Tuesday, September 17, 2019 | The online resource for training fire investigators

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.

Mid Year 2012 CFITrainer.Net Podcast

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Transcript

Welcome to this edition of the IAAI’s CFITrainer.Net podcast. Today, we have a mid-year update on the IAAI’s new initiatives and ways for you to get more involved with the organization.

As a membership organization, the IAAI benefits from the diverse experience and expertise of its thousands of members. By volunteering on the IAAI’s many committees and special projects, members can contribute significantly to the mission of the organization and, at the same time, enhance their careers and make an impact at the national and international level of their profession. A few examples of current committees include strategic planning, web site content, education and training, and wildland arson. Special project needs are ongoing and often undertaken at the suggestion of a member. One current need is for volunteers to support the Arson Awareness Week special project.

In addition to committees and special projects, the IAAI has a new volunteer opportunity: a liaison program. The IAAI created this liaison program to enhance communication with other organizations in the fire investigation field. An IAAI member who is also a member of another organization in the field can be appointed the liaison. This liaison keeps abreast of priorities, initiatives, and activities of both organizations and assists in aligning both organizations to work together where mutually beneficial linkages are found. The liaison touches base with the IAAI a few times a year about what the companion organization is doing and suggests how the IAAI may be involved, bringing these opportunities directly to the attention of IAAI executives.

IAAI is actively seeking volunteers with specific interests and strengths so those can be leveraged in both existing and new initiatives. New committees are frequently formed, special projects begin, and new connections with the organizations are made. If you have a special interest, area of expertise, idea, or see an opportunity, contact Deborah Neitch at IAAI. It’s a great opportunity for you to give back to the profession, make an impact, and enhance your credentials.

Now, we’re pleased to have IAAI’s President Roger Krupp with us on the podcast to give you a mid-year update on IAAI’s activities during his tenure. Roger, thanks for joining us.

ROGER KRUPP: Thank you, it’s good to be here.

ROD AMMON: Tell us a little bit about this new program you’re working on to generate liaisons with college fire science programs to develop our professionals of the future.

ROGER KRUPP: As a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University years ago, I was looking for something myself to continue my own personal development and my instructors, Ron Hawkins, one of them, directed me to the IAAI and NAFI, and I joined both organizations and strived to get both their certifications to continue my own professional development. And with that, I was thinking it would be nice if we could start something for students to give them the leg up, getting involved in it early while they’re actually studying to become a fire investigator. With that, I thought, well, there’s only a handful of schools that actually have fire investigation programs, so I thought if we develop a system where we allow them to join the IAAI at a reduced rate, make it affordable for them and give them some benefits like our magazine. And, the other thing was to introduce them to the local chapters. Once we start getting more of them involved, we’ll reach out to the local chapters for connecting with them to invite them to their local seminars and things like that so they can network with the local investigators.

ROD AMMON: Yeah, I think that’s a real big part of it that’s very exciting. I mean, the magazine and some of the information and the resources available through the website are great, but I think - you mentioned the networking. To me, as somebody coming out of college, it was great to know people in the industry where I was headed, and that sounds like something that’s even more important today with all the competition out there for jobs.

ROGER KRUPP: Yeah, I think it’s real important today that they have that networking opportunity. I think we had a group of students participate in our poster contest and were able to network at our ITC last year and meet with investigators and companies, and I even understand a couple of them that were there got job offers. So, it was a great opportunity for them.

ROD AMMON: That’s a great story to hear because I was going to ask you how’s it going, how has it worked out, and it sounds like it already is. All right, what - talk a little bit about something I think that’s relatively new here. It’s the enhanced chapter. What does it mean and what are the benefits?

ROGER KRUPP: Local chapters do a great job, and we need to be more connected with them, and the enhanced chapter program is one way to really get connected with the chapters and for the chapters to get connected with us, and one of the main benefits is the IAAI office handles all the membership billing for both the chapter and the international. So, enhanced chapter members get one invoice a year for both their international and chapter dues. A lot of guys and gals talk about the budget issues and their departments will only allow them to join one professional association, and by receiving one invoice, you’re joining two associations for one. So, it’s a great benefit.

ROD AMMON: Yeah, it sounds like it. I mean, it seems to me when I’ve talk to a lot of association people at the chapter level or state level very often it’s so difficult to handle the overhead and deal with the business needs as well as, like you’re saying, being able to have all of the benefits of an international member I think is great news for folks out there.

ROGER KRUPP: And, it’s also a benefit to the chapters. We’ve found that the chapters that have joined us, they’ve seen a great benefit of increasing their own membership.

ROD AMMON: And, I think to our listeners, it’s really important to understand that that international membership, it turbo charges your involvement with the IAAI and with the fire investigation industry. The connectivity that we’ve had with the chapters has been so incredible with our ability to produce content. A lot of the folks that are chapter and international members are often reached out to for assistance when we’re developing these, so we end up going out to a place where they might be doing a training fire or where they have an expert or out to their state or city and getting them involved. So, it’s just been great to see and really shares the expertise.

ROGER KRUPP: Yeah, and that is one of the nice parts about it. We rely on those, and we have a lot of people that get involved and volunteer their time and their expertise, which benefits us all, and it’s really refreshing.

