Innovation takes time, money, patience, and the belief that you can somehow make a difference. It's always easier to copy something successful than it is to innovate.
Don't tell this to Michael Schranz, CEO of IntelliTec Colleges based in Colorado Springs, CO. He'll tell you if you want to change something or you want to move an industry forward, someone has to lead the way, and that's exactly what they're doing.
On April 1st, 2014 IntelliTec Colleges was recognized during the 2014 HVAC Excellence national conference for the HVACR industry in Las Vegas, NV.
Schranz and IntelliTec were recognized for showing how one school with the right vision can change a safety culture, a town, and impact an entire industry.
Bob Dwyer of the Carbon Monoxide Safety Association (COSA) and Howard Weiss of ESCO Group presented the "Carbon Monoxide Safety Leadership Award" to Michael Schranz and Charles Fonda of IntelliTec College in front of this national audience.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas, commonly known as "the silent killer." It sends more than 50,000 people nationally to emergency rooms each year, with often fatal symptoms. The common thread in many of these cases, is they were linked to a furnace or boiler; and worse yet, it was avoidable.
Leadership can come upon any one any time, but being a leader requires risk. The risk of not preparing HVACR students to the hazards of carbon monoxide and combustion gasses was riskier yet to IntelliTec College due to an internal evaluation where it was recognized they were contributing to the incomplete education and preparedness for newly trained & certified technicians reporting for work in the industry.
The common thread in many carbon monoxide deaths, is they were
linked to a furnace or boiler; and worse yet, they were avoidable.
In 2007, the school incorporated a Carbon Monoxide Safety and Combustion Analysis training program into their curriculum for HVACR degree program students.
I have watched this school and program grow and mature with respect to carbon monoxide safety education; not only for the curriculum students but for continuing education students and for those that just want to attend good classes." said Bob Dwyer, Director of Training for the Carbon Monoxide Safety Association "COSA". "I was at the school one early morning and they were teaching a CO safety class to bus drivers who transport senior citizens to doctor visits & other places. This is good stuff."
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The primary CO safety team from IntelliTec College consists of Mike Schranz (CEO), Charles Fonda (Special Projects Manager) and Eric Seltenright (HVACR Program Supervisor). Their coordinated development focus has resulted in educational deliverance and collaborations good for the student, school, workplace and the community.
"There are schools and training centers around the continent that spend some time in discussion of carbon monoxide, perhaps even a slide program with a text book and written exam are given. This thoroughness at IntelliTec is notable and certainly worthy of award recognition by COSA. They have used this vital safety program as a community centering mechanism as well."
In El Paso County, Colorado, all inspections for residential and commercial buildings fall under the jurisdiction of the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department "PPRBD", tasked with inspecting upwards to 1,600 facilities per day for mechanical, structural, plumbing and electrical work. The Building Official for PPRBD Henry Yankowski had attended a COSA CO Safety seminar hosted by the Pikes Peak Mechanical Contractors Association (PPMCA) and co-sponsored by IntelliTec College and others.
He was alerted to the everyday hazards associated with carbon monoxide and soon outfitted his inspectors with personal detectors. They soon discovered contaminated environments every day.
Henry realized that more CO safety education was necessary for many in the industry and he recognized that IntelliTec College had been providing CO & combustion analysis safety training most preferable for the needs of the mechanical contractors under his jurisdiction. Through the administration of the mechanical contractors association PPMCA, the Regional Building Department funded a specialized and enhanced training program at the school's "Monoxide Manor" for licensed Mechanic IV contractors.
What began as an idea to better prepare their students at IntelliTec College turned into an opportunity to provide continuing education to everyone in the HVACR industry and other trades. IntelliTec College has successfully inaugurated change in the culture of mechanical contractors in the greater region they serve. As such other programs around the country continually contact them to emulate their program.
To learn more about the Carbon Monoxide Safety Association, visit them online at www.cosafety.org