FSSA regrets to inform you of the passing of Bernard (Bernie) Grove Bischoff, 91, on Tuesday, October 25, 2016. He was the beloved husband of Barbara (Miller). Bernie is survived by three children: Alvin, Shirley (Skiviat), and William; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He was the son of the late Alvin and Ethel Bischoff, of Madison, Wisconsin.
He was a United States Marine Captain who honorably served in WWII and Korea.
Bernie was a Founding Member of the Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA), and served as the organization’s first president. He received the inaugural FSSA Leadership Award in 2008 for his contributions to the special hazards fire protection industry through his dedication in and longevity to the industry, a sense of integrity and fairness, business acumen, a fostering learning, innovation and change, and a cooperative spirit. In many circles, he was affectionately known as “Father Suppression” because of his fervent advocation for the fire suppression industry.
He served on several FSSA Committees and participated in many activities. Bernie represented FSSA on several National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Technical Committees including Carbon Dioxide, Gas Turbine Engines, Hydroelectric Generating Plants, and Electronic Computer Systems.
Bischoff, as a representative of Chemetron Fire Systems, served two terms as President of the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association (FEMA). He also served on the Board of Directors for the National Automatic Sprinkler and Fire Control Association (NAS&FCA), that later became the National Fire Sprinkler Association (NFSA).
He was also active in the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SPFE), and in 2004, received the Joseph B. Finnegan Award, named in honor of the long-time head of the fire protection engineering curriculum at Armour Institute and Illinois Institute of Technology, presented to a person in the Chicago metropolitan area in recognition of outstanding contributions or long devoted service to the field of fire protection engineering.
The Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA) Educational Foundation has established a new memorial scholarship honoring Bernie Bischoff. Contributions can be made directly to the FSSA Education Foundation in his name. Contributions should be sent to: Fire Suppression Systems Association (FSSA), 3601 East Joppa Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21234; 410-931-8100.