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Trying to pursue a career as an arson investigator or fire marshall.

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  • Trying to pursue a career as an arson investigator or fire marshall.

    What degree or field of study should I focus on. My local community college offers a fire science program and another university in my area offers a public safety program. Currently I’m not in a program in this field.

    Any advice or suggestions. Right now I’m currently a probationary volunteer firefighter.
    “The more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in battle"

  • #2
    i would prob say police, peace officer lic at least here its reqired. two guys on my department worked for the police dept as detectives then crossed over to fire as arson investigators.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by nairB View Post
      i would prob say police, peace officer lic at least here its reqired. two guys on my department worked for the police dept as detectives then crossed over to fire as arson investigators.
      What’s LIC? And I think a college here offers a degree in Public Safety. Would that be the correct direction to go?
      “The more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in battle"

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      • #4
        Originally posted by JasonAre View Post
        What’s LIC? And I think a college here offers a degree in Public Safety. Would that be the correct direction to go?
        sorry a peace officer license or being a police officer. Not sure what the public safety degree entails you would have to call the college and find out about that. As far it being the right direction or not, im not positive. But, if i were going to do it, which i have thought about, it would be the direction i would go. Im sure there are many ways to achieve your goal, this only being one.

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        • #5
          university of new haven

          check out the university of new haven in Connecticut. they have a highly advanced fire science program and offer a bachelors degrees in arson investigation, fire administration, fire protection engineering, fire science technologies.

          www.newhaven.edu

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          • #6
            For fire investigator check state requirements, I think in pa the state troopers do it


            For fire code enforcement take any code classes building construction fire protection system classes
            The best thing go do is get a fire protection engineering degree
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZdEH...e_gdata_player

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JasonAre View Post
              What degree or field of study should I focus on. My local community college offers a fire science program and another university in my area offers a public safety program. Currently I’m not in a program in this field.

              Any advice or suggestions. Right now I’m currently a probationary volunteer firefighter.

              Most Arson Investigators and Fire Marshal's are members who have been on the job for some time. Usually have worked their self up the ranks to Lieutenant, Captain and above.

              You have to follow the guidelines of the NFPA Standards for this in most states.

              You also have to be certified in law enforcement duties, which means legally you are a police officer as well. A complete unblemished criminal and background check will be conducted.

              I would concerned myself on completing my probationary period and taking as many firefighting courses that I could get into, thus becoming a class 1 firefighter for my department. In maybe 5 or so years you may be ready for begin in the investigator field.
              Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 09-30-2010, 12:11 AM.
              Stay Safe and Well Out There....

              Always remembering 9-11-2001 and 343+ Brothers

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              • #8
                Fire Investigator/Fire Marshal

                I would recommend that you locate the entities in your region, that employ fire investigators and/or fire marshals. These may be cities, state fire marshal divisions and law enforcement agencies that have these duties.

                After you locate these employers, contact each one and request a job description for the position. Also request the certifications required for those employed in those positions.

                After you recieve these job descriptions, you should be able to get a feel of what experience, education, training and certifications (NFPA, etc.) that you should pursue. While some employers promote within, some may hire from outside the organization.

                Another way to find out the qualifications that you may need, are to look at current job openings for these positions, that are being advertised. This should also give you an indication of what these employers require when hiring.

                While you are attending college, training and certification classes, try to volunteer at a busy FD to gain hands on experience.

                Good luck in your endeavors!

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                • #9
                  I am not sure what Pennsylvania requires for a firefighter to be an investigator or as a fire marshal, but I can tell you in Virginia, you don't just walk in the door and say, I want to be a fire marshal or arson investigator.

                  You have to be associated with a fire department and have applied and taken all the courses, jumped every hurdle and crawled through every hoop, then if the State Fire Marshal Office says you are one, then you are.

                  A lot more to it, than just coming on a fire department to be a fireman.

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                  • #10
                    ......And not only do you need to be part of a fire department, it's helpful if you've fought fire before. It's helpful if you know the stages of fire, how certain materials burn; how certain tactics affect the way the fire burns; know what flashover looks like; what does a backdraft looks like; how certain accelerants burn. All of that experience is juxtaposed against the need for solid, practical investigative experience. "Many" college programs will give you the theory, BUT, the practical experience has to come through either a law enforcement or fire department path. In either case, you're going to have to get on with one agency or the other and get some "whiskers" on you to become competent.

                    Many agencies work closely with the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms). Some years ago, they started doing arson and bomb investigation. I guess since prohibition was well over, they needed something to do. So many agencies work shoulder to shoulder with them in an arson "task force" configuration. Perhaps that may be a route for you to follow; ATF????

                    'The Axeman"
                    ___________
                    Purpose, Truth and Passion Yields POWER AND DOMINION IN ACTION!!!"

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