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Investigations career

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  • Investigations career

    I've read some of the other threads and they have helped but I am wanting to start a career in fire investigations. I have a BS in Fire Safety, 7 years as a volunteer firefighter, memberships with IAAI and NAFI, and around 200 hours of investigations training within the last year. I have interviewed for several investigator/fire marshal positions, but no one wants to hire me because I'm not a CFI and I have little experience. In college, I had an internship with a fire investigations bureau, so I do have a little experience under my belt and have seen a few things but I'm well aware that doesn't make me an expert. But, how are you supposed to get experience if no one will hire you? Unlike others that have asked before, I've done a little homework and pretty much done all I can think of. Any more suggestions? I guess my next option is to get the Fire Investigation Technician from IAAI?

  • #2
    Advice:

    1. Get the FIT designation

    2. Find and take either the IAAI Courtroom Testimony course or the NFA two week Courtroom Testimony class.

    3. You will find, in your situation, that the CFEI certification may be esier for you to attain than the CFI certification.

    4. Make sure any investigation you participate in is documented, so you can count it later on when you are going for CFEI or CFI.

    I understand your dillema. However, you must realize that the very first fire you do could be the fire you go to court on. It is incumbent upon the agency to have fire investigators who can qualify as an expert witness in court. This is especially true in the private sector. They cannot bill a client for the work of an investigator who may not be able to qualify as an expert.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    • #3
      Thank you for the no nonsense advice. One more question: In my situation, would it be beneficial to go back and get an AAS in Criminal Justice or Basic Law Enforcement Cert.(Peace Officer) or would I be wasting my time? I know in certain areas of the country, fire marshals have the power to arrest but most of the places around me have the local LEO or the NC State Bureau of Investigations handle that. In all reality, I am a very ambitious person and really would like a career in fire investigations, even if that meant moving to another state or another part of the country.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MFD1411 View Post
        Thank you for the no nonsense advice. One more question: In my situation, would it be beneficial to go back and get an AAS in Criminal Justice or Basic Law Enforcement Cert.(Peace Officer) or would I be wasting my time? I know in certain areas of the country, fire marshals have the power to arrest but most of the places around me have the local LEO or the NC State Bureau of Investigations handle that. In all reality, I am a very ambitious person and really would like a career in fire investigations, even if that meant moving to another state or another part of the country.
        Are you ever wasting your time when you are trying to better yourself? Those degrees won't hurt you and may lead to another career.

        You may want to consider a BS degree in Fire Protection Engineering. More lucrative and you will be in greater demand for fire investigations.
        PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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        • #5
          Any way to find seminars and training for ivestigations/arson topics in the midwest?

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