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Fire Investigations Training Program - Plainfield, IL Spring 2019

Fire Investigations Training Program


The Carterson Public Safety Group, Inc in partnership with the Plainfield Fire Protection District, is pleased to announce a completely redesigned fire investigation training program for the fire service in Illinois. This comprehensive, in-depth 120-hour program is intended for those persons who have, or will have, the responsibility to investigate the origin and cause of fires within their jurisdiction. This course is open to the fire service personnel. law enforcement officers and the insurance industry. The class is limited to 25 students.  This program will be presented by a variety of experienced fire experts in a classroom setting during the first 80 hours. A variety of “case studies” are incorporated into the classroom as part of individual and group activities.  The final 40-hour week is designed and intended to be nearly all “hands-on” with a variety of field exercises to place the students into actual fire scene work. 

This program is designed and will cover all areas of the current edition (2017) of NFPA 921;“Guide forFire and Explosion Investigations”and the current edition (2014) of NFPA 1033; “Standard forProfessional Qualifications for Fire Investigator.”  The program meets the 28 Job Performance Requirements of NFPA 1033 “Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator.”

This program has been approved by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal. This class will meet and exceed the requirements from the OSFM for state certification, allowing the student to test at the end of the course in order to receive a “State Certification.” In order to be eligible to take the OSFM state exam the student must be affiliated with and Illinois fire department.

This course has also been approved by the National Association of Fire Investigators. The student may also test for National Certification as a “Certified Fire & Explosion Investigator” (CFEI) from the National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI), provided the student meets the requirements set forth by the National Association of Fire Investigators. 

This is the only course available that gives the student the opportunity to test for both the OSFM certification and National Certification as a fire investigator. 

The OSFM test will be administered at the end of the 3rd section.

If registering at the NAFI member rate you will be required to provide a copy of your membership card.

Registration Fee Includes:

  • A copy of the latest addition of NFPA 921 and 1033
  • After registering for all 3 sections those who are not a member of NAFI will receive a 1 year NAFI membership.

The OSFM test will be administered at the end of each section.

For those wanting to take the NAFI CFEI exam that will be administered after the OSFM exam at the end of Section 3 there will be a $125 testing fee due by the first day of Section 3.

Section 1

Date: April 8-12, 2019

Location: Plainfield Fire District Headquarters

Hotel Recommendation: Hampton Inn Joliet I-55

Investment:  $550 NAFI Members $575 Non-NAFI Members

The role of the fire investigator is more than just determining the origin and the ignition of the fire. In order to make an accurate determination, it is important for the fire investigator to have a complete understanding of fire behavior and development, ventilation, building construction and the effects on the scene created during the suppression of the fire. During the fire scene examination, the investigator must have a strong understanding of the effects of the fire on the building materials and the contents of the room in order to recognize and accurately interpret the fire patterns contained within the fire scene.

This section will examine the “FINGERPRINTS OF THE FIRE” which teaches the investigator to recognize fire patterns and how the fire created these fire patterns. This section is presented in accordance with NFPA 921, Chapter 6; 2017 Edition. Each fire effect and fire pattern are clearly examined through the use of actual fire scene photographs and actual live fire videos. The following topics will be covered in extensive detail:

  • Introduction to NFPA 921 & NFPA 1033
  • Basic fire science
  • Understanding Flashover
  • Effects of ventilation in fire development
  • Identification & interpretation of fire patterns
  • Building construction / Fire suppression systems
  • Determining the origin of the fire
  • Documenting the fire scene
  • Legal Considerations and courtroom testimony for the Fire Investigator

Section 2

Date: April 22-26, 2019

Location: Plainfield Fire District Headquarters

Hotel Recommendation: Hampton Inn Joliet I-55

Investment:  $550 NAFI Members $575 Non-NAFI Members

Section 2 will examine the ignition (causes) of the fire, including considerable time spend on “Incendiary” fires. The motivation of fire setters as well as evidence collection will be covered as well. The investigator will hear from senior fire investigators on the proper procedures for examining and documenting fire scenes involving a fire fatality. The investigator will also look at the importance of report writing.

The following topics are covered during section 2:

  • Cause Determination
  • Cause Classification
  • Motives
  • Evidence Collection
  • Fire Protection Systems
  • Electrical / Fuel Gas Systems
  • Gas Vapor Explosions
  • Fatal Fire Scene Examination (all day)
  • Interviewing skills for the fire investigator
  • Fundamentals of report writing
  • Insurance Information
  • Managing a complex fire scene
  • ISP Crime Scene Tech / K-9 demonstration

Register For Section 2 Here >>>

Section 3

Date: May 6-10, 2019

Location: Plainfield Fire District Headquarters

Hotel Recommendation: Hampton Inn Joliet I-55

Investment:  $550 NAFI Members $575 Non-NAFI Members

Section 3 is designed and intended to be a “hands on” section. The investigator will receive training in the examination and documentation of vehicle fires. The investigator will also work as part of a fire investigation team to conduct and origin and cause fire scene examination of a “room & content” fire scene, using the tools and skills from the previous 80 hours of classroom training. The investigator will prepare a written report of their finding during their examination of the vehicle fire scene and the structural fire scene examination. This section wraps up with actual “testimony” in a courtroom setting to prepare the investigator for his return back to his or her agency.

  • Vehicle / Marine fire investigation
  • Vehicle fire scene examination (hands on)
  • Vehicle fire report writing
  • Vehicle fire group presentation
  • Fire scene examination / “room & content fire”
  • Case preparation by the students
  • Group presentation of findings
  • Courtroom Testimony
  • End of course test / CFEI test

Register For Section 3 Here >>

Course Instructors

Deputy Chief Jon Stratton - Plainfield Fire District

Jack Malooly (ret.) – Former Special Agent for ATF

Steve Chasteen – AIFireE, CFI & CFEI

Chief Mike Dilley (ret.) -  CFEI, Urbana, Il. Fire Department

Mike Cosentino, CFI, Chicago Fire Department

Vickie Shaefer – CFI, CFEI; FireTech, Inc.

Bob Collins, CFI, CFEI – Normal, Il. Fire Department