1. #1
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    Default Beginning Investigator

    I know this is a much talked-about topic, but I am in need of some input. I have been a firefighter (part-time) for five years next June. I realized about six months ago I wanted to pursue any opportunities I could find to become a fire investigator. I talked to a couple friends of mine (one is an investigator for a private company and another is our county investigator) and both of them said to start at the fire academy. I just finished Fire Investigator-1033 (IFSAC) and now I'm wondering with my limited experience, even though I am in a position of responsibility as an investigator with my department, am I qualified enough to even apply for the NAFI certification?

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    You are no where near qualified to apply for IAAI certification. You may be qualified to apply for NAFI certification. Their qualifications are listed on their web page.

    You need more education and way more experience. Do these two things:

    1. Go to www.cfitrainer.net and register. It is free. Take all the classes. They are free.

    2. Talk to your friend the county fire investigator and try to work yourself in as an unpaid intern or part-time investigator. This will help you get some experience.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Yeah the IAAI is a pipe dream at this point. That's why I didn't even ask about it. NAFI, on the other hand, might be doable with a little more experience. I just need some input from some people about the critical qualifications for application for the NAFI exam. I'm looking for bare minimums.

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    SundayMoney,

    George is right. There is plenty of free, excellent training available to you. I just attended my chapter meeting of the I.A.A.I. There was some very good training presented on low heat ignition sources. Get involved with your local chapter of I.A.A.I. or go on CFItrainer.net if you are considering a career in fire investigation. These are good people who enjoy passing on their wealth of knowledge.

    In regards to your interest in the I.A.A.I. and N.A.F.I. Certification programs. I have already passed the C.F.E.I. Exam and have recently been made eligible to take the I.A.A.I. examination. I applied for both certifications at the same time and feel that possessing both can only assist me in my career. It should be noted that many of the qualifications are the same.

    I just hope the I.A.A.I. cert test is easier than the N.A.F.I. one. That NAFI test was tough. : )

    best of luck,

    Mike
    NAFI-CFEI
    Detective M. Porras, CFI-CFEI
    Glendale, California

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    Default

    I am in the same boat as SundayMoney, but this is what I've done so far. I've taken a local 40 hour class on Fire / Arson Investigation (done through the county police academy). This January I'll be attending the 2 week fire/arson class at NFA in Emmitsburg. I've been reading through Kirk's books and going and doing some of the programs on CFItraine.
    I guess what I need now is to find someone to let me get my hands dity and help out or observe some real world work. Easier said than done though it seems.
    Any suggestions from the gallery would be very welcome in this arena. I hope that this is the right path, and anyone else looking to start out, maybe this is a good way to get going.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slhfire View Post
    I am in the same boat as SundayMoney, but this is what I've done so far. I've taken a local 40 hour class on Fire / Arson Investigation (done through the county police academy). This January I'll be attending the 2 week fire/arson class at NFA in Emmitsburg. I've been reading through Kirk's books and going and doing some of the programs on CFItraine.
    I guess what I need now is to find someone to let me get my hands dity and help out or observe some real world work. Easier said than done though it seems.
    Any suggestions from the gallery would be very welcome in this arena. I hope that this is the right path, and anyone else looking to start out, maybe this is a good way to get going.
    1) When the new ed. of NFPA 921 comes out in the spring-buy it and know it.
    2) Join the IAAI and your State Chapter
    3)www.cfitrainer.net
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Hey all,
    I wanted to share with you that I passed my I.A.A.I. CFI exam.
    I also wanted to remind all of you interested in a career in fire and arson investigation to keep at it and you will succeed.
    As a full time police officer I feel honored to be associated with such experienced and professional fire department investigators.
    As is expected of CFI's, I will continue my formal training in the field of arson investigations. I will also begin my own small recruitment drive to help raise IAAI membership.

