Fire installer helps develop college fire program

Steve Lutz donates materials, time, expertise
Wednesday, April 14, 2010

OKLAHOMA CITY—Steve Lutz, president of IFS Resources, returned from this year’s ISC West show just in time to attend the March 31 groundbreaking of a new engineering building at Oklahoma State University’s campus.

“I was an hour late,” he said. But he was happy to catch most of the ceremony, as he’s been an integral part of the fire education program both here and at the university’s Stillwater campus for close to a decade.

Lutz is working with college officials to create curriculum for a new fire alarm technician program. “We’re still working on that. The university has a Fire Protection Engineering Technology and Technologist degrees and certificates, and it has a sprinkler certificate program. We want to put together a program for fire alarm technicians.”

The laboratory is already in place, well equipped with fire panels donated by Fire-Lite, and peripherals donated by IFS Resources. IFS also donated the labor to install the panels and peripherals in the lab.

The Fire Protection Engineering department and lab will eventually be moved into the new engineering building.

Lutz helped develop the fire protection lab at the university’s Stillwater campus ten years ago. “I met the director of the program at that time, and things snowballed from there.”

Beth Welch, public relations manager for Honeywell Fire Systems said other fire installers have been involved in setting up labs at universities around the country.

Among them, are “a local dealer who worked with Lincoln Technical Institute in Union, N.J. to set up a lab with real Fire-Lite equipment for students to have hands-on training, and the same goes for a local installer who helped out with Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, Ill.”

Lutz also donates teaching time at the university, as well as for his local Oklahoma Burglar & Fire Alarm Association. He said he does it for fun, because he believes education is important, and because he hopes such program will be a source of qualified workers in the future.