In late 2006, there was a strong effort by several Georgia Fire and Life Safety leaders to establish a Georgia association affiliated with the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA). After exploratory meetings and some planning effort, it became apparent that due to the speed with which the economy was expanding at that time, there simply was not enough industry support for the group. The GA-AFAA languished until late 2008.
In October of 2008, there was a renewed effort by a new group of industry associates to begin moving the Georgia Automatic Fire Alarm Association forward not only as a catalyst for industry information and regular training but also as a legislative group to ensure the Fire Alarm industry has the governmental backing needed to continue flourishing .
On Monday March 22, 2009 the initial meeting for the Georgia Association of the AFAA was held in Atlanta. From all angles, the meeting was very successful with excellent attendance across the the industry spectrum. Tom Hammerberg outlined the goals and objectives for the new association and offered some insight into management of it.
There were a total of 24 people in attendance, including representatives from BuildingReports, MITEC, Richardson Technology Systems, Siemens, Simplex Grinnell, Atkins Alarm, and Ackerman Security. In addition to service companies and manufacturers, we had representatives from the GA State Fire Marshals office, Cobb County Fire Marshals office, and the City of Cleveland GA Fire Marshals office.
The goals for the association will be to facilitate open dialogue within the GA Fire Alarm industry, to speak as one voice at the legislative level regarding licensing, certification and enforcement, provide educational opportunities throughout the year for technicians, industry associates, and AHJ's, raise funds for managing the GA association and to provide scholarships for further education. In addition, there will be a strong push to ensure that we provide value and service to members across the state, not simply become a metro Atlanta association.
The response was outstanding and cemented the fact that this type of an organization was needed in Georgia. During this meeting an Interim Board of Directors was established with four industry associates serving as the foundation of a planned larger board as needed.
GA-AFAA membership began to grow, relationships with various other industry associations were established and, with strong support from AFAA, the group began to see the solid foundation required to continue. In June of 2009, the first official membership meeting was held. Our guest speaker was Max McLeod, President of the Alabama AFAA, who was very instrumental in the passing of Alabama’s fire alarm contractor license law.
In addition to the first meeting, GA-AFAA has scheduled its first training class offering with a Fire Alarm Plan Review and Intermediate Fire Alarm (NICET 1-2 Prep) in August.
Thank you for your support and interest in the Georgia Automatic Fire Alarm Association.