PDI Announces Corporate Promotions and Personnel Additions to the PDI Team

San Antonio, TX – April 15, 2017

Protection Development, Incorporated (PDI) is pleased to announce the following Corporate Appointments, as well personnel additions to the PDI team:

David R. EmlerDavid R. Emler, B.Sc., ICC CBPE, ICC CFPE

Vice President – Codes and Permitting

PDI is pleased to announce that David Emler has been promoted to Vice President – Codes and Permitting.  Prior to his promotion, David was Senior Fire Protection & Code Analyst and Permitting Section Manager.


Misty EmlerMisty M. Emler, BSOE

Vice President – Administration

PDI is pleased to announce that Misty Emler has been promoted to Vice President – Administration.  Prior to her promotion, Misty was Contracts & Proposals Administrator, Executive Assistant & Office Manager.


Jim Griffith, P.E.James R. Griffith, P.E., B.Sc.

Vice President – Engineering

PDI is pleased to announce that Jim Griffith has joined PDI as Vice President – Engineering and Senior Fire Protection Engineer.

As Vice President of Engineering and Senior Fire Protection Engineer, Jim will lead PDI to meet the needs of our clients, including the conceptual development and design of fire protection systems, regulatory code review, life-safety analysis, thermal analysis and modeling of fire dynamics, design and analysis of smoke control systems, and commissioning of fire protection systems. Jim also brings extensive experience in conducting large-scale fire testing programs for the rail / transit, construction, offshore, petrochemical and nuclear industries and various government agencies.

Immediately prior to joining PDI, Jim worked with the Development Services Department with the City of San Antonio (2013 – 2017). During this period he established and managed the Special Projects Review Team and was responsible for coordinating expedited plan review by all trades. Later, he managed the Fire Plans Review Team, working closely with the San Antonio Fire Department for compliance review of fire protection systems permits and approval of alternative methods of protection proposed through the Code Modification Request (CMR) process.

From 2008 to 2013, Mr. Griffith served as Senior Fire Protection Engineer and Manager for the Center Institutional Safety Services (CISS) contract at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC). Major areas of responsibilities included safety, fire protection, training, maintenance of fire protection systems, test safety, safety information systems, and special projects at JSC, the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (Sonny Carter Training Facility) and Ellington Field Joint Reserve Base. 

Prior to 2008, Mr. Griffith worked with Southwest Research Institute’s Mechanical Engineering Division and the Department of Fire Technology where he was responsible for large-scale testing programs and research for the transportation (especially rail and transit), construction and nuclear industries and various government agencies.


Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The University of Texas at San Antonio – 1987


Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.)

Mechanical Engineering Branch Specialty – 1993

Fire Protection Engineering Branch Specialty – 1995

Texas Board of Professional Engineers

State of Texas (No. 77757)


About Protection Development, Incorporated (PDI)

PDI 30 Year LogoFounded in 1985 as a fire protection engineering firm, PDI provides a full spectrum of fire protection engineering services including sprinkler and fire alarm design, fire and smoke modeling, and performance-based designs offering innovative solutions to complex fire and life-safety challenges. In addition, PDI provides consulting services for fire, building, and life-safety code compliance, including plans review and the issuance of commodity letters. PDI also provides government third-party plan review services on behalf of local, state, and federal agencies. In addition to its engineering and consulting services, PDI, through its Permitting Section, assists its clients in negotiating the complex permitting process, managing that process from initial application, through all necessary inspections, to final Certificate-of-Occupancy.

To learn more about PDI, visit our website at www.pdifire.com.

About PDI Rail Solutions

PDI-Rail-LogoIn June 2009, PDI expanded its commitment to the rail / transit consulting business by launching a new, dedicated division, aimed specifically at that industry. That division is called PDI Rail Solutions.

To learn more about PDI Rail Solutions, visit our website at www.pdirail.com.

PDI is a Texas Registered Engineering Firm (Firm Number F-2816), licensed under the authority of the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE).

