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CFITrainer.Net Podcast

The IAAI and CFITrainer.Net present these podcasts with a focus on issues relating to fire investigation. With expertise from around the world, the International Association of Arson Investigators produces these podcasts to bring more information and electronic media to fire investigators looking for training, education and general information about fire investigation. Topics include recent technologies, issues in the news, training opportunities, changes in laws and standards and any other topic that might be of interest to a fire investigator or industry professional affected by fire. Information is presented using a combination of original stories and interviews with scientists, leaders in fire investigation from the fire service and the law enforcement community.

April 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast

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Transcript

Welcome to IAAI’s April 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast. This podcast announces the release of The First Responder’s Role in Fire Investigation, a program designed to teach first responders, including fire, police, and EMS, how to make critical observations and take important scene preservation actions at a fire scene. The DVD portion of this program was released at the Fire Department Instructors Conference or (FDIC) on March 24-26. It was also distributed at the Congressional Fire Service Institute’s Annual Fire and Emergency Services Dinner last week.

The First Responder’s Role in Fire Investigation DVD teaches crucial observations and actions that fire, police, and EMS first responders can take that will ultimately assist the fire investigator in determining origin and cause, and in some cases, responsibility for the fire. The DVD follows real firefighters and emergency responders as they respond to fires and show these observations and actions in practice. The DVD program is supported with written teaching and implementation materials, including an Instructor’s Guide, a User’s Guide, a Quick Reference Card, a Fire Incident Response Data Sheet, and a presentation template for instructors. These written materials are available in the Resources Section of CFITrainer.Net.

In conjunction with release of the DVD, a new training module called "How First Responders Impact the Fire Investigation" is now available.

With us today to comment on the release of this new resource is Jon Jones, CFITrainer.Net Project Manager for IAAI. Jon, welcome to the podcast.

Q: Why is this effort important?

JON JONES: We’ve known for many, many years that first responders are a critical part of what we do as fire investigators in that if the first responder recognizes a problem or does some very, very simple things to preserve the scene for the fire investigator it can make a big, big, big difference in the investigation. In this program, that’s exactly what we’ve attempted to do. The program is designed for the first responder, for the firefighter, for the police officer, for the EMT who gets to an incident and makes observations, sees something out of the ordinary, finds a piece of potential evidence. It might be a lighter in the driveway, it might be a gas can laying on the side of the road and being able to say this is something we need to deal with, this is something I need to identify, this is something I need to tell someone about. That’s what the first responder training program is designed to do.

Q: So what kind of response is the program getting?

JON JONES: We’ve given out several thousands of these DVDs. We know that they’re actually being used. We’ve seen a spike in our use statistics on CFITrainer.Net for the resources. The other thing we’ve seen is since the program was released on - there’s a companion program, how first responders impact the fire investigation on CFITrainer, we’ve actually, in less than a month, issued nearly 700 certificates for that program. So we think that the DVD is actually driving people, first responders and fire investigators, to come to the site, take the module and learn more about this important aspect of the fire investigation.

Q: Jon, how can instructors and supervisors take full advantage of this resource and use it with their classes and departments?

JON JONES: Rod, there’s a number of different resources that have been provided to support this program. Those resources are out on the CFITrainer.Net site under the resource section. The first and probably most important for the instructor is an instructor or supervisor’s guide. It’s a 10 or 12 page document that actually looks at the major teaching points and provides a lot of background for the instructor as they’re putting together their program. The DVD, as we’ve talked about, is really a high quality 24 minute video that can be used to introduce this topic to the first responders in a drill setting, in a continuing education kind of setting, it could be a company level drill, it could be a department drill, depending on how your department does training, but there is an instructor’s guide that covers a number of different areas to help the instructor present this material including actually doing drills and tours of burned buildings.

The second component is a student handout, a user’s guide, that is a takeaway type document that the instructor could hand out to the people that take the program and it just gives them, in two pages, some very basic information and the key points that they need to remember about this program. One of the components that I really like is the quick reference card. It’s a very, very quick checklist kind of guide that says here’s what you need to do to help preserve that scene so it can be investigated properly.

And finally, there’s a fire incident response data sheet that just gives 18 different points for the first responder to remember as they’re sitting there writing their report or contemplating that incident before they leave the scene.

Finally, there is a program on CFITrainer.Net, a module on CFITrainer.Net, that if a student or a firefighter, anyone is really interested in the topic they can go to the module on CFITrainer.Net, take that module and actually take a test and get a certificate of completion.

So there’s a number of different components and a number of different ways that the instructor or the fire department or the leadership of an organization could use this to enhance the training of the first responder.

Q: So as an individual firefighter and investigator what can I do to help with this initiative? How do you think it would be good for me to introduce this to a commanding officer?

JON JONES: Well I think that almost everybody in the business understands how important it is to preserve the scene. The way this gets introduced and one of the ways I’m looking at using it in my own area up here is to actually take it and provide it to investigators or to team up with an investigator and a fire instructor and actually go in and do the drill, the one hour presentation kind of program where we show the video, talk a little bit about the important points, and use a customized maybe PowerPoint presentation. It could be a lecture, it could be a number of different ways of presenting it, and doing some questions and answers. Trying to just raise the awareness and get people to understand how important it is to communicate - to preserve the scene and communicate any observations to the fire investigator when they arrive on the scene.

Thanks, Jon, it was great to get your perspective.

There is still time to register to attend ATC 2011, take important courses, network with your fellow professionals in fire investigation, see the latest tools and equipment available, and take advantage of all Las Vegas has to offer. You can register online at firearson.com. We have direct links for you on this podcast’s web page. Come back in May to listen to comments from the attendees.

That concludes this IAAI CFITrainer.Net podcast. Don’t forget to check out the links on this podcast’s page for more information on The First Responder’s Role in Fire Investigation. We’ll see you again next month.

How First Responders Impact The Fire Investigation - Resources

How First Responders Impact The Fire Investigation - Module

ATC 2011 Information

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2017

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2014

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2013

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2009

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2008

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