SOCIETY OF FIRE PROTECTION ENGINEERS - HOUSTON

 

SFPE Houston History

The Houston Chapter of SFPE was officially charted on September 20, 1974 as the 23rd SFPE local chapter. Jim Nolan and Chet Schirmer presented the Charter to the Chapter. The local group that initially organized and provided leadership for our Chapter included Paul Leonhart, Frank Walters, and Leo Brown.

The Past Presidents of the Chapter are as follows:

Year President
1974-75 Frank Walters
1975-76 Leo Brown
1976-77 Paul A. Leonhart
1977-78 Frank Walters
1978-79 Nick Bacille
1979-80 David Fiedler
1980-81 Ronald Hansen
1981-83 John Echternacht
1983-85 Laurence Watrous
1985-87Randolph Tucker
1987-89James Coco
1989-91Christopher Vollman
1991-93Jay Jablonski
1993-95Larry Owen
1995-97Kevin O'Neill
1997-99Michael Crowley
1999-2001Sandy Jones
2001-2003Debra Miller
2003-2005Charlie Gerschefski
2005-2007Todd Peiffer
2007-2009Ed Cope
2009-2011Peter Rollinger
2011-2013 Rob Hicks 
 2013-2015Will Clay
2015-2016Amy Flower 


 

Our Chapter meetings are mainly dinner meetings, but occasionally we have mixed in lunch meetings. Over the years, our meetings have been held at the Houston Engineering & Scientific Society Building (HESS), the Houston Fire Museum, St. Arnold's Brewery, and Brady's Landing. Recently, many chapter meetings have been held at the Saltgrass Steakhouse on Shepherd.

 

The Chapter has sponsored and co-sponsored SFPE functions at the NFPA Annual meetings in Houston (1976) and San Antonio (1990). Throughout the years the Chapter has held seminars on High-Rise Fire Safety, Texas State Board of Insurance Supplemental Rules to NFPA 13, Industrial Fire Protection, Fire Protection for Offshore Platforms, and Designing Fire Protection Systems. In 1980, the Houston Chapter held its first seminar on Offshore Fire Protection, in which over 100 professionals attended.

The Houston Chapter received the Bronze 2010 Chapter Excellence Award, recognizing the Chapter's contributions in advancing the profession and goals of the Society. The award winners were determined by a five member task group of the Board of Directors of SFPE. Sixteen Chapter Excellence Awards were presented at the Chapter Senate Meeting at the Astor Crown Plaza in New Orleans, LA on Sunday, October 3, 2010.


 

A chapter newsletter was initiated in 1987 entitled "Hot Stuff," and in 1998 the newsletter's name was changed to "Bayou Blaze." Some of our major chapter events throughout the years have included fire protection trade shows, golf tournaments, and the awarding of student scholarships to further the education of fire protection. The Chapter has also held meetings in conjunction with tours of various facilities in the Houston area, such as the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, the Houston Fire Museum and Port of Houston Authority Fire Boats.

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