Leesburg, VA. – The American Wood Council (AWC) has launched its Fire Service Advisory Council, a national group of fire service experts that will provide AWC and the wood products industry with broad-based advice and guidance on fire safety strategies and tactics regarding wood construction, wood products, and the wood product industry’s engagement with the fire service. The Fire Service Advisory Council provides the opportunity for a productive dialogue with the nation’s Fire Service to address reducing fires in wood construction. The Fire Service Advisory Council is also intended to help identify effective training materials for the Fire Service and enhance the relationship between the Fire Service and wood products industry. The first Fire Service Advisory Council conference call took place on April 30th. This will be followed by a fall in-person meeting during which AWC and the Fire Service Advisory Council will solidify an action plan to drive council activities into 2020 and beyond.

The Fire Services Advisory Council is drawn from fire service leadership ranks across the country, among fire departments of varying size, which serve diverse communities. Current membership of the Fire Service Advisory Council, which is led by Ray O’Brocki, AWC’s Fire Services Relations Manager, is comprised of:

  • Kwame Cooper, Retired Assistant Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department
  • Jack Dempsey, Deputy Fire Chief/Fire Marshal of the Boston Fire Department
  • Carly Helwick, Assistant Chief of the Denver Fire Department
  • Steve Lohr, Fire Chief of the Hagerstown, MD Fire Department
  • Rich Mikutsky, the New Jersey State Fire Marshal
  • Adolf Zubia, Retired Fire Chief Las Cruces, NM and Former State Fire Marshal South Carolina
  • Shane Ray of the National Fire Sprinkler Association

“With new developments and technologies emerging in the construction and wood products industry, it is essential for AWC to listen to, receive input and build strong relationships with those who understand fire safety and prevention best,” said AWC Fire Service Relations Manager Ray O’Brocki. “Over the course of the past few years, wood construction has seen major improvements regarding fire safety. With any changes, however, arise questions. That’s why it is important for AWC and the Fire Service to work together to review training and educational materials, and make suggestions to improve, and even expand, our scope of training.”