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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.

March 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast

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Transcript

Welcome to IAAI’s March 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast. This month’s podcast features a conversation about legislative affairs affecting the fire service with Bill Webb, Executive Director of the Congressional Fire Services Research Institute. We’ll also introduce a new recurring podcast segment "Get A’s from Dr Q," where Dr. James Quintiere will answer your questions about fire science.

While topics like healthcare reform, bailouts, and stimulus dominate the headlines coming out of Washington, DC, many fire investigation professionals may not know that every day, Congress is considering pieces of legislation that directly impact the fire service. Currently, Congress is tackling a diverse range of fire related issues, including reauthorization of the Fire Grants Program, collective bargaining rights for public safety officers, fire scene employment-related adverse health exposures, and a fire sprinklers incentive program. The Congressional Fire Services Institute is a non-profit, non-partisan policy institute that educates Members of Congress about fire and life safety issues. Bill Webb, the CFSI Executive Director, is with us today to talk more about how Congress’ actions affect fire investigators. Bill, welcome.

BILL: It’s a pleasure to be here.

Q: So why should fire investigators be interested in legislative affairs? And how does Congress, what they do or do not do, affect the individual fire investigator?

BILL: There’s a lot of interesting issues up on Capitol Hill that deal with funding for the fire service and that includes arson investigators, that includes fire service personnel, that includes the training facilities, and, you know, as Congress grapples with these issues, everyone involved in public safety really has a vested interest in the outcome of Congress’ decisions. If you look at the budget proposal submitted by the Obama Administration, they put $305 million in there for the Fire Act and they put $305 million in for the SAFR program. Fire last year was funded at $390. At one point it was funded at $750 million so the trend is downward, and again, against this backdrop of mounting federal budget deficit, if we just kind of sit on our hands and be complacent, you know, we can’t expect to maintain funding let alone try and bump up funding for the programs.

On April 28th-29th the Congressional Fire Services Institute will host the 22nd annual national fire emergency services dinner and seminars program. We’ll have about 2,000 national fire and emergency service leaders in town for this program including a large number of arson investigators. We will have the leaders of the Congressional Fire Services Caucus including Congressman Steny Hoyer, who is the House majority leader, Senator McCain, Senator Carper, Congressman Andrews, Congresswoman Emerson and a whole host of other members of Congress and administration officials speaking at both the seminar program and the dinner itself. It’s a great opportunity for the fire service community to show who they are in Washington, DC. When you get 2,000 of your leading fire and emergency services officials in Washington, DC up on Capitol Hill on the same day, it sends a strong message just about the efficacy of the fire service and emergency services in terms of advocating these issues in one voice, and again, that’s what April 28th and 29th is all about, and information about that event, again, is available on our website.

Q: What is the Congressional Fire Caucus?

BILL: Well, the caucus and the institute, if you don’t mind, the institute is one thing and the caucus is the other. The institute is a 501C3 non-profit, non-partisan policy institute that was set up in 1989 to educate Congress about the big picture, the big picture of the fire service, the issues that affected the chief, the union, the volunteers and the academies. We look at the issues that impact everybody the same. The caucus, on the other hand, is comprised of members of Congress. It’s the largest caucus in Congress with over 300 members, both sides of the political aisle, republicans and democrats. In fact, we have some independents on board as well. We have four co-chairs on both the House and the Senate side and there are four republicans and four democrats. So it’s a bipartisan driven caucus that takes a lot of the partisan politics out of the public safety issues, and so you get, you know, leaders from both sides of the aisle addressing the fire service issues, again, in a bipartisan fashion.

Q: So what are the current hot issues CFSI is working on with Congress?

BILL: There are a ton of important issues that we’re dealing with right now. Again, the appropriations for fiscal year 2011, and that’s funding for the Fire Act, it’s funding for SAFR and let’s not forget the United States Fire Administration that does a great job up there in Emmetsburg under the leadership of Fire Administrator Cochran. We’re also looking at the reauthorization of both those programs, both fire and SAFR. They’re up for reauthorization. We’ve been working for the past six, seven months with the Fire Caucus leadership and the chair and ranking members of the oversight committees up on Capitol Hill with the reauthorization process, and the House did take action last year to pass a reauthorization measure and now the focus is on the Senate side. We’re waiting for the Senate to introduce a bill and hopefully it will mirror the house version. If that’s the case, then it will glide right through the Senate and be signed by the President. If there are any differences between the House and the Senate bills, then they do have to be worked out in a conference, and that can kind of like protract the process, so that’s one issue, that’s another issue.

We’re working on the fire sprinkler incentive act, a great piece of legislation. We live in a reactionary society. It came about as a result of the tragic fire in 2003 up in West Warwick, Rhode Island, that claimed the lives of a hundred concert goers in a non-sprinklered concert venue. It would accelerate the depreciation on automatic sprinkler systems in public buildings from approximately 35 years down to five years. We’ve been working on that bill for seven years with a coalition of sprinkler advocates.

