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Fire Investigation: Forensic Evidence and Interviewing R0780

Training Specialist


Kevin Oliver
301-447-1613

Delivery type


6-day on-campus

ACE recommendation


There is not an American Council on Education credit recommendation for this course.

This 6-day course is an intense, interactive and realistic experience providing students with information on various types of forensic evidence and related information that can be gathered at a fire scene and the knowledge and skills to document, collect and submit evidence for investigations. Students will be required to perform realistic, hands-on practicals of collecting and submitting items of evidence. 

This course is offered in a blended format; students are assigned videos to view, discussion boards and other activities 2 weeks prior to arrival with corresponding course work. Students who fail to complete the pre-arrival distance learning activities will be removed from the resident portion of the course, not permitted access to the National Emergency Training Center, and forfeit stipend reimbursement. 

Students must bring a laptop or tablet and copies of National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations (2021) and NFPA 1033, Standard for Professional Qualifications for Fire Investigator (2022) to class.

Successful completion of this course satisfies the training and education requirements for International Association of Arson Investigators Evidence Collection Technician certification.

Pre-course materials and course syllabus

Welcome Letter and Instructions to Download Student Manual: https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/ax/pcm/pcm_r0780.pdf PDF 190KB
Course Syllabus: https://apps.usfa.fema.gov/ax/syll/syllabus_r0780.pdf PDF 625KB

Priority will be reserved for federal, state and local fire service, law enforcement personnel, and prosecutors with full-time fire/arson/explosion investigation responsibility and/or prosecution. These personnel include fire/arson investigators, state fire marshals, law enforcement personnel, criminal investigators, district attorney’s staff, and members of arson task forces. This course uses a learning management system for content delivery, assignments, and examinations – a laptop or tablet is required to attend this course.

This six-day course is an intense, interactive, and realistic experience providing students with information on various types of forensic evidence and related information that can be gathered at a fire scene, and the knowledge and skills to document, collect and submit evidence for their investigations. This course is offered in a blended format; students are assigned videos to view, discussion boards and other activities two weeks prior to arrival with corresponding course work. Students will also be required to perform realistic, hands-on practicals of collecting and submitting items of evidence.

Students will have two weeks of online graded activities prior to arrival on campus. Students who fail to complete the pre-arrival, distance learning activities will be removed from the in-residence portion of the course, not be permitted access to campus, and forfeit stipend reimbursement.

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 federal, state or tribal arson laws, including responsibilities to conduct interviews and collect and submit evidence.

ICS 100 level and ICS 200 level training. Chief's signature on the application attests that the applicant has completed this required training

Applicants must meet ONE of the following:

  • Successful completion of National Fire Academy’s "Fire Investigations: Essentials" (R0772 or R0206, certificate dated after October 1, 2017). Plus, an additional, successful completion (above 80%) of any in-person, tested fire investigation training which totals 40 hours. (NFA courses R0204, R0205, R0206, R0214, R0255, may be counted toward this requirement.)
  • International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI) Certified Fire Investigator (IAAI-CFI®) or IAAI Fire Investigation Technician (IAAI-FIT®) or National Association of Fire Investigators (NAFI) Certified Fire Investigator (NAFI-CFEI).
  • Successful completion (above 80%, 3.0 or B) of ANY in-person, tested fire investigation specific training which totals 120 hours. Applicants must provide documentation (certificates) to reach the 120 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 120 hours.)

AND

Successful completion of the following CFITrainer.net modules (transcript MUST be submitted with application):

  1. DNA
  2. Digital Photography and the Fire Investigation
  3. Emerging Technologies in Fire Investigation
  4. Fundamentals of Interviewing
  5. Introduction to Evidence
  6. Physical Evidence at the Fire Scene
  7. The Potential Value of Electronic Evidence in Fire Investigations

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.

Due to the time frame between the NFA application period and actual class attendance, students will be required to “refresh” the above listed classes through CFITrainer.net within sixty (60) days of the first day of class. A “refreshed” certificate will be uploaded into the Blackboard system within the two-week online activity work period.

Upcoming offerings

Dates Availability Location Contact(s) CCP
May 19 - 24, 2024 Wait List Opportunity Apply Emmitsburg, Maryland
June 23 - 28, 2024 Vacancies Apply Emmitsburg, Maryland
August 25 - 30, 2024 Apply between 3/15/2024 - 4/15/2024 Emmitsburg, Maryland