Preface: How I Stumbled Into Fire Protection Engineering is a series of blog posts tracing the roots of my current career. From stumbling upon fire protection as a college student through starting Harrington Group as an entrepreneur, I hope you enjoy the story of my journey into Fire Protection Engineering. I would also like to encourage you to post comments of the moments in which you realized your calling. Thank you for reading and sharing.

At about the same time as the lab project went up in flames, the project with the Worcester Fire Department for my IQP was beginning. Professor Bob Fitzgerald served as my academic advisor and Rex Wilson, the president of FirePro Inc., was my outside advisor.

My work with the firefighters was very human, it screamed tangible. The fire fighters put their lives on the line as a part of their job. They cared about the safety of each other and the victims of fires. When I worked with them, they were very down to earth. They treated me as an equal despite being just a kid at the time. They had a real need and I was able to help them with my project. I hadn’t experienced anything like it before and it ignited a real passion for me to pursue.

The fire protection engineering IQP was a turning point for me. I saw the passion and commitment fire fighters had in defeating fire. It was contagious.

By Jeff Harrington, CEO and Founder of Harrington Group, Inc.