ROD AMMON: There’s another benefit that is going to be rapidly building, and we’ve heard a lot of people saying, hey, what are you doing? What are you doing with the website are firearson.com? There’s been a lot of redesign and a lot of interface that’s been going on between the website and CFI trainer, but you had some concerns and others had concerns about what are we going to do with the website? It needs content. Can you talk about what you’ve done?

ROGER KRUPP: We just - at the mid-year, we appointed a website content committee and set it up by Chris Clark from the UK and that’s what we really want to get our own website to is becoming the resource that we say it is, where an investigator can go there and find information that’s relevant, and this will be a benefit to the members. It will be on the membership side, but a resource library-type setup.

ROD AMMON: Okay, so folks out there, keep an eye open, and it’s - it looks like in the first quarter next year, people will start seeing things that are showing up in that resource or reference material area on the website. I think another benefit - we always talk about networking, and there are a lot of folks that are outside of each specific investigator’s core. One of those areas that’s huge is the insurance industry. Can you talk a little bit about the interface with the insurance industry?

ROGER KRUPP: There’s all sorts of people that get involved in the fire investigation, and insurance is one of the important ones obviously because most fires are insured, so we’re trying to reach out to them, and one thing that we haven’t really touted too much is our IAAI fire investigation technician certification. IAAI FIT is a perfect certification for the insurance profession. It’s perfect because it’s designed to give that person who is maybe not necessarily the lead origin and cause person, but they need to know about the origin and cause and what’s going on and who’s doing it and how they’re doing it, and making sure they’re doing it correctly. And, with the IAAI FIT, it gives them a good background in that.

ROD AMMON: I even heard a couple of people talking about how folks in the insurance industry who might be involved in managing fire investigations not being the fire investigator might find it helpful to have the FIT because it gives them a base level of knowledge that they can use to better understand the jobs that are being done.

ROGER KRUPP: Absolutely. There’s a lot of companies, even their SIU guys, they’re not the - necessarily the lead origin and cause guy, but they’re managing the origin and cause and investigation, and the FIT does give them that perfect base to be working off of.

ROD AMMON: So, you’re in Texas?

ROGER KRUPP: Yes.

ROD AMMON: Do you want to talk a little bit about, I don’t know, something that’s happening around your visit with the Texas Fire Marshal’s Office?

ROGER KRUPP: Yeah, I had the opportunity to meet with the fire marshal, Chris Connealy, down here, and he in fact wrote a - you’ll see a new article from him kind of explaining what’s going on in Texas. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the Willis/Willingham cases that prompted some changes down here in Texas that they’re working on right now, and we formed a committee. Chris is going to be one of the members of that committee. We’re going to kind of look at coming up with maybe like a model-type resource for other fire marshal offices that are going to be facing in the near future here or have already started seeing it are some of these older case reviews and to be prepared and kind of how to handle those and be ready for them if they come to your state.

ROD AMMON: So, bringing more of this sort of systematic approach, scientific method overview or oversight to the investigations that not only are happening now but have happened in the past?

ROGER KRUPP: Yeah, exactly, and one of the key things that Chris and I talked about was obviously the need for training and education. That’s the core of - a lot of his efforts are bringing the training and education up to speed, and he’s getting a lot of good cooperation from the city managers and chiefs and his own state, people that provide the funding that understand that in order to stay on top of fire investigation, you have to continue your education and training and be up on what’s out there in the world, and it’s an important part, and that’s why he sees the IAAI as a great resource because we provide some of the world’s best training.

ROD AMMON: It was just really nice to see something happening again where the international is reaching out into a specific state, dealing with pretty hot issue and where benefit will be seen by the country.

ROGER KRUPP: Chris was very complimentary of the IAAI and the training that we provide, and he’s looking forward to working with us and what he’s doing down here in Texas to bring world-class training to their investigators.

ROD AMMON: It looks as though what’s been happening between you and Rodney and others that have traveled around over the past - the recent years is that the overall international membership is growing 10 to 20% a year against all odds while most associations are not growing or are really concerned. It must feel good.

ROGER KRUPP: Yeah, it does. It feels good, and I think a lot of that goes to those that really understand that it’s a profession and they want to be a part of the lead professional organization in their profession, and really it gets back to the basic core is providing good training and education opportunities so that they can maintain their expertise.

ROD AMMON: In your words and you had a friend sitting across from you or you had a college graduate or somebody who’s about to graduate college right now and you had 10 seconds to say to them you’ve got to join and this is why. What would you say?

ROGER KRUPP: If this is the career path you want, you want to be a professional fire investigator, you’ve got to want to be a part of this number-one leading association in the world for fire investigators. It’s where you need to be to stay on top of your game.

ROD AMMON: Perfect. Thank you, Roger. That concludes this podcast.

ROGER KRUPP: Thank you.

ROD AMMON: You’re encouraged to contact the IAAI at www.firearson.com or call 800-468-4224 to explore volunteer opportunities. Stay safe and we’ll see you next time on CFITrainer.Net. For the IAAI, I’m Rod Ammon.

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2017

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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.
March 2010 CFITrainer.Net Podcast - March '10 IAAI & CFITrainer Fire Investigator Podcasts. 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.
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

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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.
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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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