About – Tom “Firetalker” Terry

Thomas F. Terry III, Senior Engineering Technician, NICET LEVEL IV in Water-Based System Layout. Certification Number #64589 (expires in November 2020).

Over 50 Years in Fire Protection, Tom stared out of high school in 1966 as a Trainee in the Design Department at Grinnell Co. in Warren, OH. Moving around the state he progressed to a Senior Design position, and became a Contract Sales Representative there. In 1980 he moved over to Viking Fire Protection Systems also in Ohio as a Branch Manager. Then in 1989 he relocated to Orlando, FL where he became a Branch Design Manager at Grunau Fire Protection. In 1993 Tom moved over to Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers, also in Orlando, where he again went through the ranks to become the Steel Division Manager. Then in 1998 Tom moved to Wiginton Fire Sprinkler Engineering as the Lead Trainer for a new corporate training department. During his first 12 years at Wiginton, 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 the mentor for many new design and sales people.

In late 2008 the bottom fell out of the market in Florida and after a forced “vacation” 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 ($16.8 billion dollar Uranium Processing Facility). After 4 years his part on that project was completed and Tom moved back to Orlando and Wiginton, for another 4 years in a full-time Senior Design and mentoring role. He had 9 potential designers under his wing during that time and 7 survived the cut. All those have passed their NICET II exams, 2 are now in sales and 1 has been earmarked as the next Design Manager.

Getting bored after retiring in 2017, Tom decided to hang out his shingle and relocate back to the Knoxville area for another shot at a piece of that huge project (which did not happen until mid 2019) and the Firetalker Consulting Company was born.

Over the years Tom has been involved in the design and management of most types of 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 view the preliminary design for Y-12, the national Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (Nuclear)…