We’re also working on a public safety officers benefit program. If a firefighter falls in the line of duty, if a public safety officer falls in the line of duty, and they will and the family members will collect a benefit to the tune of about 300, oh gosh, $340-$350,000. Legislation was approved I believe about three, actually about four or five years ago which would grant the benefit to firefighters who fall in the line of duty as the result of a stroke or heart attack. The administration was slow in fulfilling the intent of Congress when it approved the PSB legislation, again about five or six years ago, and so it’s something that we continue to monitor to make sure that, you know, when a firefighter does die as a result of a heart attack or stroke that those benefits, that there’s no delay in getting those benefits out to the family members. So those are pretty much the priority issues that CFSI is addressing with the other national fire organizations.

Q: How can fire investigators stay current on what is happening in Congress?

BILL: Well, you know, my message to the investigators and everyone, you know, a lot of great websites out there. Again, if you look at our website, www.cfsi.org, if you look at all the other major organizations, they have a list of all the legislation that they are monitoring, and you’ve got to know who your members of Congress are. Your representative might be serving on the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House or on the Senate. Your member might be serving on a ways committee or a ways and means committee or the finance committee. If that’s the case, those committees have under their jurisdiction the most important pieces of legislation that we’re looking at right now, and again, that’s reauthorization of fire, SAFR and the sprinkler bill. If your member sits on the appropriations committee, they are the ones that are going to be setting the figure for the grant programs. So, again, you really need to understand who your members are and you need to establish a better working relationship with them.

Q: You know, you mentioned finance, Bill. How do fire investigators find out about current federal grant opportunities?

BILL: Well, again, if you go on the USFA website, they do have information on the various federal grant programs available. Again, and if there’s another agency, all the agencies have great websites. All the agencies, you know, will have on their websites a listing of their grant programs. You know, it’s not going to be on the front page of those websites. You might have to do a little investigative work, but heck, well you know, arson investigators, that’s their line of work, but again, I would start with the USFA and go onto their website and they’ve got, you know, they’ve got postings for fire and that includes prevention research, investigations, that includes SAFR and so that would be my first recommendation is to go on that website.

Thanks, Bill. We appreciate you joining us today and the good work that you do over at CFSI.

In the upcoming podcast, we’re beginning a new feature, "Get A’s from Dr. Q." Dr. James Quintiere is the John L. Bryan Professor of Fire Protection Engineering at the University of Maryland. He is well-known in the fire science community as a leading scholar in fire behavior. In future podcasts, Dr. Q will be answering your questions about fire science, fire behavior, the mathematics of fire calculations, the physics of fire or just about anything you can ask related to fire science. To submit a question for Dr. Q to answer in a future podcast, please email askdrq@cfitrainer.net. That’s askdrq@cfitrainer.net.

Finally, we’ll close with some news from IAAI. The IAAI Annual Training Conference is fast approaching. The time to register is now so you can make your plans to attend ATC from May 16-21, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. In addition to seminars on the hottest topics in fire investigation, this year’s ATC offers the opportunity to earn and test for the new Fire Investigation Technician credential at the conference. IAAI has released a video preview that highlights the classes, speakers, and Orlando attractions. The preview is available at cfitrainer.net/OrlandoATC. Again, that video preview is available at CFITrainer.Net.

That concludes this IAAI CFITrainer.Net podcast. We’ll see you again next month.

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2018

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2017

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2016

An interview with Dr. James Quintiere - December '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In a discussion with Dr. James Quintiere, we learn about some of his work in fire sciences, a bit about his research, his opinions related to the World Trade Center investigation and what he thinks is important to fire investigation as a scholarly leader in our field.
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July 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we talk to Fire Marshall, Ken Helms of the Enid, OK. Fire Department about his team winning the Fire Investigator of the Year award.
March 2016 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '16 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's fire investigation podcast from the IAAI's CFITrainer.Net focuses on the Youth Firesetting Information Repository and Evaluation System, which is called YFIRES for short.
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2015

September 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. Our podcast related to the legalization of recreational marijuana and its effect on fire investigation was one of the most popular podcasts ever on CFITrainer.Net. This month’s podcast is a follow up with one of our listeners from California who is an investigator doing training on this very topic.
August 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast is about NFIRS where we interview the Executive Director of The National Association of State Fire Marshals Fire Research and Education Foundation, Jim Narva.
July 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. In this special edition of podcast we’re going to meet the newest IAAI Investigator of the Year, Andrea Buchanan.
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April 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Dave Perry, a lawyer in Colorado discussing what fire chiefs, fire investigators, and the legal system are seeing in a state with legalized cannabis in regard to fire cause involving marijuana.
February 2015 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Feb '15 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's Arson Investigator podcast from IAAI & CFITrainer interviews Mike Schlatman and Steve Carman who are both successful fire investigators and now business owners who have transitioned from the public to the private sector.

2014

December 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast interviews Steve Avato from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives explaining the process of elimination and how it is a critical part of the scientific method.
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January 2014 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '14 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast takes a look inside the process of revising NFPA 921 and NFPA 1033.

