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Telecommunications Companies Seek Exemption from Iowa’s RME Law June 17, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Security Systems.
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The Iowa House recently passed and sent to the Iowa Senate H.F. 697 in an effort to break the stalemate over Iowa’s budget for the coming fiscal year that starts July 1st.    It is not clear how the Senate will resolve the many issues contained within the 588-page omnibus bill.  What is clear is an attempt by telecommunications companies to skirt Iowa’s fire extinguishing & alarm systems contractors and installers licensing law (Chapter 100C).  To see the bill click here.

Buried within the legislation are provisions (sections 670 – 671) that allow telecommunications companies to contract with a qualified individual to fulfill the duties of a responsible managing employee (RME).   Iowa law requires companies who offer fire extinguishing and/or alarm system services to be certified by the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office and employ (not contract with) a qualified individual to be responsible for the management of the services provided.  Interestingly enough is Iowa’s ban on any qualified individual serving as a responsible managing employee for more than one employer.

It appears that this provision if allowed to pass with the rest of the legislation would give telecommunications companies an unfair advantage over certified contractors who must employ RMEs – not contract out their services.  Moreover, the safety and security of Iowa’s citizens may be undermined.  No assurance is provided that the contracted RME even resides within the state or is readily available to directly supervise the layout, installation or maintenance of fire and security related systems.

As one who is active in the industry and serves on the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Advisory Board, I can’t support this provision to weaken laws designed to protect and secure Iowans.

Iowa Alarm Association Meets May 19 May 18, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Security Systems.
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The Iowa Alarm Association’s next meeting will take place on May 19, 2011 at Smokey D’s BBQ Restaurant in just north of I-80/35 off of 2nd Ave.  in Des Moines beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Topics to be discussed at the meeting include:

1.    Continued discussion on the Cedar Rapids tradeshow scheduled for early 2012
2.    Preview of the association website
3.    Discussion of future guest speakers
4.    Much more…

Persons and companies involved with security, life safety and low-voltage systems are encouraged and welcome to attend.  If possible, please RSVP to Ron Heldt at ADT Security Systems.

Iowa Alarm Assn Meets April 21 at Amana’s Ox Yoke Inn April 20, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Iowa Alarm Association, Security Systems.
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The regular monthly meeting of the Iowa Alarm Association is set for Thursday, April 21st beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Ox Yoke Inn off of I-80 at Exit 151 for the Amana colonies.

In addition to regular association business, president Ron Heldt will preside over presentations including:

Ken Samek with an update on the IA Alarm Assn. Trade Show

David Gutfreund  with a report on the sub-committee meeting and FESCAB

Shawn Mullen of Protex Central, Inc. presenting on his experiences with Social Networking

Please contact Ron Heldt if you plan to attend.

Iowa Fire Contractors Advisory Board to Meet April 13 April 12, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Security Systems.
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The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s Fire Extinguishing Contractors’ Board’s next meeting is  scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, 2011 beginning at 9:00  a.m. at the Public Safety Building, 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, 1st Floor  Conference Room #125.

Slated for discussion are the following items:

  • Update from sub-committee on electrical inspections of fire alarm systems
  • What constitutes an alarm system that is being installed to be licensed?
  • How will the endorsement of the three year provisional be handled on the alarm program?
  • Discussion on continuing education for the fire protection installer and maintenance worker
  • Qualifying documentation for renewal in two years for the fire protection installer and maintenance worker

The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Please visit:  Advisory Board Home Page for additional information and updates.

Iowa Alarm Association to Tour State-Of-Art Facility March 16, 2011

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The March 17 meeting of the Iowa Alarm Association will include a tour of the state-of-the-art police headquarters in Ankeny, Iowa.

This isn’t just a tour, it’s an experience of a modern high tech police facility that incorporates functionality as well as vision. The building is a Frank Lloyd Wright design which incorporates natural materials and sunlight to enhance the working environment. In fact, several psychological studies were used and incorporated into the design of the building including interrogation rooms, stairwells and employee break rooms.

The jail is a “hands-free” environment that minimizes prisoner contact while enhancing safety for prisoner and employee alike. The station hosts its own mini-lab, evidence storage, gun range, training room, fitness room and padded defense strategies room. The building has 69 cameras and a variety of areas with motion activated audio recording. The building incorporated a 20 year growth in both personnel and technology which was most challenging.

The building is 76,000 and cost $15.2 million to construct. The residents of Ankeny voted on the bonding in May 2006 and with the highest approval on a bond in the State of Iowa.  Construction began with an 82% approval at the polls.

Members will also hear a presentation by Gary Kuty of Kuty & Associates on “Hire Slow – Fire Fast” Growing your Sales Team.

Members should contact IAA President, Ron Heldt, for meeting details.

March Is Next Fire System Contractors Board Meeting February 9, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems.
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The Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office has postponed the February 16, 2011 meeting of the Fire System Contractors’ Board. The next meeting is now scheduled for Wednesday, March 16, 2011 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Public Safety Building, 215 East 7th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, 3rd Floor State Fire Marshal Conference Room #343.

The meeting is open to the public and all are welcome to attend.

Please visit: Advisory Board Home Page for additional information and updates.

Happy Birthday, Protex Central! January 31, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems.
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Protex Central, Inc. marks the start of its 45th year in business on February 1, 2011.

Through its first 44 years, Protex Central has become a recognized systems integrator in the midwest’s fire and security marketplace.

Starting with only himself and a helper, Dennis Mullen has provided the vision and leadership of this dynamic and reliable enterprise. Operating from three fully-staffed office locations, Protex Central provides a variety of installation, testing and maintenance services across numerous vertical markets.

With second generation firmly in place, Protex Central’s envisioned future is to become the premier systems integrator in its marketplace by continuing  to provide premium-level customer experiences.  To learn more about Protex Central’s envisioned future click here.

Iowa Alarm Association Meets January 20 January 8, 2011

Posted by shawnpci in Fire Protection, Fire Systems, Security Systems.
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The Iowa Alarm Association’s first meeting of the year will take place on January 20, 2011 at Smokey D’s BBQ Restaurant in Des Moines beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Featured speaker for the meeting will be Jonathan Lund, Fire Protection Engineer with the City of Des Moines Fire Prevention Bureau. He will be discussing fire alarm plan review and submittal procedures. Lund has been in the position since joining the department in 2008. He is a graduate in fire protection from Oklahoma State University. He is also president of Lund Fire Protection.

New officers for the coming year were elected at the December meeting and are:

Ron Heldt, President
Bill Howard, Vice President
Matt Sarcone, Secretary
Ken Samek, Treasurer

Persons and companies involved with security, life safety and low-voltage systems are encouraged and welcome to attend.  If possible, please RSVP to Ron Heldt at ADT Security Systems.