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What are the requirements to become an arson investigator?

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  • ChiefKN
    replied
    Originally posted by CaptOldTimer View Post
    it isn't all glitz and glitter.
    Is any of it glitz and glitter?

    Leave a comment:


  • CaptOldTimer
    replied
    Here is a link from Virginia's Fire Marshal Academy.


    http://www.vafire.com/training/techn...anch/VFMA.html


    It will get you a good idea of what being an Investigator is all about.

    As Pasobuff said, it isn't all glitz and glitter.

    I have spent some very cold nights looking through charred buildings and seeing the remains of humans who didn't get out of the buildings and died.

    Leave a comment:


  • dfwfirefighter
    replied
    Originally posted by fire49 View Post
    Depends on the city

    Most have you come through the ranks but other you can hire off the street, such as Dallas
    Dallas picks senior Lieutenants and Captains from their inspectors to become fire & arson investigators.

    Austin, Houston, and Fort Worth promote them from fire suppression and train them in that specialty.

    I'm sure there is a huge mix of "how" its done everywhere else.
    Last edited by dfwfirefighter; 04-26-2011, 01:53 PM. Reason: poop

    Leave a comment:


  • dfwfirefighter
    replied
    Your question is a bit vague. Maybe it is not as "vague" as the fact that there is big answer to your questions, specifically regarding Texas.

    In Texas, all certifications, training, standards, and etc. are managed by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. The TCFP recognizes two (2) "fire investigator" certification levels - Fire Investigator and Arson Investigator. Within each of those "paths", there are following "levels" of certification: Basic, Intermediate, Advanced, and Master.

    The big difference between the two is that an "arson" investigator is certfied as a police officer (i.e. arrest powers) whereas a "fire" investigator is not.

    Fire Investigator (Basic) - http://www.tcfp.state.tx.us/standard...p?rule=431.201

    Arson Investigator (Basic) - http://www.tcfp.state.tx.us/standard...asp?rule=431.1

    If a fire investigator (no arrest powers) determines a fire's cause indicates arson (i.e. criminal activity), the investigation must be turned over to an arson investigator (arrest powers).

    Does it help to have experience as a firefighter? Absolutely! The bigger picture requires you to know more about procedural issues, such as chain of custody, state and Federal laws, investigative methods, and etc. THAT comes from a committment of time, effort, and education in the fire investigation field, i.e. alot more than a fire investigation "class" and taking a certification exam.

    A good place to start looking is at professional fire investigation associations such as the International Association of Fire Investigators (IAAI). They have alot of information on their website with regards to this field.

    Additionally, if you can find a private fire investigation firm who will hire you, try get a job as a "journeyman" helper to a regular, certified/licensed investigator. Although you'll work for peanuts and get really dirty, you'll learn the "trade" and art of fire investigation.

    Good luck.

    Leave a comment:


  • pasobuff
    replied
    Originally posted by mattrokni234 View Post
    What are the requirements to become an arson investigator in Texas? Do I have to first start off as a firefighter? And would being an arson investigator be an exciting career to enjoy? How do I know if I qualify?
    Being a Fire Investigator can be a dirty, nasty job - it is NOT all glory.....all kinds of weather, potentially dangerous scenes/situations, deceased person(s).....

    It is a very good idea to have a background in firefighting......

    In NY, I had to take Fire behavior and arson awareness, principles of fire investigation, and 30 hours on on-the-job investigation experience (among other things) to get my Level 1 Fire Investigator.....to get to a Level 2, it is another 2 weeks of class, plus I think another 80 hours in hands-on investigation....along with specialized classes such as electrical cause, court room testimony etc.......

    Check with your State Fire Marshals' Office (or equal), and/or Fire Academy - you can probably go on line and find the qualifications....

    Leave a comment:


  • fire49
    replied
    Depends on the city

    Most have you come through the ranks but other you can hire off the street, such as Dallas

    To be tx certified you have about a two week school for the investigator certification and Also have to go through peace officer academey which varies depending on the schedule you take

    You can to the investigator class with no problem

    http://www.trainingdivision.com/fire...ator-nfpa-921/

    http://www.teex.org/teex.cfm?pageid=...emplateid=1414

    Leave a comment:


  • What are the requirements to become an arson investigator?

    What are the requirements to become an arson investigator in Texas? Do I have to first start off as a firefighter? And would being an arson investigator be an exciting career to enjoy? How do I know if I qualify?

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