2013

October 2013 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '13 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast focuses on the fire research work of Underwriters’ Laboratories, better known as UL.
February 2013 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '13 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month we have an interview with George Codding who returned from a recent trip to Saipan and gives us a closer look at the international activities of the International Association of Arson Investigators

2012

Mid Year 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Mid Year '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast features a mid-year update on the IAAI’s new initiatives and ways for you to get more involved with the organization.
September 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an in-depth look at the recent live-burn fire experiments exercise conducted on Governor’s Island, New York by the New York City Fire Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Underwriters Laboratory, and the Trust for Governor’s Island.
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March 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '12 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with ATF Special Agent Billy Malagassi out of the Tulsa, OK Field Office about investigating fires in clandestine drug labs. We also report on NIST’s findings in the Charleston Sofa Super Store fire and IAAI’s Evidence Collection Practicum.

2011

December 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features one of the presenters from this year’s IAAI ATC and see how a single photo broke the Provo Tabernacle fire case.
October 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Deborah Nietch, the new Executive Director of IAAI.
July 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features an interview with Tom Fee discussing details of investigating wildland fires.
June 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month's podcast features a lot of exciting things that are happening at CFITrainer.Net
May 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month highlights the IAAI ATC in Las Vegas and the third installment in the "It Could Happen to You" series.
ATC 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - This podcast discusses the upcoming IAAI Annual Training Conference and National Arson Awareness Week.
April 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast announces the release of the program, The First Responder’s Role in Fire Investigation, which teaches first responders how to make critical observations and take important scene preservation actions at a fire scene.
March 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features some of the instructors from the upcoming 2011 Annual Training Conference, to provide a preview of the courses they will be presenting.
February 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features an update on fire grants and an interview with Steve Austin
January 2011 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '11 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the release of the new edition of Fire Investigator: Principles and Practice to NFPA 921 and 1033, new flammability requirements from UL for pre-lit artificial Christmas trees and a growing fire problem in Dubai with factories turned into worker dormitories.

2010

December 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on home candle fires, lightning punctures in gas piping, and respiratory diseases in the fire services.
November 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - November '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features research findings for structural stability in engineered lumber by UL, the ban on antifreeze in residential sprinkler systems, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s investigation of Jeep Grand Cherokee fuel tanks.
October 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features high-profile fire cases, why people leave stovetop cooking unattended and how new sensors under development may improve fire research.
September 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features how to use the ATF’s Bomb Arson Tracking System, IAAI Foundation grants, electrical fires and indoor marijuana cultivation.
August 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on social media as a fire investigation tool, a potential problem with modular home glued ceilings and research from Underwriters Laboratories on the effects of ventilation on structure fires.
July 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast is a roundtable on some of the latest research and technical activities that impact fire investigation, featuring Daniel Madrzykowski (moderator), Steven Kerber, and Dr. Fred Mowrer.
June 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast discusses career advancement, budget cuts and their impact on fire investigation, and the 2010-2016 ATF Strategic Plan.
ATC 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - Follow-up and Interviews from Orlando. Learn about the conference, hear what attendees had to say.
May 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. The second in our safety series called "It Could Happen To You." Our Long-Term Exposure roundtable is moderated by Robert Schaal.
April 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. The first of our two-part safety series called "It Could Happen To You." Our roundtable is moderated by Robert Schaal.
February 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - February '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features our interview with a commercial kitchen’s fire expert about what you need to know when you work a commercial kitchen fire.
January 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features a look at preliminary research on corrosion caused by Chinese drywall, a new database focused on fires in historic buildings, a warning on blown-in insulation, and the launch of the new firearson.com web site.

2009

December 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features cooking fires, highlights of the International Code Council’s Annual Meeting on code requirements, including requiring residential sprinkler systems, and an easy way to keep up with recalls from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
November 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - November '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features chimney fires, including recent news on surgical flash fires, a proposed national arsonist registry, lightning research and an innovation in personal protective equipment.
October 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - October '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast is devoted to Fire Prevention Week.
September 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - September '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the relationship between climate conditions and fire risk, new research on formulating fireproof walls and the latest in IAAI news.
August 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - August '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month takes a look at the dangerous combination of summer heat and oily rags, the rise in vacant home fires, and preview research underway on Australia’s devastating "Black Saturday" brush fires.
July 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - July '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month features a look at outdoor grill fires, a fatal fire at a homeless camp in Southern NJ, new NIST research on human behavior during building fires, and IAAI news.
June 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - June '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features live reports from the 2009 IAAI Annual Training Conference held in May.
May 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - May '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This podcast is dedicated to National Arson Awareness Week.
April 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - April '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features the NFPA 921 chapter on marine fire investigations and the myth and reality of static electricity as a source of ignition.
March 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month focuses on the rise of the hybrid vehicle and what its unique engineering means for the investigation of vehicle fires, the rash of devastating arson fires in Coatesville, Pennsylvania from December 2008 to February 2009, and news from IAAI.
January 2009 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - January '09 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast focuses on the deepening financial crisis in the US and arson for profit fires, how going green may pose a fire hazard and see how rope lighting may be a source of ignition, and IAAI’s Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony course.

2008

December 2008 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - December '08 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. This month’s podcast features Christmas tree fires, changes to critical fire investigation publications, the weak economy’s impact on home fires, wind’s effect on structure fires, and ATC 2009.
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