Jack Swanson proudly displays his " Fire Sprinklers Save Lives" sticker inside his company office in Casper, Wyoming. But the insurance agent with Mountain West Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company wasn't always a full-time sprinkler supporter. In fact, when his client Justin Smith, chair of the Wyoming Fire Sprinkler Coalition, initially asked him to join the group that's focused on home fire sprinkler education, he begrudgingly agreed to attend the first meeting.
"When he first asked me to come, I told him I was pretty busy," Swanson says with a laugh. "But I went and since then I’ve gotten on board with the entire thing. I truly believe in it. Sometimes you surprise yourself when you get so involved in something you didn't expect." Swanson's colleaugue, Gene Kessner, the company's district claims manager, has also joined the coalition.
Swanson's involvement with the coalition became an enlightening experience. Watching a live burn/sprinkler demonstration and discovering the facts about sprinklers, he gradually understood the incredible role these devices play in safeguarding property. "After attending the coalition meetings, I made a few phone calls and sent a couple emails," Swanson tells NFPA. "There was another insurance company giving a [home fire] sprinkler discount ... and I thought that completely made sense."