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More on licensing and associations
June 7, 2019
More on licensing and associations
            In response to Terry Sprinkle, I don’t recall one state licensing act that was asked for, pioneered or developed by ESA (NBFAA). ESA has strict operational rules not to impose its views in statewide legislation where it had a chapter. The ESA certainly would not help anywhere where it was not invited by its members.
            Rather this issue you complain about has been created by each individual state association, or supported by each individual state association with the same purpose, to try and limit competition from the less than reputable  or a.k.a. “trunk slammers”. Reciprocity met with the same fate by cross state line rivals. Speaking directly to what I do know, is that the NYS license Law was asked for and supported by all the associations in the state to protect us from being charged an annual registration fee from every community we did business in. In Westchester County, before the State Law, there were 26 different jurisdictions that required a license and many required annual fingerprinting.
            Now in many states the issue has come back to bite those who follow the Law because those that do are targets for state taxation and regulatory agencies to come and do audits.
            But to round it out, whoever told you that any association is not a PAC, lobbying organization or self-interest group? By definition they are at the most local level and always will be. Just like your chamber of commerce or the Bar Association, Realtors both of which have tests and legislation barring entry. It’s always been the haves vs. the have nots.
            Going back to NY to close out this email, the net result of state licensing was that thousands of dollars became $100.00 a year. That is why you form industry associations and why you should not only belong but participate. Change only come from within, until the government thinks its fixing a problem and then they don’t listen they just act.
Bart A. Didden, President 
U.S.A. Central Station Alarm Corp. 
Port Chester, NY 
Milford, CT 
St. Paul, MN 
            Response to Terry Sprinkle’s comment on NICET II certification
            I’ve been in the fire alarm business in Michigan for 40+ years and I believe NICET certification and state technician licensing has been a great help to our industry.  NICET Level II Fire Alarms has never been the equivalent of a two year associates degree!  It does take two years of full time experience to qualify for Level II certification but that is just one part of the certification process for that level.  NICET Level III & IV require much more of everything.  Many college graduates seek out NICET certification because even if it is not required in there state, they know it will only help them in the future.  I became NICET certified at an old age because I wanted to, not because I had to, and I can testify to you that it was no simple task!  I would say that 99.9% of all municipalities that I have been involved with have a great respect for NICET certification because they know it showcases knowledge, experience & performance of the individual just as NICET has said. 
If I were just starting out in this business in my home state today, I would first need to complete a two year apprenticeship program, then obtain NICET Level II certification, then go to the state capitol and pass a written exam all required to obtain a state “Fire Alarm Specialty Technician License” which then requires an “approved continuing education” program to renew my license.  All of this is a benefit to our industry!
            Terry Sprinkle, with your 30+ years of knowledge, experience & performance, you could choose to take the high road and obtain your NICET certification instead of just complaining about it.  Your employer will most likely be happy to pay the expenses for you, unless of course you are the employer.
            It is NOT all about money!  I’m sure your engineering degree cost money too!  Hope this clears up a few things!
Terry Crandall
Wyandotte Alarm Company
            So where r the associations whit diy state licensing?
            Regarding Mr. Sprinkles comments about ESA and Licensing:
            Mr. Sprinkle does not indicate what state he is from.  So I'm assuming it is one of just a handle of the states that requires Level I training from NTS.  It is not in "most states" as he states.
            Another mis-statement is that there is no requirement in any state to be a member of ESA.  If he requires Level I training then he can pay the nonmember price and still get the training.  What Mr. Sprinkle fails to state is that there are a number of options other than ESA training, if Mr. Sprinkle does not like ESA (which it sounds like), he does not specifically have to use ESA NTS training.
            His third incorrect statement is about the "new guy" getting a license because it's so easy.  As someone who has taken licensing exams in almost every state, and who has 45 years’ experience, I can state that they are not simply a "quick exam".  There is significant paperwork, background information, fingerprinting and more to qualify to sit for the exam and be granted a license upon satisfactory completion of the exam.  The licensing exams and the requirements are state requirements and have nothing to do with ESA.  
            For example, in Connecticut, despite my experience and certifications, I had to pass the journeyman exam, hold it for one year, and then apply for and pass the masters exam.  Nothing to do with ESA at all.
            The list of alternate state requirements goes on an on.  Too long for this forum.  But Mr. Sprinkle could research each state individually himself, or as a member of ESA avail himself of the state licensing guide they have prepared as a service to its members.  
            Try looking at the positive, not the negative Mr. Sprinkle. 
Roy Pollack, CPP SET
Licensed in 35 states
            A comment on licensing. 
            A local low voltage contractor in our area had his C and D licenses rescinded by the state due to nonpayment of state withholding and sales tax.  The state did nothing to notify local AHJ's. Other low voltage contractors found this out through the grapevine and after looking on the state website, this was indeed the case.   This local contractor continued to pull permits and do work in spite of this fact and when this info was brought to the local town AHJ's to try and stop him, we were all told to "mind our own business and let them deal with it".   Unfortunately, they did nothing and this situation went on for almost three years until that contractor paid his debts in full and had his license reinstated.  
            Multiple large projects were permitted, completed and inspected by these same people all during that 3 year period. 
            Licensing is strictly to raise revenue for the states that have it and the ramifications of operating without one, when one is needed, is meaningless, because the ones who should and can do something to police these situations, do not care enough to do so. 
Ralph Aiello 
            My response to your response is: 
            NBFAA ( alias ESA) takes money from members of alarm associations. If you want to join a state association you MUST pay National dues also. 
            (By the way, if anyone is interested, for the last few years in my association, rather than pay national dues, I didn't officially " join " my association. I just went to every meeting and I contributed a $200.00 donation directly to my association at every meeting --- keeping the money local and eliminating national completely)  
            It's been obvious for years amongst alarm association members that they get nothing in return and Terrys plight is just one little example of the gross scam that this defunct organization perpetrates on the alarm trade. Contrary to your statement, licensing DOES NOT regulate those who want to be in the security or alarm business. If it did than (at least in NY State) explain why electricians with no or little training or requirements to take mandated classes that alarm companies are required to take, are allowed to install alarm systems? Are you going to tell me that electricians have a strong lobby? Then again, what does the National BS Alarm Association do for us? Why wouldn't it be in the national (alarm trade) interests to lobby for those issues in individual states?  Tell me the last time or in fact if EVER, the Dept of State has EVER pursued someone in NY state for infractions. ( maybe they have but I've never heard of it) And when issues come up in various states regarding fines, or licensing, why DOESN'T the National Bumbling Alarm Association take action or ever even ASSIST for that matter? If it's allowed to happen in one state then it sets a precedent for other states. Isn't THAT a national issue? Where has the (so called) NATIONAL association ever been regarding that? Isn't it obvious now, why they had to remove the word "NATIONAL" from their name?
            If the installation companies who are affected by these laws are paying dues to an organization, I would expect that they should be getting SOMETHING, for their money. Even if this  defunct good ol boys club doesn't get involved with individual local issues (won't even entertain the thought) or (heaven forbid) individual state issues, you would at least think they'd have the moral fortitude to take up interstate issues. 
            OH yeah, that's right, I just remembered, -------- you can see where your dues go, 
You can read about the junkets, awards and self-aggrandizement meetings every year. 
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Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
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