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Web-based Training Helps Arson Investigation

International Association of Arson Investigators, Inc.

BRIDGETON, MO -- With primary funding support provided by the AFG's Fire Prevention Grant, the International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) has developed a distance learning system to provide high quality, cost-effective training to fire investigators in both the public and private sectors.

Launched in February 2005, the IAAI's Certified Fire Investigator Trainer (CFITrainer) system is delivering Web-based education and training so that investigators at all levels of training or certification can participate from their office or home computers. The trainings take the form of educational modules on topics related to fire investigation presented in seminars or "webinars" (because they are presented on the World Wide Web).

The ( is a comprehensive educational resource designed to assist individuals who are seeking IAAI-CFI certification or recertification as well as individual investigators who simply want to stay informed in a rapidly changing profession where vast amounts of new information become available every day. The funding provided to the IAAI through this grant has provided a platform for delivering up-to-date information to fire investigators using cutting edge technology. The education and training modules also will help fire investigators to meet requirements in NFPA 1033 Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigators.'s first live webinar on "MagneTek: A Case Study in the Daubert Challenge" debuted on Friday, February 25, 2005, and was presented by Guy "Sandy" Burnette, a noted attorney who specializes in fire litigation. More than 80 people registered for the program, downloaded the program materials, participated in the program, and asked Burnette questions. Then they took an online test based on the material discussed and downloaded a certificate of participation for the program.

Since that first program, more educational modules have been developed and made available free of charge to fire investigators: "Ethics and the Fire Investigator," "Introduction to Fire Dynamics and Modeling," and "Digital Photography and the Fire Investigator." The modules are broadcast live and then archived on the Website for use by others.

A committee of IAAI leaders oversees the project to ensure that the quality and content of the educational modules is high and consistent with NFPA guidelines for fire investigators.

What they bought with the grant:

  • Development of Web-based education and training resource for fire investigators