Fire Investigations Using Today's Technology
Instructor: Tim Yandell
As an investigator today, it is not if, it is when you are challenged by a qualified opposing attorney or other expert in the field. The fire investigator must be able to answer the pertinent questions about the investigation. Finally, we must be able to survive the documentation, and cross examination by the highly qualified opposing attorney’s or other experts.
Creating an effective C.V. to inform the court of what you have to offer including, the investigator’s experience, knowledge, training, and capabilities to perform a systematic, and scientific investigation. Demonstrating to the court and opposing counsel(s) that you are a credible, well-prepared investigator with the necessary knowledge to assist the court in a clear understanding of the facts at issue and assisting the court and the jury in that clear understanding.
As an investigator, you are demonstrating competence to offer expert conclusions and testimony in your case, that are both reliable and relevant to the case.
The investigator today must be able to demonstrate that they possess the the sixteen required topics, beyond high school as listed in NFPA® 1033, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator.
Planning for the investigation. Understanding the complexity of the investigation, necessary equipment, personnel considerations, and other resources.
Recording the scene, documentation of the scene, including all important factors involving the scene, including but not limited to, security of the scene upon arrival of the fire service, first in companies, including fire suppression, command staff, law enforcement, EMS if applicable, reporting party, owners, occupants etc.
Documentation of the scene, the investigator’s documentation should include all pertinent information about the scene. Courts are demanding assurance in many cases today. The investigator must be able to accurately and clearly communicate what he/she did at the scene.
In-depth investigation reviews of actual case studies, and case documentation will be reviewed during this class.
Preparing for depositions or trial is critical today. The trial attorney’s and the judges have become more aware of the procedures and documents the fire investigator follows today, therefore we are seeing more aggressive cross examination on our procedures and compliance with the literatures of our industry.