The Australian fire protection sector came together on 9 November 2017 in the beautiful Metropolis venue overlooking the Melbourne skyline to recognise their best and brightest at the Fire Protection Industry Awards Gala 2017.
It was only the second year the Awards have been held, but support from the industry was strong and points to a positive future, according to Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) CEO Scott Williams. Nearly 200 people attended the Gala.
“It is fantastic to witness the support these awards are receiving as we celebrate all that is good about the industry,” said Mr Williams as he opened the event.
The Gala was hosted by TV and radio sports personality Stephen Quartermain, with live entertainment provided by internationally acclaimed Melbourne band BigCityBeat.
The event attracted several dignitaries: Tony Murphy, Deputy Commissioner of Emergency Management Victoria; Adam Dalrymple, Acting Deputy Chief Officer of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade; and Greg Buckley AFSM, Chief Superintendent of Fire & Rescue NSW.
It was a special evening for Award organisers FPA Australia for more than one reason; 2017 was the 20th anniversary of the amalgamation of the Fire Protection Industry Association Australia and the Australian Fire Protection Association, the combination of which became the current Association.
“In that 20 years both the Association and the industry have come a long way,” said Mr Williams. “These awards reflect that, and exist to recognise excellence and commitment across the entire Australian fire protection industry.”
Tragic events like the Grenfell fire earlier in 2017 underlined the importance of the work the industry does, and the need to continually learn and improve.
“It is therefore extremely important to celebrate outstanding individuals and companies in front of their peers, and hold them up as positive examples of this progression,” said Mr Williams. “We aim to support everyone to reach the high standards set by these award winners.”
Six independently judged award categories and two awarded by the FPA Australia Board of Directors were presented on the night to nine deserving winners.
FPA Australia would also like to thank two organisations who have made this event possible with their support. Major Partner Alan Wilson Insurance Brokers is the leading provider of insurance to the fire protection industry.
Award Partner Wormald Australia is an iconic name in Australia fire protection, and this year won the Fire Protection Project of the Year Over $1 Million category.
Young Achiever of the Year
Winner: Jayden Snashall, Australian Safety Engineers
Finalists: Elmo Pavish, Grosvenor Engineering Group; Firas Shawash, Exova Warringtonfire Pty Ltd
Young Achiever of the Year Jayden Snashall started his fire protection career at 18, and is now the Fire Safety Manager for Australian Safety Engineers (ASE). In January 2016 he established his own business, Foam Samples Australia, to test firefighting foam concentrates, which he currently runs alongside his work with ASE.
“Jayden demonstrated his commitment to the industry with his passion for learning, training and professional development,” said judging panellist Kim Brew.
“He implemented many initiatives in his workplace which contributed to positive organisational change. On top of all this, his began his own company and is looking to return to university to finish his MBA and complete further qualifications.”
Barry Lee Technical Excellence
Winner: Rodney Rolfe, Wormald Australia
Finalists: Brett Staines, Staines Investments; David Sharp, Johnson Controls
The Barry Lee Technical Excellence category was awarded to Rodney Rolfe for his dedication over more than four decades to technical training of students and contribution to fire protection industry development.
Currently Wormald Australia’s Learning and Development Manager, Rodney is also the chair of FPA Australia’s Training Technical Advisory Committee (TAC/T), and a member of TAC/2 and the Fire Protection Accreditation Scheme (FPAS) reference group.
He is the representative for the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the Standards Australia FP-002 committee. His previous contributions to the industry’s technical development are numerous.
“Rod Rolfe was a worthy awardee,” said judging panellist Barry Lee. “He has devoted an entire working lifetime to fire protection practice, with demonstrated technical excellence via strong qualifications, well-rounded field experience and continuing professional development.”
Harry Marryatt Fire Protection Company of the Year 1-49 Employees
Winner: Plus Passive Fire
Finalists: Australian Fire Industries
Bushfire Prone Planning
Plus Passive Fire is a young business, founded in February 2016, which draws on the experience of a passive fire certifier and a CFO in the form of co-founders Peter Blain and Gina Patrick.
The company is focused on providing passive fire advisory and certification services for construction companies, particularly in difficult scenarios where compliance is a challenge.
“Plus Passive Fire demonstrated, among other things, clear commitment to adoption of emerging best practice and particularly, we thought, to continuing innovation in a field often overlooked because the work is frequently hidden behind building features such as ceiling voids,” said Mr Lee.
Harry Marryatt Fire Protection Company of the Year 50+ Employees
Winner: DEM Fire & Essential Services Group
Finalist: Chubb Fire and Security
DEM Fire & Essential Services Group began as a pump maintenance company in 1977, before experiencing significant growth following a merger with young business Alliance Fire in 2004.
Training and accreditation of staff has been a major focus for the company, and it has also made contributions to industry development through FPA Australia, Standards Australia and other organisations.
“DEM Fire & Essential Services Group is a family business and showed a great commitment to their staff and the industry,” said Ms Brew.
“They were an early adopter of FPAS for their existing staff, and they have taken on seven apprentices to help the shortage of skilled labour in the fire protection industry. They have a clear commitment to professional development and are active participants in FPA Australia State Committees. They are currently investing in the latest technology for their staff to assist in their day-to-day activities.”