    For those who are interested I have an online version of the NAFI CFI exam study guide.
    Send me an email and I will send you a copy.
    All it will cost you is your membership in IAAI : )
    Email me at miguelporrascfi@gmail.com
    Cheers,
    Miguel
    Detective M. Porras, CFI-CFEI
    Glendale, California

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    Quote Originally Posted by arsoneater View Post
    Hey all,
    I wanted to share with you that I passed my I.A.A.I. CFI exam.
    I also wanted to remind all of you interested in a career in fire and arson investigation to keep at it and you will succeed.
    As a full time police officer I feel honored to be associated with such experienced and professional fire department investigators.
    As is expected of CFI's, I will continue my formal training in the field of arson investigations. I will also begin my own small recruitment drive to help raise IAAI membership.

    For those who are interested I have an online version of the NAFI CFI exam study guide.
    Send me an email and I will send you a copy.
    All it will cost you is your membership in IAAI : )
    Email me at miguelporrascfi@gmail.com
    Cheers,
    Miguel
    Congratulations on passing the CFI exam. That is not an easy feat. You have demonstrated a commitment to making not only yourself a better fire investigator, but in the overall improvement of the field of fire investigation.

    Thank you for your commitment to gaining additional members for the IAAI. I would also encourage you to attend the 2008 IAAI Annual Training Conference in Denver and to become involved in one of the various committees the IAAI offers.

    Good luck in your career. Email me at wendtcfi@optonline.net if I can be of any help.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Mr. Wendt,

    Thank you very much for the kind words. I will try my best to attend the ATC in Denver next year. It will depend on whether my department wants to foot the bill or not. My chief and other supervisors have really stood behind me over the last few years as I built up my expertise, so I need to try to limit the times I go to the well.

    I would really like to get involved in a committee and am willing to give some time to the cause. I am actually trying to figure out if there is a I.A.A.I. flyer or information packet available that I can make copies of and hand out to interested parties. The website is excellent but a small handout would be a nice icebreaker when contacting fire personnel I don't know personally, like at a training course for instance. Do you know if one is available?

    Again, thank you,

    Miguel
    Detective M. Porras, CFI-CFEI
    Glendale, California

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    Quote Originally Posted by arsoneater View Post
    Mr. Wendt,

    Thank you very much for the kind words. I will try my best to attend the ATC in Denver next year. It will depend on whether my department wants to foot the bill or not. My chief and other supervisors have really stood behind me over the last few years as I built up my expertise, so I need to try to limit the times I go to the well.

    I would really like to get involved in a committee and am willing to give some time to the cause. I am actually trying to figure out if there is a I.A.A.I. flyer or information packet available that I can make copies of and hand out to interested parties. The website is excellent but a small handout would be a nice icebreaker when contacting fire personnel I don't know personally, like at a training course for instance. Do you know if one is available?

    Again, thank you,

    Miguel
    Email me and let me see what I can get together.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

  11. #11
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    Default NAFI CFI exam study guide

    Hey there,

    I still have this available for those of you who are members of NAFI or IAAI or both and are considering taking the test.

    Let me know. If your not signed up in either one or both of the associations you should seriously consider doing so. They both provide tons of good training material that is valued way above the membership fees.

    Be safe and hit me up for a copy.

    Miguel
    miguelporrascfi@gmail.com
    Detective M. Porras, CFI-CFEI
    Glendale, California

  12. #12

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    Default

    I am also interested in becoming an investigator. I purchased my 921 and kirks fire investigation. I am working on getting the CFI trainer done. What do you suggest as the next step?
    Last edited by dustin85; 05-03-2008 at 11:45 PM.

  13. #13

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    Default Fire Investigator

    I am in a similiar situation. I started out vistiting fire scenes with my father in law, who is a private fire investigator, about 3 years ago with no intentions of actually pursuing it as a career. This past year i became increasingly intersted in the field and decided to enroll in school to get my Fire Inspector and Fire Investigation certs. As of right now i have been on 50-60 fires and just completed my first class, Cause and Origin. As part of my education, i am reviewing the material on CFItrainer.net, applied for my Private Investigator license, and considering getting my NAFI cert.(quite expensive). My problem is getting a job. Does anyone know (on the private side) what options are available to me with limited experience? I am in school and i am joining all the necessary oraginzations but i am having trouble finding a job. Any recommendations or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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