November 1, 2023
When we launched the Construction Fire Safety Coalition and its outreach and education initiatives five years ago, our engagement started out slowly. This was hardly surprising to our team and Fire Service Relations Director Ray O’Brocki. We were a new organization pioneering a new path in the fire safety space and we understood it would take time to develop relationships and credibility among fire service leaders, code officials, building inspectors and developers.
Things have changed, from the early days of reaching out for opportunities to engage to the reality of the last two years as Ray has literally been invited to conferences across the globe to educate on construction site fire safety and more.
Today, we’re pleased to highlight that our team is expanding. Just a few weeks ago, we hired Greg Womack, a fire service veteran with more than 30 years as a firefighter and administrator. In this role, Greg will be heading up our fire service relations in the Western half of the U.S.
Before we share the details of Greg’s role, let’s talk a little bit about his experience. A native of Portland, Oregon, Greg began his career for a local fire department in Beaver Creek, Oregon. After two years, he moved to Boise, Idaho, where he worked for the capital city’s fire department for 29 years, rising to the position of Division Chief of Operations before he retired three years ago. Greg has been recognized as Boise Fire Department Firefighter of the Year and was given the International Association of Fire Fighters Leadership Award in 2016. After taking a year in retirement, he agreed to serve as Fire Chief for Whitney Fire District, which serves an area south of Boise city limits and contracts with the city for fire services.
Greg joined our team on September 1 and is already getting up to speed on our mission to educate about construction site fire safety, best practices, fire testing and performance for tall mass timber and more.
“I’m really excited about this new role and the opportunity to educate the fire service in the West about safety, the wood products industry and the science and current building codes related to fire and wood construction,” he said.
“I grew up in timber country in Oregon and understand the importance of the industry. At the same time, I understand this is importance of continuing education for the fire service and bringing more knowledge to the table for how wood can be used safely and appropriately in a variety of construction types. This is especially important as we’re seeing more and more designers and developers turn to mass timber to build bigger and taller across the West.”
Greg will also be working closely with the American Wood Council as it continues to study, test and develop policy for defensible and hardening of construction for structures in the Wildland Urban Interface, an issue of particular importance in western states prone to wildfires. Greg recently attended another round of testing at the Western Fire Center in Kelso, Wash.
We’re pleased to have Greg as part of our team and efforts to engage with the fire service all across the West. If you’re interested in reaching out to Greg, contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.