FESHE Truss Plant Tour a Huge Success

Madison, WI— “This plant tour was a long time in coming,” said Bob Dayhoff, Director of Technical Operations for Shelter Systems. “The Capital Area Chapter of SBCA has been sending educational materials to FESHE for four years. This was a logical next step.”   

On June 2, 2012, the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Academy’s annual conference for their Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education (FESHE) Program turned their focus to light-frame construction.  Remarkably, 112 fire service officials from across the country attended a manufacturing plant tour and wood truss workshop at Shelter Systems in Westminster, MD.  During this educational event, attendees learned a great deal about the capabilities and functions of a structural building component operation with particular emphasis on how components are engineered and manufactured.

While organizing the plant tour, Dayhoff worked with Mike McCabe, Chair of the Fire Science Technology Committee for the National Emergency Training Center.  “Mike told me that his number one goal was to provide attendees a better understanding of light frame component systems with more understanding of the design of those systems,” said Dayhoff.  Over the course of the tour, Dayhoff, along with Shelter’s COO Joe Hikel, gave presentations on various aspects of the component design and manufacturing process.

As a result, fire service officials witnessed first-hand many of the advances that have been made in light frame construction and component design and manufacturing over the past few years.  “I gave a presentation to FESHE at their conference last year,” said Dayhoff. “There were so many questions I wasn’t able to get through my prepared remarks.  Having these fire officials physically in the plant allowed us to answer their questions more effectively.”

Fire service attendees also received numerous educational materials on the fire and structural performance of light-frame building components. A special thanks to the following SBCA Chapters for sponsoring the tour and the distribution of these materials:

  • Mid Atlantic SBCA
  • Mid South Component Manufacturers Association
  • Northwest Truss Fabricators Association
  • SBCA of the Capital Area
  • SBCA of the Carolinas
  • SBCA – Illinois
  • SBCA – New York
  • Western Component Manufacturers Association


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