The scene of any fire itself is evidence, and the testimony of a trained Fire Investigator, Law Enforcement Officer, D.A. Prosecutor, Insurance Investigator, or Private Investigator concerning observation and findings at an unchanged fire scene is vitally important to the successful clearance of the case. Improper protection of the fire scene will usually result in the contamination, loss, or unnecessary movement of physical evidence.
The First Law Enforcement Officer, or Firefighter to arrive at the scene of the fire automatically incurs the serious and critical responsibility of securing the fire scene and must take precautions to protect its remains unchanged. Physical Evidence in and about the fire scene is highly fragile in the sense that the elements, time, inadvertent movement, improper handling and packaging, and numerous other influences can reduce or destroy its evidentiary value. The Legal and Scientific Standards concerning the collection and processing of physical evidence are rigid. Thus, mistakes can easily be made in processing the crime scene, however, the more important fact is that mistakes can be easily avoided if sound procedures are followed.
The proper means of processing a fire scene, photographing, marking, tagging and packaging evidence and transporting it requires specialized training. However, this is of a nature that is within every investigators ability to acquire. What is required, in addition to procedural knowledge is an appreciation of what could potentially be evidence, and what types of information the investigator might obtain from different physical material.
A systematic search of a fire scene demands an understanding of basic procedures, and appreciation of the “Why” of certain actions, and close attention to detail in carrying them out.
This training deals with the considerations, guidelines, Standards and procedures that will help avoid an oversight, insure thoroughness of the search, and to comply with both legal and scientific requirements that always bear on the use of physical evidence.
THE PURPOSE OF THIS COURSE:
The purpose of this course of training is to provide Fire Investigators, Law Enforcement Officers, Insurance Investigators, D.A. Prosecutors, Private, Military investigators and other professionals with the necessary knowledge in fire scene investigation pertaining to proper evidence collection procedures and documentation.
In any investigation the goal is to demonstrate that we have applied all of the proper and accepted practices including a systematic approach and a proper scientific method during the investigation.
We must document how we referenced the accepted literatures in our field during the investigation and that no weakness or improperly applied methods in our case can be demonstrated.
This course use references from the following literatures- NFPA® 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator, NFPA® 921 Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations and applicable ASTM International standards as they pertain to evidence collection.
- I.A.A.I. Certified Fire Investigators: Testing for this course is optional for CFI Points.
- C.F.E.I. Examination (Certified Fire and Explosion Investigator, National Association of FIre Investigators) - Examination will be offered at this class. Certifications will be granted to those whose applications are accepted and who pass the examination. Applications for membership and certification will available at the class. For additional informationcall the NAFI office at 877.506.NAFI or visit the website at www.nafi.org. Membership is $55.00. Certification cost is $125. You must be a member to be and remain certified, however you may join at the time of certification testing.