020 issue of NFSM, we will be debuting a Sprinklers in Action column where we will feature saves contributed by our members. Don’t miss your chance to shine! 


In an effort to lessen your effort in submitting saves, we’ve created an online form that may be used to submit your good news. The form gives you the ability to fill in the who, what, where, why and when, and to include a quote and description of the incident that we will use. Photos are highly encouraged, and you can upload them right at the site after you fill out the form. The form can be accessed at 


Take a moment to see what we’re looking for and be sure to bookmark the web page, so the next time a save comes across your desk, you’ll be at the ready to submit it for distribution. 


NFSA’s John Corse presents Advanced Hydraulics Course in March 2019.

NFSA is the industry’s premier resource for fire sprinkler training.  No other organization provides as many training opportunities, as many sprinkler-related subjects, taught by well-known leaders in the sprinkler industry.  As an ICC Preferred Provider, NFSA CEUs can be applied to licensure, recertification, accreditation and NICET credit.  For more information on training, click here… 



Paul Richard (314) 348-0694