Following deadly year, New York continues to underscore its home fire problem. Is your state doing the same?

Published in NFPA

Following deadly year, New York continues to underscore its home fire problem. Is your state doing the same?
By Fred Durso January 19, 2018

We recently published commentary from Jerry DeLuca, a New York safety advocate, about two home fires in two days that killed eight people in his state. Other advocates have been equally vocal about similar tragedies occurring there this month.

A Bronx residential fire killing 13 people in December was deemed the deadliest fire in New York City within the past 27 years. “There has never been a multiple loss of life in any structure protected with a properly installed and maintained fire sprinkler system,” stated John A. Viniello, former president of the National Fire Sprinkler Association, in a recent letter to the editor. “This omission [of fire sprinklers in residences] continues to result in lives lost. The city’s fire department…was on the Bronx fire scene within three minutes, yet people died.

“How much higher does the body count have to get before proactive fire sprinkler legislation is enacted? These deadly fires will continue unless wisdom prevails and the codes are updated.”

Fire fatalities last year in New York City rose 35 percent when compared to fire deaths in 2016, reports the New York Fire Sprinkler Council, an advocacy group that’s a division of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York. While the city has consistently expanded sprinkler requirements, “it is clear the city still has a long way to go in protecting all residents with fire sprinklers,” says Anthony Saporito, executive vice president of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New York. Per the council, New York City hasn’t passed a law improving fire sprinkler safety in residential buildings since 1999.

Are you and the sprinkler advocates in your state just as vocal about your home fire problem? Help raise awareness–constantly–about these tragedies by writing your own letter to the editor or commentary to your local media outlets. Just a couple paragraphs will suffice. Use NFPA’s data or statewide data (if available) to back your reasoning for home fire sprinkler requirements.



MCA – Local 638 Steamfitters CBA

The MCA – Local 638 Steamfitters CBA, effective July 17, 2017 – June 30, 2020, has been finalized. Please contact Shane (shane@nymca.org) or Mischa (mischa@nymca.org) for a PDF version. Agreement books will be printed and mailed when ready. Thank you for your patience.

The PDF version of the MSCA – Local 638 Metal Trades Branch Agreement is expected to be finalized in the coming days.


MCA Members Gather to Discuss Safety

The MCA held its regular Membership Meeting on Tuesday, November 21st at the LaGuardia Marriott. Following a cocktail hour, the contractors and associate members were given a brief update on the latest safety developments in our industry. James Hunt, Safety Manager at Durr Mechanical Construction discussed the new OSHA Silica Standard in effect as well as a few pending and enacted pieces of legislation sure to impact safety for NYC construction companies. Frank Heidinger, MCA Senior VP and Vice President of Operations & Safety at Durr Mechanical, then gave an overview of the BTEA’s “Zero OSHA Recordables” initiative. Members were also made aware of the many resources available at www.mcaa.org to help contractors stay on top of the latest developments in construction safety.

Following the MCA Holiday Party in December, our next MCA Membership Meeting is expected to take place in January 2018. We look forward to seeing you there!



2018 Foreman Training Program – Registration is Open

The Steamfitting Industry Promotion Fund is pleased to announce that registration is open for the Foreman Training Program! This exceptional program recognizes that the need for qualified foreman has never been greater. The Foreman Training Committee has put together a great 4-Day program with 16 FREE HOURS of outstanding education for your Local 638 Journeymen Steamfitters. Please select the candidates you believe are the best among your experienced foremen, or those who have the potential to become quality foremen.

Topics include: Safety, Leadership, Jobsite Organization, Supervision, Labor-Management Relations, and Effective Communication. Instructors for the course will include former Local 638 Journeymen, MCA Contractors, and Local 638 Officers.

Space is Limited!  Find Application and Program Details Here!


Over 250 Fitters Find Advice at 2017 Retirement Seminar

Local 638 fitters from the Construction and Metal Trades branches, joined by spouses, were invited to attend an information-packed day at the LaGuardia Marriott. Following a welcome introduction from Local 638 President Patrick Dolan, presentations from Kevin Driscoll, Executive Administrator, and Bill Turnbull, Controller, of the Steamfitters Industry Trust Funds helped members better understand their pension and healthcare. Matthew Allen, an expert in navigating the complexity of Social Security, shared some strategies for maximizing benefits. Finally, Roger Ross of the Steamfitting Industry Assistance Program was on hand to share some of the many great ways that the SIAP is available to help fitters and their families when a need arises.

The Retirement Seminar, hosted biennially by the Steamfitting Industry Promotion Fund and the Service Fitters Promotional Fund, is organized to help fitters as they near retirement age. The next Retirement Seminar is expected for Fall of 2019, and all Local 638 members are encouraged to reach out to your Steamfitters Industry Fund Office if you need any information on how your funds will impact retirement.



NYC Council Holds Hearing on London Fire Tragedy

On September 26th, the New York City Council Committee on Fire and Criminal Justice held an Oversight Hearing entitled – High Rise Fires and What New York City Can Learn from the London Tragedy.

The first speaker’s panel consisted on representatives from the DOB and the FDNY.  Chief Ferrier, speaking on behalf of the FDNY discussed the methods that the FDNY utilizes to fight high rise fires. Also discussed was whether or not NYC uses any combustible cladding.  The short answer is that yes, there is some combustible cladding somewhat similar to the cladding in the London fire that is used in NYC.  The FDNY has fought two fires with combustible cladding. Also significantly discussed at this hearing was fire protection and New York City Housing Authority apartment buildings.   A tenant representative from the Claremont Apartments in the Bronx cited hat not only did their buildings not have sprinklers, they only have one means of egress.  One in four NYCHA housing complexes consists of 5 and 6-story combustible buildings.

The New York Fire Sprinkler Council provided testimony regarding the efficacy of sprinklers and that fire safety is one example of inequity in our city – existing laws governing residential occupancies only cover new buildings.  Local 638 also provided written testimony to the committee.

We hope to meet with Councilmember Crowley in the near future to continue a discussion on fire sprinklers in existing residential New York City buildings.



Exhibitor Registration is OPEN for the Associate Member Trade Show

Registration is NOW OPEN for our seventh annual Associate Member Trade Show which will take place on Tuesday, September 19th at the LaGuardia Marriott!

The registration deadline is set for August 31st, but this popular event WILL SELL OUT QUICKLY so register TODAY to become an exhibitor in this exclusive event open to MCA New York Associate Member Companies ONLY.

This year we are pleased to offer two options for registration:
To register online and pay by credit card: [button link="https://www.nymca.org/tradeshowregistration/" window="yes"]REGISTER NOW[/button]

To pay by check, please download this PDF and return the completed for with your payment to the address provided.


2017 Retirement Seminar Open for Registration

On Saturday, October 28, 2017 the Steamfitting Industry Promotion Fund of New York and Long Island and the Service Fitters Promotional Fund of New York will co-sponsor an educational retirement seminar for Local 638 Steamfitters and Service Fitters approaching retirement eligibility.  The biennial seminar, co-hosted by officers of Local 638 including President, Pat Dolan, Business Agent-At-Large Robert Bartels and Secretary-Treasurer Robert Egan, is to be held at the La Guardia Marriott Hotel in East Elmhurst.  Attendees will have the opportunity to hear from representatives of the Steamfitters Industry Trust Funds, who will walk them through the retirement process and provide details about their retirement packages specific to their branch of the union.  Additional Industry speakers will also be present to discuss Social Security, Insurance Options, AARP benefits and more.