Rapid Fire Protection
Apprenticeship

Rapid Fire Protection, Inc. believes in raising up excellent tradesmen. With the proper training of our men and women working in the field, they are better equipped to meet our customers’ needs. The practice and value we instill within our employees is a true testament to our core values as a company. Over the course of 23 years, Rapid Fire Protection tradesmen have become nationally recognized as they compete in the national AFSA annual competitions. The craftsmanship that our tradesmen learn throughout competition and time spent on projects helps maintain a safe work space while also satisfying our customers.

Rapid Fire Apprentices Rocky Thompson and Brandon Humphries are recognized by SD Governor Dennis Daugaard and State Department of Labor director Jon Bolger


AFSA Apprentice Competition

AFSA Apprentice Competition

  • Occurs during the American Fire Sprinkler Association Convention & Exhibit.
  • Apprentices from across the country compete in preliminary rounds.
  • Seven finalists compete for the top honors.
  • The winner goes on to compete in the National Competition.

Rapid Fire Protection Professional Tradesmen

  • Sixteen out of the last twenty-three years Rapid Fire Protection apprentices have earned a spot in the National ABC Competition finals and won the national title three times.
  • National Champions:
    • - Chase McClane (2007)
    • - Mark Winder (2010)
    • - Jordan Bretey (2014)
  • We believe this competition to be a legitimate third party testament to our practice of raising up exceptional tradesmen in our ranks that will consistently deliver value to our customer while maintaining Rapid Fire Protection’s core values.

Recruiting For the Next Generation – AFSA Announces Next Gen Initiative with SkillsUSA

One of the greatest challenges our industry faces today is the sustainability of our workforce. As more and more of our experienced employees are retiring, contractors and suppliers across all regions are struggling to find quality young tradesmen, drafters, project managers, estimators, salesmen and engineers who will carry their company legacy into the future. So how can we continue recruit and retain the right, quality and talented individuals into our companies?

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Increasing Productivity - The Field/Office Connection

What is the “secret ingredient” to ensure a successful field workforce? Is it pay, benefits, apprenticeship, mentoring, quality tools and equipment, or maybe communication? This is a question for which companies struggle to find an answer, and one that can make or break the company.

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John Cowger - AFSA National Apprentice Competition Finalist

The 23rd Annual American Fire Sprinkler Association’s National Apprentice Competition took place in Dallas Texas where the nation’s top apprentices competed. The competition began June 11 with 140 apprentices sitting for a written examination...

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Jordan Bretey Wins AFSA's National Apprentice Competition

Seven competitors competed for top honors at the American Fire Sprinkler Association's (AFSA) 21st Annual National Apprentice Competition held October 1 in Orlando, Fla. Over 1,100 attendees witnessed the excitement as the apprentices constructed and pressure-tested a mini fire sprinkler system at AFSA's 33rd Annual Convention & Exhibition. Jordan Bretey with Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, S.D., won first place; Connor J. Rieve with Firestop, Inc., Bethel, Conn., won second place; and Eric Dunn with Reliable Fire Protection, Little Rock, Ark., took third place.

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Mark Winder Wins Gold

The winner of the 2010 Robert McCullough AFSA Training for Excellence Award was Mark Winder, Rapid Fire Protection, Inc., Rapid City, S.D.. In addition to his first place plaque, Winder won $5,000 and the opportunity to represent AFSA...

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Springboard to Success:
Apprentice Competition Creates Culture of Excellence


Sprinkler Age Article Written by Rod DiBona

One of AFSA’s newest committee members Rod DiBona, vice president of Rapid Fire Protection, Rapid City, S.D., recently sat down to reflect on AFSA’s National Apprentice Competition and how it affected his career and his company. With the deadline to enter the 2014 National Apprentice Competition nearing (see details on pages 25-26 of this issue), those apprentices who are considering entering and contractors who are considering encouraging their apprentices to enter may find DiBona’s comments helpful.

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"We can say without any doubt that your men met and even exceeded your promises." Mark Sheanshang, PE, LEED AP, Vice President, Layton Construction Company