A Jar of Honey

The shear magnitude of our fire fatalities and economic losses year after year, should remind us all that Americans deserve better.

That is why I brought up the extensive world affairs examples. To prove that as a nation, we have shown that we have the historical maturity to negotiate with our adversaries and use diplomacy to protect our national interest. In our field of fire and life safety, we could and should learn, and do the same in dealing with our opponents. Undoubtedly, our task is much easier to accomplish, because we are not confronting our mortal enemies, but dealing with our peers and fellow public servants. We have just got to put our hearts in it. That is all.

Back in 1977, through great diplomatic efforts, we were successful in reaching to the other side of the fence, getting Egypt to break rank with the rest of the Arab world and away from the Soviet influence, to sit down with Israel and sign the Camp David peace agreement. Undoubtedly our political and financial efforts in supporting Egypt for the past three decades have been of great value for our national interest in that volatile part of the globe.

Using that analogy on how diplomacy worked in creating a historic alliance shift; why don't we use diplomacy and national cooperation to get the building officials off the fence and onto our side? We need to establish that long-term strategic alliance with them that could best protect our public.

Offer them an olive branch. Give them a jar of honey, and support their legislative efforts. It is a good gesture and a well worth effort on our part. At the end, it would only strength our common bond of striving for a safer community. Remember that it would not only ensure that the public is safer, but that our own firefighters are as well.

Azarang (Ozzie) Mirkhah, Firehouse.com Contributing Editor, is the Fire Protection Engineer (FPE) for the City of Las Vegas Department of Fire & Rescue. His responsibilities include reviewing all building fire and life safety system designs and submittals to insure compliance with the federal, state and local fire and life safety codes and standards. Mr. Mirkhah is also involved in the development of fire & life safety codes and standards for the city.

Mr. Mirkhah is a registered professional engineer with more than 25 years of work experience in the field of fire protection engineering. Mr. Mirkhah joined the Las Vegas Fire & Rescue (LVF&R) more than 12 years ago. Prior to that Mr. Mirkhah worked as a consultant designing fire protection systems for some of the most internationally recognized fire protection consulting firms.

Mr. Mirkhah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME), and a Masters degree in Public Administration (MPA). Mr. Mirkhah is a 1999 graduate of the National Fire Academy's Executive Fire Officer Program. Mr. Mirkhah is a Certified Building Official, Certified Fire Inspector, Certified Mechanical Inspector, and Certified Plans Examiner through the International Code Council (ICC).

Mr. Mirkhah is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and serves on the national NFPA 13 Technical Committee for Sprinkler System Discharge Design Criteria. Mr. Mirkhah is a member of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) a member of the Institution of Fire Engineers (IFE) - USA Branch. Mr. Mirkhah is also a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). You can contact Mr. Mirkhah at: amirkhah@lasvegasnevada.gov. To view all of Ozzie's articles on Firehouse.com, please click here.