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Fire Investigation: Case Preparation and Testimony R0790

Training Specialist

Kevin Oliver

Delivery type

6-day on-campus

Continuing education units


ACE recommendation

In the upper-division baccalaureate degree category, 3 semester hours in fire science.

Future students: The Fire Investigation curriculum is changing. Please review the (revised) course prerequisites on this page to make sure that you are qualified to apply for this course.

This 6-day (plus 2-weeks pre-arrival work) course is an intense, interactive, and realistic experience providing students with case development, case review, and the knowledge and skills to prepare to testify as an expert.

This course is offered in a blended format; students are assigned a cold case file and other activities two weeks prior to arrival with corresponding course work.  A laptop or tablet is required and copies of NFPA 921 (2021) and 1033 are required to attend this course.

NOTE: Students who fail to complete the pre-arrival, distance learning activities will be removed from the residence portion of the course and forfeit stipend reimbursement.

This course is designed to prepare individuals to present a case in a courtroom setting; appropriate courtroom attire is required.

Successful completion of this course satisfies the requirements of the International Association of Arson Investigators for Expert Testimony. This course expands upon concepts presented in Fire Investigation: Essentials (R0772).

Pre-course materials and course syllabus

Course Syllabus: PDF 761KB

The target audience is full-time public service personnel tasked with fire investigative duties.

Priority will be reserved for students who have successfully completed the NFA's Fire Investigation: Essentials (R0772 or R0206).

Applicants who are not employed full time in the fire investigation field may be eligible.  Applicants must submit a detailed letter from the chief of the department attesting to their position, duties and responsibilities as related to fire investigation and involvement with the prosecution of state arson laws, including responsibilities to testify in court.

ICS 100 level and ICS 200 level training. Preferred courses are Q462 and Q463 available through NFA Online Chief's signature on the application attests that the applicant has completed this required training.

Applicants must meet ONE of the following SECTIONS:

Successful completion of NFA’s "Fire Investigations: Essentials" (R0772) or completion of “Fire Investigation: Essentials” (R0206).

Additionally, successful completion (above 80%) of any fire investigation training which totals 40 hours.  (NFA courses R0204, R0205, R0206, R0214, R0255, may be counted toward this requirement.) 


Successful completion (above 80%, 3.0 or B) of ANY fire investigation specific training which totals 150 hours. Applicants must provide documentation (certificates) to reach the 150-hour level. (CFI Trainers do not count toward this requirement. State CFI/FIT designations are acceptable, IF student provides supporting documentation showing contact hours that equal 150 hours.


Successful completion of the following 8 CFI Trainer modules (transcript MUST be submitted with application):

  1. Critical Thinking Solves Cases.
  2. The Deposition Part 1: Format, Content, and Preparation.
  3. The Deposition, Part 2: Questioning, Tactics and Effective Responses.
  4. Effective Investigation and Testimony.
  5. Ethical Duties Beyond the Fire Scene.
  6. Ethics and the Fire Investigator.
  7. Magnetek:  A Case Study in the Daubert Challenge.
  8. Process of Elimination.

Applicants must provide a copy of their CFITrainer.Net transcript and all documentation to support the pre-requisite requirements at the time of application. Documentation (certificates, transcripts, certifications, and letters) must be clear, readable, concise, show hours required to meet thresholds, and be attached to the application at time of submission.


Upcoming offerings

Dates Availability Location Contact(s) CCP
December 11 - 16, 2022 Vacancies Apply Emmitsburg, Maryland
January 29, 2023 - February 3, 2023 Immediate vacancy Apply Emmitsburg, Maryland
May 21 - 26, 2023 Apply between 10/15/2022 - 12/15/2022 Emmitsburg, Maryland
August 27, 2023 - September 1, 2023 Apply between 10/15/2022 - 12/15/2022 Emmitsburg, Maryland
September 17 - 22, 2023 Apply between 10/15/2022 - 12/15/2022 Emmitsburg, Maryland