About – Tom “Firetalker” Terry

Tom “Firetalker” Terry, Senior Engineering Technician, certified by NICET as LEVEL IV in Water-Based System Layout. Certification Number #64589 (expires in November 2020). 

Over 50 Years in Fire Protection, Tom stared his career straight out of high school in 1966 as a Trainee in the Design Dept. at Grinnell Company (now TYCO) in Warren, OH. Moving around the state, he progressed to a Senior Design position, and then in 1980 became a Contract Sales Representative. In 1983 became a Branch Manager for Viking Fire Protection Systems in their Akron, OH office.

Living the dream… in 1989, Tom and his family relocated to Orlando, FL as the Branch Design Manager at Grunau Fire Protection. In 1993 Tom took an opportunity at Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, also in Orlando, where he became Manager for their Steel Pipe Division in 1995.

In 1998 Tom went over to Wiginton Fire Sprinkler Engineering as their Lead Trainer for a new corporate training department. During his first 12 years there, Tom served wherever he was needed in positions such as Design Manager, Apprenticeship Trainer/Instructor, Adjunct Professor at Seminole Community College, Director of Technical Services, Consultant, and became the mentor for many new design and sales people.

In late 2008 Tom relocated to Knoxville, TN to work as a Senior Designer for the URS Corp. (now AECOM) on possibly the largest engineering job of the decade (A brand new $16.8 billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility).

After 4 years, his part in the preliminary design process for that project was completed and Tom moved back to the Orlando area and returned to Wiginton in a dual Senior Design and Trainer/Mentoring role. He had 9 potential designers under his wing from 2014 to 2018, and 7 survived the cut.

Today all of those design technicians have passed their NICET level II exams, several are NICET certified at level III, 2 have moved into a sales role and 1 has been earmarked for the next Design Manager position that opens up.

Tom decided to retire from the standard 40 plus hour work-week in mid 2018, and headed back to the Knoxville area for some R&R. It did not take long to get bored and the Firetalker Consulting Company was born in late 2018.

Over the years Tom has been involved in the design and management of most types of water-based fire sprinkler projects from a Contractor’s perspective such as: single-family residential (13D), multi-unit/ building apartments (13R) high-rises (13-14), schools, parking garages, storage (13-30), manufacturing, and food processing facilities (13), aircraft hangars (409) fire pumps (20), water storage tanks (22), underground (24) and from an Engineer’s viewpoint, the preliminary fire sprinkler design for Y-12, the NEW Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (Nuclear)…

2020 UPDATE – Looking for a warmer climate, Tom has once again relocated back to the hurricane state, to Florida’s Treasure Coast and will be continuing part-time fire protection operations, dba Firetalker Consulting Services.

Call or email Tom anytime to talk about Fire Sprinkler Protection!