NFPA Sprinkler Seminar in Krakow
22 june 2017
In-depth understanding of NFPA standards. When Leszek Golachowski set the date for a 5-day NFPA seminar/training on sprinklers in Krakow (Poland), he was not really surprised that all seats were filled quickly. “There is a lot of interest in sprinklers in Poland and in other countries in the region. This course was long overdue, given the great need among companies in Poland to better understand the standards. I am glad that we at Riskonet Poland were able to jump in to address the needs.”
Sprinkler systems are a very current topic in Poland. Polish legislation actually promotes application of sprinkler systems in modern buildings. And obviously, anyone who is dealing with risk management can read the latest NFPA standards. “But applying the standards in real situations requires in-depth understanding”, says Leszek Golachowski, Senior Consultant for Riskonet Poland. “To solve issues, to make the right choices when the standard does not seem to fit in a real, practical situation, one needs to understand the ideas behind the standards. The seminar provided just that, and more. It was a wonderful chance to discuss sprinklers with NFPA Instructor Bob Caputo, who practically wrote the NFPA standard on sprinklers.”
The seminar attracted a lot of interest, as there are not many opportunities like this one. Most trainings on this subject tend to be provided by manufacturers, offering a limited scope of learning. As going abroad to attend international trainings focused on NFPA standards does not fit everybody’s budget, Golachowski took the initiative for the training in Poland. He purposely kept the number of students to 28 (23 from Poland, five from other countries in the region), “to maximize the chances of real interaction. I was sorry to have to disappoint some applicants, but it was necessary to offer a top-quality learning experience.”
The seminar was the first official NFPA training in Poland. The program covered three standards: NFPA 13 (Sprinkler systems), NFPA 20 (Fire pumps) and NFPA 25 (Maintenance). “We had 30 participants, of which most participated in all three seminars. “The training offered intensive, school-like classes, commencing 9am and finishing 5pm. It was very demanding for both the instructor and all participants”, Leszek explains.
Knowledge and comedy
Bob Caputo – NFPA Instructor – was keeping the audience awake by a healthy mixture of professional knowledge and comedy. “He was also giving a hard time to simultaneous interpreters who provided translations throughout the training. During the part of the training, Bob was supported by Tom de Nooij, NFPA instructor and Managing Partner at Riskonet in The Netherlands.” It was not all hard work – on one evening, all participants were invited by Riskonet for an integration dinner.
In their reviews and feedback, the participants awarded high marks for both the instructor, especially his professionalism and the experience he brought to the class. Also, the interpreters and the organization received high marks. Leszek Golachowski: “The course offered the participants the unique opportunity to discuss specific Polish issues and how they can be solved within NFPA regulations.”
Apply new knowledge
The course offered class exercises, calculation instructions, learnings from earlier cases and challenges and problem-solving tasks based on real-life situations. “This way, the course offered far more than basic understanding of the NFPA standards – participants are now able to apply new knowledge on the challenges they face”.
Several participants expressed the will and need to cooperate on a professional level to deliver generic solutions to some of the recurring problems concerning the application of sprinkler systems in buildings. Leszek Golachowski is happy to play his part in this on behalf of Riskonet Poland: “We will lead the way in helping these fire protection professionals to communicate and will make contributions into solving those problems.”
Most of the participants expressed the need to participate in other NFPA seminars, which will be duly organized by Riskonet Poland next year.