PDI Announces Corporate Promotions and Personnel Additions to the PDI Team (pdf version)

PDI Founder and Principal Fire Protection Engineer Participates in USA Fire Chiefs Delegation to Poland

San Antonio, Texas
October 11, 2016

Robert C. Andrews, Jr., P.E., Protection Development, Incorporated (PDI) Founder and Principal Fire Protection Engineer, just returned to San Antonio from a ten-day study visit to Poland.

The trip was organized within the USA – Poland INFIRENET (International Fire & Rescue Network) Project and co-sponsored by the Institution of Fire Engineers United States of America Branch and the Main School of Fire Service in Poland.

Andrews was one of six delegates representing the United States.  While in Poland, Andrews made a formal presentation at a Polish – American Seminar at the Main School of Fire Service in Warsaw.  His topic, Use of the ICS system and Mutual Aid in Catastrophic Events, was well received by the 150 senior fire officers and emergency management professionals who attended from throughout Poland. 

For more information see: https://www.sgsp.edu.pl/en/news/study-visit-from-usa-90.html

PDI Founder and Principal Fire Protection Engineer Participates in USA Fire Chiefs Delegation to Poland (PDF Version)

Five Minutes with Bob Andrews, CEO of the Bob Andrews Group

Jul 17, 2014, 6:00am CDT UPDATED: Jul 17, 2014, 10:35am CDT

Reporter-San Antonio Business Journal
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President & CEO Robert C. Andrews, Jr. BAG-ERS

Bob Andrews, the CEO of the Bob Andrews Group, says South Texas communities face challenges in fire protection and safety as they deal with Eagle Ford Shale growth.

San Antonio-based Bob Andrews Group, an entity that provides fire-protection services for public- and private-sector clients, has expanded recently to keep pace with the rocketing growth in domestic oil-and-gas production. While some of the company’s new ventures are focused on the shipping and storage of oil, it also has beefed up staff to help South Texas businesses and communities deal with building and development challenges brought on by the exploding Eagle Ford Shale.

We asked founder and CEO Bob Andrews to discuss permitting and safety issues faced by South Texas municipalities and to outline his company’s recent growth.

Q: Fire protection and code issues have become significant in South Texas communities dealing with brisk growth from the Eagle Ford Shale. Is that an opportunity Bob Andrews Group is exploring?

A: The Bob Andrews Group provides a unique combination of both emergency response and fire protection engineering services which can be greatly beneficial to those companies and those communities that are having to deal with the rapid growth in the Eagle Ford. We provide municipalities with engineering, plans review and code compliance support. Municipalities are often unable to grow their staffs fast enough to keep up with private sector growth. In order for Texas and other states experiencing major energy-related growth to expand safely, we must make sure that all new construction meets the applicable fire- and life-safety codes. A major part of keeping our communities safe is in the plans review and permitting process.

Protection Development Inc., one of the Bob Andrews Group companies, is unique in that we have the proven experience in working with municipalities, as an outside resource, to help them through this growth period. For our private sector clients, making sure that their construction packages, when submitted for review, are complete and meet all code requirements allows their project to proceed through the system as fast as possible. We also routinely conduct technical analyses, often required by regulatory agencies in the region. Specifically, in the city of San Antonio, there is a cutting edge program that fast-tracks projects reviewed and certified by our fire protection engineers. In summary, it’s not just about growth, but rather, responsible growth. We are proud to be doing our part to make sure that safety is an integral part of making America energy independent.

Q: I understand that PDI has done some recent hiring. Talk a little about that.

A: PDI is a fire protection engineering firm located in San Antonio that provides fire protection design and code review services throughout Texas. PDI Fire, as we are known locally, recently hired personnel in the fire protection design, permitting and codes-review departments to make sure that we are able to maintain our high level of customer service during what is a major growth period for us. Our growth is in a large part directly related to the overall economic growth affecting San Antonio, the Eagle Ford and the rest of Texas.

Yung Wei Tang, P.E., has been promoted to fire Protection engineer – modeling specialist. Yung Wei has a master’s degree in fire protection engineering and will be helping our clients with complicated projects. He brings special experience in smoke-control modeling and other specialized computer-modeling techniques. Yung provides our clients with considerable talent in the analysis of complex fire protection problems and systems.

