October 25, 2007 – The National Fire Sprinkler Association Board of Directors unveiled its latest sponsored initiative, an Advocates’ Coalition called Common Voices, at its October Board meeting in New York City. The NFSA Board began building this Coalition in February of 2007 by bringing together fire advocates who have been affected by fire, but have turned tragic events into advocacy by supporting fire sprinklers.

The Coalition is well on its way to making a difference, with a plan that includes education, advocacy, and promotion of fire sprinklers. The six individuals who are serving as the Advisory Board for the Coalition include:

  • Bonnie Woodruff, mother of Ben Woodruff
  • Gail Minger, mother of Michael Minger
  • Vina Drennan, widow of John Drennan, FDNY Fire Captain
  • Amy Acton, Burn Survivor and Director of The Phoenix Society
  • Justina Page, mother of Amos Page
  • Donna Henson, mother of Dominic Passentino

The four mothers all have lost children to fire. The efforts of the Advisory Board include a plan to provide testimony and a speakers’ bureau for others that are pursuing fire sprinkler legislation across the country. They have identified as priorities work on the Fire Sprinkler Incentive Act, a bill in both the House and Senate in Washington, D.C. , and participation with the IRC Residential Fire Sprinkler Coalition, a group focused on the inclusion of fire sprinklers in residential code requirements.

The Common Voices Coalition will also target specific national television programs in an effort for their grass-roots message to be heard. America has a fire problem, and fire sprinklers are part of the solution. The Advocates put a face on the statistics and bring the problem to life.

For more information about the Coalition, including a video that documents the formation of the group, visit www.fireadvocates.org and join the proactive work of the advocates. Vickie Pritchett, Associate Director of Public Fire Protection for the NFSA is serving as the facilitator of the Coalition and may be reached at 615-533-0305 or vickiepritchett@aol.com.