Russell P Fleming Technical Services Award

The Russell P. Fleming Technical Service Award is the highest technical award.  The NFSA Technical Service Award was initiated in 2007 with the intent that it be given out each year in recognition of significant contributions to the engineering, standards, codes, research and other technical activities of the National Fire Sprinkler Association that enhance the reputation of the Association and serve to benefit the entire fire sprinkler industry. It was then changed to the Russell P. Fleming Technical Service Award in 2015.

The full list of inductees since the inception in 2007 is as follows:


Terry Victor – Simplex Grinnel –  A member of our fire protection community for over 44 years on the technical side, Terry first attracted the notice of the NFSA in 1980 at a technical class at Oklahoma State University with the quality and detail of the questions he asked of the professors. A few years later, he became a member of the E&S Committee where he was known for coming early and staying late. This knowledge and dedication earned him the respect of his peers, who elected him chair where he served for over eight years.



James Golinveaux – With 30 years of experience in the fire protection industry including both contracting and manufacturing, Mr. Golinveaux is currently a Senior Fellow of Water Suppression Products for Tyco Fire Protection Products. His current role applies his experience globally in the fire protection industry to develop advancements in water-based fire protection devices and systems. He currently holds 12 US Patent families in Automatic Sprinkler Technologies. James is a current member of the NFPA Standards Council, a past member or the Board of Trustees for the Fire Protection Research Foundation, as well as multiple other Boards and Councils including the Factory Mutual Advisory, AFSA, NFSA, International Fire Sprinkler Association and the Fire Sprinkler Association of Brazil.



Russell P. Fleming – National Fire Sprinkler Association – A former technical director and head of the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA) in the United States, he continues with that organization in an advisory role. He has over 30 years of service on the NFPA 13 Sprinkler Committee, is a former member of the NFPA Board of Directors, and past chairman of the NFPA’s Standards Council.  A Fellow and past president of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers, he has served as an adjunct in the fire protection engineering program at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and his publications include hundreds of articles about automatic sprinklers and other water-based fire protection systems, as well as chapters in NFPA and SFPE technical handbooks.



Stephen Meyer – Central Sprinkler – Steve started his career in the fire sprinkler industry in 1973 with Star Sprinkler, later moving over to Central when his father, NFSA Golden Sprinkler Award recipient and Fire Sprinkler Hall of Fame member, William J. Meyer, purchased the company. The Central reputation of “Innovation Not Imitation” was a directed result of the numerous “firsts,” patents and innovations developed by Steve. Several of his patents included the first Low Flow Residential sprinklers, the first Extended Coverage Ordinary Hazard Pendent and Upright sprinklers and K-17, K-25, and ELO 231 sprinklers. His “Super Valve” Low Pressure Dry/Deluge Valve led to FM investigating and accepting dry grid systems. But the innovations didn’t stop there. Steve went on to gain light hazard acceptance of “exposed” CPVC pipe and approval for use in attics and combustible concealed spaces when using specially listed sprinklers. Steve was an early pioneer of fire tests. Working closely with Ronny Coleman, an NFSA Leadership in Public Safety Award recipient, FEMA and local fire departments, his work resulted in over 100 cities passing residential fire sprinkler requirements, many of which are still in place today.



James Retzloff – Viking Corporation – Jim represented the Viking Corporation on the NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee and the UL/FM/NFSA Standards Review Committee from 1986 until 1997. He also represented the NFSA on the NFPA Committee on Automatic Sprinklers during those years. During his career with Viking he made a number of significant contributions to research and development within the fire sprinkler industry. Some examples include the development of zoned preaction systems, some of the first quick response solder links and residential sprinkler prototypes, and the first fast quick response bulb sprinklers. In his earlier work as a fire protection engineer for General Motors, he was a pioneer in the application of Hardy Cross calculations to gridded sprinkler systems. He served as President of the Michigan Industrial Fire Protection Association, as a member of the Executive Committee of the NFPA Industrial Section, and was recognized by the NFPA with a Committee Service Award.



Charles Barnett – “Automatic” Sprinkler Corporation of America – Charlie was Manager of Research & Development for the “Automatic” Sprinkler Corporation of America, and represented that company on the NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee from 1979 until his retirement in 1997. An electrical engineering graduate of the University of Minnesota, he was a member of the UL/FM/NFSA Standards Review Committee and the USTAG/ISO/TC21/SC5, and served terms as chairman of both groups. He was first nominated to serve as an NFSA representative to the NFPA 13 Committee in 1979, and held that position until the time of his retirement. He also served on NFPA technical committees relating to the use of wet chemical extinguishing systems, and was known for a number of advances in that area as well.



Richard Oliver – Oliver Sprinkler Company – Dick Oliver, Chairman of the Board of Oliver Sprinkler Company, Inc. has committed himself to the technical improvement of the sprinkler industry. As an active member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers he served several terms as President of the Philadelphia Chapter. Focusing on the development of the codes that drive the fire sprinkler industry, Dick was a member of the NFPA 25 Technical Committee on Inspection, Testing and Maintenance of Water – Based Fire Protection Systems and the NFPA 13 Technical Committee on Installation Criteria. Dick formerly presided as Chairman of the NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee and in his retirement continues to stay abreast of technical issues affecting the industry.