We have added Robert Waxler to our engineering department. Robert was recruited from the Austin Fire Department where he worked in the fire prevention office and performed building and fire plans review. Robert has a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has considerable experience in the design review of fire protection systems.

David Emler has returned to PDI to manage our permitting department. This department assists building owners, architects, contractors and developers through the sometimes-complicated permitting process. This not only helps our clients, but also helps governmental entities keep up with their growing demands. We do this by ensuring that permitting package submittals are both accurate and complete, reducing the number of resubmitted packages. The result is an expedited review/permitting process for all parties.

Q: The Bob Andrews Group did a recent reorganization. What prompted that?

A: The reorganization affects personnel in both PDI and the Bob Andrews Group.

First, John R. Cochrane, P.E., has returned to full-time status with PDI. John was one of the founding members of PDI back in 1985 and was serving as the President of PDI when he was activated as a Navy Captain after 9-11. He took a leave of absence from PDI to lead the port security efforts for Navy installations throughout the Puget Sound. After his Navy duty, John remained with PDI as a consulting principal fire protection engineer, specializing in major project work as well as legal consulting. John is managing this major growth phase as the senior vice president and general manager of PDI. John brings over 40 years of firefighting and fire protection engineering experience along with his lifelong personal relationships throughout our industry, not only in the San Antonio area but nationwide.

Second, we have added to Sam Goldwater’s responsibilities. Sam, as senior vice president of the Bob Andrews Group, has also been assigned the position of senior vice president – business development of PDI and assigned the duties of senior fire protection consultant. Similar to John Cochrane, Sam also has over 40 years of fire protection experience and has specific experience working with fire departments and government agencies. He is helping local governments, especially those jurisdictions in the Eagle Ford, deal with the operational and governmental compliance challenges that are arising from our regional growth. Sam has worked with fire departments coast-to-coast, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Chicago, helping them improve operationally – in many cases by introducing new technologies.


Celebrating the Success of Our Employees – YungWei Tang, P.E.

PDI is proud to announce that


YungWei Tang, P.E.


is now a Registered Fire Protection Engineer

YWTYungWei Tang, P.E. has been with PDI since 2010 and has proven to be a valuable asset and a dedicated employee. A graduate of Worcester Polytechnic Institute, he earned both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science in Fire Protection Engineering. He has significant project experience in fire protection systems design, life safety reviews, and smoke/fire modeling. Mr. Tang is a talented engineer and he takes pride in using his skills to help a project reach successful completion.

We are delighted to celebrate the personal and professional accomplishments of our employees. The determination and dedication of the professionals at PDI enable us to serve our clients, maintain high ethical standards, and contribute to the communities in which we live and work. At PDI, we value our employees and continually invest in each person to encourage professional growth and promote work/life balance. We have worked hard to create a work environment in which employees are engaged, motivated, and thoroughly enjoy their contribution to our firm’s success.

Click here to view a PDF version of this news release: Press-Release-YungWei-Tang-PE

PDI Welcomes David Emler and Announces Expansion of Services

DRE-pictureProtection Development, Incorporated (PDI) is pleased to announce the addition of David Emler to our team as Permitting Services Manager. David, a graduate of Angelo State University, has over 10 years of experience in permitting commercial construction in San Antonio. Additionally, he is certified by the International Code Council as a Building Plans Examiner and as a National Standard Building Contractor. David is highly skilled in building and fire codes and has a long-standing relationship with the City of San Antonio, Bexar County, and surrounding municipalities.

David will lead this growing part of our business and, with his experience at a local architectural firm, will expand our services to include:

Assistance with Preparing Special Inspections Documentation
Construction Inspection Issues
Unified Development Code Consulting
International Energy Conservation Code

As the Permitting Services Manager, David plans to expand PDI’s permitting service areas to several additional municipalities currently served by our engineering group.

Contact David Emler via email to demler@pdifire.com or by calling 210.828.7533.

Download a printable copy: PDI-Welcomes-David-Emler-and-Announces-Expansion-of-Services