Fire Protection Project of the Year Under $1 Million
Winner: Multiplex Constructions/BOSS Fire
Finalists: Bushfire Prone Planning Firewize
Project of the Year Under $1 Million was awarded to an innovative project to address the risk of non-compliant passive fire measures at tenancy fire walls in an apartment complex.
The project was a combined effort between BOSS Fire and Multiplex Constructions on a 417-apartment development in South Yarra in Melbourne. Multiplex had identified a common risk of sub-trades incorrectly installing penetration seals covering services entering each apartment, and appointed BOSS Fire to install its newly developed Fyrebox to ensure compliance. The Fyrebox is a new centralised penetration seal with intumescent brushes covering all services entering an apartment, yielding significant savings in labour and improved compliance.
“Multiplex in conjunction with BOSS Fire provided an innovative approach to an issue which has been with the fire protection industry since the recognition of passive compartmentation,” said judging panellist Wayne Welson.
“Management of fire penetrations in a large apartment complex needed an out of the box solution. Fighting through resistance from various industries and obtaining approval of their Fyrebox solution, Multiplex and BOSS Fire were deserving winners.”
Fire Protection Project of the Year Over $1 Million
Winner: Wormald Australia
This category was awarded to Wormald Australia for its project to design, develop and install fire protection systems in the Sydney International Convention Centre, Exhibition Centre and Theatre.
Completed in November 2016, the project ran for three years and was distinguished by its size, reflected in the installation of approximately 30,000 sprinkler heads, 1700 detectors and more than 200 alternative solutions in the fire system design.
“Wormald’s winning submission centred around a complex and iconic project,” said Mr Welson. “A high level of technical expertise and project management was required to successfully complete the project.”
“Throughout the project Wormald overcame external obstacles such as an evolving regulatory framework, a vast number of alternative solutions and reducing water supplies. The fire system design also involved sustainability, with substantial water saving during the lifespan of the wet systems.”
A.V Viscogliosi Outstanding Service – Awarded by the FPA Australia Board
Winner: William Lea
Over his 45-plus year career, William (Bill) Lea has worked in all aspects of the fire protection and construction industry from apprentice to project manager. His company Infinity Fire Protection, established 35 years ago, is now a nationally significant operation. He has served as a volunteer firefighter since 1979, and is currently Group Captain in the Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Rural Fire Service.
Bill has an extremely active involvement in the industry. He has chaired and been a member of several of FPA Australia’s TACs and state membership groups, and contributed to the development of numerous Australian Standards.
He has been one of the main drivers behind the development of FPAS, and has committed enormous time to educational work in the fire protection industry. He has been a Director of FPA Australia for nine years, has served on the Executive Committee, and has been the Treasurer of the Association for many years.
Bill’s dedication to improving the professionalism of the industry and leaving a legacy of education and competence are major contributions to the success of the fire protection industry.
Meritorious Service – Awarded by the FPA Australia Board
Winner: Paul Newman
Paul is the Fire and Compliance Manager for Wormald/National Fire Solutions. Having undertaken a locksmith apprenticeship, Paul switched to the fire protection industry as a Key Account Manager for Tyco Australia in 2005, transitioning to Commercial Manager in 2007. In 2009 Paul became the NSW and QLD Regional Training and Compliance Manager for Wormald, and in 2014 accepted his current position.
Paul has consistently contributed to FPA Australia TACs for maintenance, emergency planning and response and training. FPA Australia has also relied heavily on Paul’s local expertise in relation to the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) Fire Occupational Licensing scheme. His assistance has been critical for FPA Australia, promoting scheme changes through representation alongside FPA Australia staff on the QBCC Fire Protection Working Group.
Paul has an MBA/Graduate Certificate in Business Administration and Management and is recognised for his leadership skills and ability to engage, influence and advocate. He is also a member of the FPA Australia Queensland Leadership Team and has supported FPA Australia initiatives via this platform.
Paul Newman is passionate about improving outcomes for the fire protection industry and is a reliable and trusted source of information.
Meritorious Service – Awarded by the FPA Australia Board
Winner: Greg Buckley
Greg is a Chief Superintendent with Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW), with over 30 years experience in operational command, fire investigation and corporate planning. Prior to a recent return to an operational post, Greg was the organisation’s Assistant Director Building Environment and Research, which included responsibility for the Structural Fire Safety, Building Compliance and Fire Investigation and Research Units of FRNSW.
Greg has represented FRNSW on the NSW Building Regulations Advisory Committee, chaired the AFAC Fire Engineering Group and been the long standing representative of AFAC on the ABCB Building Codes Committee.
This diverse range of experience has provided Greg with a wealth of information that he shares freely and astutely.
His evidence in the NSW Coroner’s inquiry into the tragic death of Connie Zhang in the 2014 Bankstown apartment fire led to direct recommendations by the Deputy Coroner Hugh Dillon for regulators to consider cost effective, fit for purpose sprinkler systems as mandatory in residential apartment buildings – a project that he continues to collaborate with key industry stakeholders on.
Greg Buckley has dedicated a lifetime of service to the community, championing improved fire safety outcomes and future generations will continue to benefit from his work.
For more information, go to www.fireprotectionawards.com.au