John “Jay” Livingston – Livingston Fire Protection – Having founded Livingston Fire Protection in 1964, Jay has been active in the fire sprinkler industry for nearly 50 years. He has represented NFSA on numerous NFPA technical committees including those on standpipes and residential sprinkler systems. In recognition of his longtime service to NFPA’s consensus standards-making process, in 1999 he was awarded their Committee Service Award. Jay has served NFSA in a number of capacities over his career. From 1978 – 1986 he served as Regional Committee #23 Chairman. He was a member of the Association’s Board of Directors from 1998 – 2000. He also served as Chairman of the Engineering and Standards Committee.



Jerome Pepi – Jerry received a BSME degree from Northeastern University in 1962 and a MSME degree from MIT in 1965. Following 12 years in the aerospace industry he joined Grinnell Fire Protection Systems Company. As Vice President of Research and Development for Grinnell, Jerry served for many years on the NFSA Engineering and Standards (E&S) Committee until his retirement in 2001. He also served on the UL/FM/NFSA Standards Review Committee and as a member of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to the international product standards activities of ISO/TC21/SC5. He is credited with the development of the first listed residential sprinkler in 1981 and the first approved ESFR sprinkler in 1988. He is also known for his contributions to the concept of the frame conductivity factor as a significant contributor to sprinkler sensitivity characteristics, and conducted the research that led to rules limiting upward deflection of end sprinklers in high pressure systems. As a pioneer in water mist technology he also represented NFSA on the NFPA Committee on Water Mist when it was first formed in 1993.



Jack Thacker – Allan Automatic Sprinkler Corporation – Jack came onto the NFSA Engineering and Standards (E&S) Committee in January of 1978 as the first contractor representative from California, passing the 30-year mark last year as a member of that committee. He has represented NFSA on numerous NFPA technical committees over the years, including the Rack Storage Committee, the NFPA 231D Rubber Tire Storage Committee and the NFPA 232 Record Storage Committee. Since NFPA 13 was re-organized in 1999 to incorporate those committees, he has been elected by E&S as a representative to the NFPA 13 Sprinkler System Discharge Criteria and the NFPA 13 Hanging and Bracing Committee. He currently serves on the NFSA Board as West Area Director representing contractor members in the states of California and Hawaii. 



Frank C. Hill – Culligan Fire Protection – Frank Hill served as a contractor representative to the Engineering and Standards (E&S) Committee from the Midwest for more than 25 years and as Chairman of the committee from 1987 until 1999. He served briefly as an NFSA representative to the NFPA Automatic Sprinkler Committee and long-term as the Association’s representative to the NFPA Cutting and Welding Practices Committee.

Lewis H. Zimmermann – Adelphia – Lew Zimmermann served as a contractor representative from the Mid-Atlantic States to the Engineering and Standards Committee beginning in the 1970’s and was Vice-Chairman from 1987 until he closed his business in 1991. He had served on the NFSA Board of Directors from 1968 through 1972. He represented the NFSA on several NFPA technical committees, including the NFPA 231 committee on General Storage. He chaired the E&S Ad Hoc Fire Test Subcommittee that oversaw the 1988 NFSA testing at Factory Mutual that led to the use of quick response sprinklers with the density/area curves.



Layard E. Campbell – Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Company – He served on the E&S Committee from the 1960’s until his retirement in 1990, chaired the E&S Heat Response Subcommittee, and served on the UL/FM/ NFSA Standards Review Committee and as a member of the USTAG to ISO/TC21/SC5. He spearheaded the Association-sponsored research into sprinkler sensitivity under deep beams in 1968, and a second research effort into pipe friction loss in 1970, the results of which were published in journals available to the fire protection community. He represented NFSA on a number of NFPA committees, including the NFPA 33, NFPA 11, and NFPA 16 committees, became a member of the NFPA Sprinkler Committee in 1980, and served on the NFPA 13D subcommittee.

Viking Corporation – A registered professional engineer who began his career with the Walton Viking company in Kansas City in 1948, Jack Wood was best known as one of the pioneers in hydraulic calculations. In 1965 he became Chairman of the Association’s Building Code Committee and helped lead these early efforts at sprinkler recognition in the model building codes. He was a longtime member of the Association’s Engineering and Standards Committee, which he joined in 1959 when it was known as the Fact-Finding Committee, and which he served as Vice-Chairman until his retirement in 1986. – Jack A. Wood –

William L. Testa – Grinnell – He served on the Engineering and Standards Committee from 1971 until his retirement in 2001 and also represented the NFSA on a number of NFPA technical committees beginning in 1972, including those on automatic sprinklers, fire pumps, rack storage and water tanks. He was a charter member of the NFPA 13D subcommittee. He was a major contributor in the early days of the NFSA-initiated NICET certification program. After chairing the NFPA 13A subcommittee beginning in 1985, he was selected in 1990 by NFPA to serve as the first chairman of the NFPA 25 committee for system inspection, testing and maintenance.

In 2008, the award is being presented to two individuals that made significant contributions to the fire sprinkler industry through their work on the NFSA Engineering and Standards Committee. This year’s two award recipients actually collaborated on tests of dry pipe system water delivery times, a summary of which was published in NFSA’s December 1980 issue of Sprinkling of News and is still being cited for its relevance.