I was fortunate early in my career to work with very talented fire protection experts, Vic Williamson, Fred Roberts, Bruce Scheiman and Bernie Bischoff. Bernie was the consummate professional, well respected, very friendly and a great travel companion. My first ever business trip was with Bernie. He and I went to DC to conduct a presentation to naval architects, engineers, the USN and USCG. I was terrified, but quickly realized no one in the audience knew more about fire protection than Bernie, which eased my mind and made life good. I learned a lot from Bernie, a lot of others did too, we should all be thankful for that opportunity. Rest in peace Bernie, we will miss you.
John Trinajstch — UTAS/UTC
Throughout the 35 plus years of our friendship, Bernie Bischoff (BGB) gave me, my wife Karen our colleagues and friends the great gift of being part of our professional and personal lives. His vast knowledge of life and our unique industry was given freely and above all without prejudice or pretentiousness. These attributes were combined with a great sense of humor. Bernie’s daughter Shirley called shortly after his death; she said his final passage was reminiscent of the many journeys he had taken throughout his life. Fond memories of Bernie will remain with us forever.
Fred Hildebrandt – Janus
I believe the year was 1994 when the NFPA Conference and Expo was held in San Francisco. Who isn’t anxious to return home after a business trip? However, because I was new to the special hazards side of the industry Bernie stayed over the weekend with me and sketched out and explained numerous types of special hazards and their protection options. The next week we made sales calls in the Bay Area and he gave me the fine points of what to (or not to) say. Our calls included PG&E’s headquarters and one of their powerplants about an hour outside of San Francisco. I still have a vivid memory of Bernie climbing onto the equipment to check the size of the selector valve and the PG&E guy almost having a heart attack. God broke the mold when he made Bernie: he was the absolute best.
Don Fletcher – Chemetron Retired
I worked with and for Bernie for 30+ years. He was without a doubt the most highly respected and well known individual in our industry. He was a mentor to many and a Friend to All!
I met my wonderful wife Rene when Bernie hired her in the Marketing Department.
It seems that Bernie knew everyone associated with Fire Protection for wherever you went his name would be mentioned. He was best known for his expertise in High + Low Pressure CO2. In fact he wrote the LPCO2 Bible!
His career started in the early 50’s with Cardox and experienced six acquisitions to the present UTC.
A Funny Story…
He was noted for spilling food on his ties during a meal. It was his Birthday and we thought of a good funny gift. Rene and I went to the Salvation Army and found 3-4 ties that had stains on them. We wrapped them with a note that said “They are pre-stained” to save you the time and effort to stain new ones! Bernie laughed and laughed and always mentioned it each time I saw him over the years.
Another memory was that Bernie had incredible knowledge of everything and never really got mad or frustrated, or talked in vain about anyone. It was an absolute honor to have known Bernie and I will always remember him as a ‘person of distinction’.
Deke MacPherson – Chemetron (Retired)