“Fire Sprinklers Save Lives” Award

Rapid Fire Protection’s Vice President, Rod DiBona, and the Mayor of Rapid City, Steve Allender, recently presented Tim Behlings, Division Chief and Fire Marshal of Rapid City, with the “Fire Sprinklers Save Lives” Award.

In 1998, the American Fire Sprinkler Association based out of Dallas, Texas, created the "Fire Sprinklers Save Lives" Award to recognize one individual per year outside of the fire sprinkler industry, who helps generate public awareness of the truth about this life-saving technology.

Tim Behlings, Division Chief and fire marshal of Rapid City, has navigated the waters of amending the International Fire Code to significantly reduce the threshold to require sprinklers and initiated common-sense solutions that have enticed business owners, developers, and homeowners to choose fire sprinklers. Additionally, Chief Behlings was the main advocate to start the “Rapid City Life Safety Loan Program” supporting fire sprinkler retrofitting.

Tim Behlings is, clearly, a deserving recipient of this award. The last 17 years have been spent in the Rapid City Fire Department Fire and Life Safety Division. In 2009 he was promoted to Division Chief and Fire Marshal. He is recognized as a non-typical Fire Marshal, encouraging creative, out-of-the-box solutions to meet the objectives of adopted codes and standards. His philosophy places a greater emphasis on educating and problem-solving rather than just enforcement activities. Being a staunch community risk reduction and fire sprinkler advocate has given Division Chief Behlings the opportunity of allowing Rapid City’s experiences to be shared across the State of South Dakota, including testimony before the South Dakota Legislature. For Chief Behlings, promoting public safety is truly a passion and not just a job.

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